“Great performance is in our hands far more than most of us ever suspected.” – Page 6
Happy new month, beautiful people! We are almost halfway through the year 2016 and it is unbelievable how much time is flying by. Hope you managed to start and finish a book in the rollercoaster month that was May.
In May I read ‘Talent is Overrated’ by Geoff Colvin (mostly because it came highly recommended by a client of mine). It’s an average sized book (about 300 pages depending on what format you’re reading). There are 11 chapters in the book.
In the first chapter, Colvin states his argument: the problematic assumption that anyone who is truly great at anything was born for it or was just naturally genius. Hence, people who are just average are average as a result of their talentlessness (this is my review, I can make up any word I want). The next chapters after that, Colvin hits us with the facts, with real life examples: Mozart, Beethoven, Tiger Woods, Shizuka Arakawa, Jack Welch (CEO of GE), and some others.
“Mozart’s first work regarded today as a masterpiece, with its status confirmed by the number of recordings available, is his Piano Concerto No. 9, composed when he was twenty-one. That’s certainly an early age, but we must remember that by then Wolfgang had been through eighteen years of extremely hard, expert training.” – Page 26
Turns out these people who we actually thought were born with greatness simply did over 10 years of dedicated, deliberate practice to reach their highest potential – to attain celebrity and the honorable “talent/genius” titles the world gave them.
“A study of figure skaters found that sub-elite skaters spent lots of time working on the jumps they could already do, while skaters at the highest levels spent more time on the jumps they couldn’t do, the kind that ultimately win Olympic medals and that involve lots of falling down before they’re mastered.” – Page 187
I was going to argue that there are tons of people who go to the same job every day put in thousands and thousands of hours cumulative but never attain “genius”. Why?
“Occassionally people actually get worse with experience. More experienced doctors reliably score lower on tests of medical knowledge than do less experience doctors; general physicians also become less skilled over time at diagnosing heart sounds and x-rays.” – Page 4
Colvin argues you can actually become worse with experience. This is because actions become automated (no longer deliberate, tentative, well-thought-through)
This book gave me Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers vibes which would’ve been good if I didn’t already read Outliers. So it felt like reading the same book again, except it’s written slightly different. If you haven’t read Gladwell’s book, please get this. It’s well-written with solid arguments/facts.
Was the author successful in carrying out the overall purposes of the book? Definitely
Would you recommend this book to others? Most definitely
My recommendations for this month are:
- Digital Epidemic – Deola Kayode (because the author asked me to)
- Bone – Yrsa Daley Ward (because I’ve heard only good things about her poetry)
- Unashamed – Christine Caine (because Christine Caine is bae)
Don’t forget you only have to read one book.
Before we get to your reviews I’m glad to announce that we have another partner on board. The awesome people at Africareeds.com have decided to give all you book lovers 10% discount on any purchase made on their site. All you have to do is use this promo code when checking out: NAKEDCONVOS10. So you see, now you have absolutely no excuse.
I would really like to know what you guys are reading. If you have any book-loving friends, share this article with them. What do you know? We could swap reading lists
What book did you read?
Evaluate and critique the book
Wrap up with the strengths and weaknesses and mention if you would recommend the book to other people
Give a numerical score/rating.