Synopses & Reviews
From the bestselling author of Talent is Overrated, an extensive look at the essential human skills that can never be replaced by technology.
In the economy of a few years from now, what will people do better than computers? Technology is rapidly invading fields that it once could not touch, driving cars better than humans do, predicting Supreme Court decisions better than legal experts, packing boxes, identifying faces, scurrying around hospitals delivering medications, all faster, more reliably, less expensively than people. In a world like that, how will we and our children achieve a rising standard of living?
The real issue is what we humans are hardwired to do for and with one another, arising from our deepest, most essentially human abilitiesempathy, social sensitivity, storytelling, humor, forming relationships, creativity. These are how we create value that all people hunger for, that is unique and not easily quantified.
Individuals and companies are already discovering that these high-value abilities create tremendous competitive advantagemore devoted customers, stronger cultures, breakthrough ideas, more effective teams. Theyre discovering also that while many of us regard these abilities as innate traitshes a real people person,” shes naturally creative”it turns out they can all be developed and are being developed in far-sighted organizations from software firms to the U.S. Army to the Cleveland Clinic. To a far greater degree than most of us ever imagined, we already have what it takes.
"Geoff Colvin has written a fascinating study of great achievers from Mozart to Tiger Woods, and he has brilliantly highlighted the fact that great effort equals great success. I agree, and Talent Is Overrated
is not only inspiring but enlightening. It's a terrific read all the way through."-Donald Trump
"Talent Is Overrated is a profoundly important book. With clarity and precision, Geoff Colvin exposes one of the fundamental misconceptions of modern life-that our ability to excel depends on innate qualities. Then, drawing on an array of compelling stories and stacks of research, he reveals the true path to high performance-deliberate practice fueled by intrinsic motivation. This is the rare business book that will both prompt you to think and inspire you to act."-Daniel H. Pink, author of A Whole New Mind
“Even as businesses prepare for difficult times they must keep an eye on the long term, trimming the fat but not the muscle and sometimes spending where it makes sense. Colvin has defined a new genre of management book: the bust-buster.”—RICHARD DONKIN, Financial Times
PRAISE FOR GEOFF COLVINS TALENT IS OVERRATED
“Excellent.” —The Wall Street Journal
“A fascinating book.” —Charlie Rose
“A profoundly important book.” —Dan Pink, author of A Whole New Mind
“Faster, Higher, Stronger
is one of the most lucid and entertaining books I've read about sports science and how it is making better, faster, stronger athletes. More important, though, Mark McClusky clearly explains why this science matters to the rest of us and how we can use it in our lives. A smart and important book.”
—Gretchen Reynolds, author of The First 20 Minutes
“Success in top-level sports is no longer just an athletic contest -- its a learning contest that takes place on the frontiers of science, technology, and the human body. If youre interested in understanding and competing in this new world, you need to buy Mark McCluskys smart, invigorating, and useful book, right now.”
—Daniel Coyle, author of The Talent Code and The Secret Race
“In my more than 20 years researching the field of health and fitness, few books have captured my attention like Mark McClusky's riveting investigation of the groundbreaking science fueling elite athletic performance. Faster, Higher, Stronger breaks the code and gives everyday readers a chance to steal the cutting-edge secrets of the pros.”
—Dave Zinczenko, author of Eat This, Not That
“Is fatigue mostly in your head? Can built-in talent take you to the Olympics in only four years? Will big data transform how we play basketball? Faster, Higher, Stronger is a brilliant, fun report on the science of hacking your performance.”
—Clive Thompson, author of Smarter Than You Think
“Mark McClusky has written an enlightening, intelligent, comprehensive look at the merging of sports and science. Its truly fascinating stuff.”
—Jeff Pearlman, bestselling author of Showtime
“An engaging journey through the intersection of sports and science, Faster, Higher, Stronger is a must-read for armchair athletes, coaches, parents, and anyone who wants to understand human potential."
—Chris Anderson, bestselling author of The Long Tail and Makers
“Today, in sports, what you are is what you make yourself into. Innate athletic ability matters, but its taken to be the base from which you have to ascend. Training efforts that forty years ago would have seemed unimaginably sophisticated and obsessive are now what it takes to stay in the game. Athletes dont merely work harder than they once did. As Mark McClusky documents in his fascinating new book, Faster, Higher, Stronger,
they also work smarter, using science and technology to enhance the way they train and perform. It isnt enough to eat right and put in the hours. “You need to have the best PhDs onboard as well,” McClusky says. This technological and analytical arms race is producing the best athletes in history.”
—The New Yorker
“McCluskys eye-opening account of sports science shatters outmoded training myths and heralds a revolutionary new terrain, in which the combination of high-tech methods and scientific breakthroughs designed will give the sports fan something wondrous to watch.”
“In Faster, Higher, Stronger, journalist Mark McClusky takes us into the world of athletics, looking at what differentiates winners from losers in elite competitions, from the Olympics to Formula One auto racing. The focus on extremes of excellence and performance at the margins of human capability makes a great read. The casual sportsman is not forgotten, as McClusky touches back on his own golf game to help weekend athletes relate. Marginal gains, trainability, and best fit run through the book, which is filled with engaging stories of athletes reaching the podium or missing by a hair.”
“Speed-skating super-suits, motion-tracking cameras, the 10,000 hour rule—it's all covered in Mark McClusky's engrossing look into how athletes use science to avoid injury, train smarter, and shatter records.”
“McClusky states that “every great athlete is the product of the interaction between their genetics and their effort,” and he presents rigorous research with an accessible style relatable to both professional and lay readers alike. All of this trickles down to amateur athletics as well, and McClusky does a good job of relating cutting-edge science to people wanting to run their 5K a little faster or shave a few strokes off their golf handicap.”
“While most of the work is dedicated to advancements in sports science, McClusky saves the inevitable conversation of performance-enhancing drugs for the conclusion. He tries to discover the thin line between finding and utilizing scientific advantages and actual cheating. It's a difficult one to discover, but the book's overall strength is McClusky's willingness to engage those questions many sports fans have trouble navigating. This is a fascinating read about the creative—and sometimes bizarre—training techniques extreme athletes use. VERDICT: This brief but detailed tour of modern sports science will garner strong interest from athletes, sports fans, and even couch potatoes.”
“I cant remember a book that has fascinated, educated—and provoked—me as much as The Sports Gene
. Epstein has changed forever the way we measure elite athletes and their achievements.” —Malcom Gladwell
“Clear, vivid, and thought-provoking writing that cuts through science anxiety for rank-and-file sports fans.” —Bonnie Ford, Senior Writer, ESPN
“Many researchers and writers are reluctant to tackle genetic issues because they fear the quicksand of racial and ethnic stereotyping. To his credit, Epstein does not flinch.” —The Washington Post
“Epsteins rigour in seeking answers and insights is as impressive as the air miles he must have accumulated . . . his book is dazzling and illuminating.” —The Guardian
“Few will put down this deliciously contrarian exploration of great athletic feats.”
—Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
“The narrative follows Mr. Epsteins search for the roots of elite sport performance as he encounters characters and stories so engrossing that readers may not realize theyre receiving an advanced course in genetics, physiology, and sports medicine.” —Christie Aschwanden, The New York Times
“An important book . . . The Sports Gene is bound to put the cat among the pigeons in the blank-slate crowd who think that we can all be equal as long as we equalize environmental inputs such as practice.” —Michael Shermer, The Wall Street Journal
“This is the book Ive been waiting for since the early 1960s. I cant imagine that anyone interested in sports—particularly the fascinating question, ‘How do the best athletes become the best?—will be any less enthralled than I.” —Amby Burfoot, (1968 Boston Marathon Champion), Runner's World
“A must-read for athletes, parents, coaches, and anyone who wants to know what it takes to be great.” —George Dohrmann, author of Play Their Hearts Out
Expanding on a landmark cover story in Fortune, a top journalist debunks the myths of exceptional performance
One of the most popular Fortune articles in many years was a cover story called ?What It Takes to Be Great.? Geoff Colvin offered new evidence that top performers in any field--from Tiger Woods and Winston Churchill to Warren Buffett and Jack Welch--are not determined by their inborn talents. Greatness doesn?t come from DNA but from practice and perseverance honed over decades.
And not just plain old hard work, like your grandmother might have advocated, but a very specific kind of work. The key is how you practice, how you analyze the results of your progress and learn from your mistakes, that enables you to achieve greatness.
Now Colvin has expanded his article with much more scientific background and real-world examples. He shows that the skills of business?negotiating deals, evaluating financial statements, and all the rest?obey the principles that lead to greatness, so that anyone can get better at them with the right kind of effort. Even the hardest decisions and interactions can be systematically improved.
This new mind-set, combined with Colvin?s practical advice, will change the way you think about your job and career?and will inspire you to achieve more in all you do.
Never waste a crisis.
Some businesses—and some people—will emerge from today’s economic tumult stronger and more dominant than when it started. Others will weaken and fade. It all depends on critical choices they make right now. Geoff Colvin, one of America’s most respected business jour-nalists, says even the scariest turbulence has an upside. The best managers know that conventional thinking won’t help them in tough times. They’re taking smart, practical steps—frequently unconventional and even counterintuitive—that will not only keep them strong, but will also distance them from the pack for years to come. The dozens of top-performing leaders Colvin interviewed reject the common view that slashing costs and firing employees are the only effective tactics. They see volatility as a rich opportunity to reinvent their organizations and lay the ground-work for future growth. Colvin shows us how these strategies really work, using exam-ples of major companies that have successfully applied them.
Wall Street Journal and BusinessWeek bestseller
Asked to explain why a few people truly excel, most people offer one of two answers. The first is hard work. Yet we all know plenty of hard workers who have been doing the same job for years or decades without becoming great. The other possibility is that the elite possess an innate talent for excelling in their field. We assume that Mozart was born with an astounding gift for music, and Warren Buffett carries a gene for brilliant investing. The trouble is, scientific evidence doesn't support the notion that specific natural talents make great performers.
According to distinguished journalist Geoff Colvin, both the hard work and natural talent camps are wrong. What really makes the difference is a highly specific kind of effort-"deliberate practice"-that few of us pursue when we're practicing golf or piano or stockpicking. Based on scientific research, Talent is Overrated shares the secrets of extraordinary performance and shows how to apply these principles. It features the stories of people who achieved world-class greatness through deliberate practice-including Benjamin Franklin, comedian Chris Rock, football star Jerry Rice, and top CEOs Jeffrey Immelt and Steven Ballmer.
The world of high-performance athletics is changing forever. Not so long ago, you could compete at the top level with hard work and a good coach, but today, its impossible to separate the achievements of athletes from the scientists who support them.
In Faster, Higher, Stronger, veteran journalist Mark McClusky brings readers behind the scenes with a new generation of athletes, coaches, and scientists whose accomplishments are changing our understanding of human physical achievement and completely redefining the limits of the human body. At the exciting new frontier of sports, science, and technology, the book explores: The role that genes and training play How to find hidden champions and fasttrack greatness The truth about the 10,000 hours rule New research on breaking through fatigue Revolutions in data and nutrition And how we can apply the lessons about focus, dedication, and sheer ingenuity in our own lives.
Brimming with cutting-edge science and gripping anecdotes, Faster, Higher, Stronger is a fascinating, exhilarating look at how far we can push the boundaries of our bodies and minds.
The New York Times bestseller with a new afterword about early specialization in youth sports.
The debate is as old as physical competition. Are stars like Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps, and Serena Williams genetic freaks put on Earth to dominate their respective sports? Or are they simply normal people who overcame their biological limits through sheer force of will and obsessive training?
In this controversial and engaging exploration of athletic success and the so-called 10,000-hour rule, David Epstein tackles the great nature vs. nurture debate and traces how far science has come in solving it. Through on-the-ground reporting from below the equator and above the Arctic Circle, revealing conversations with leading scientists and Olympic champions, and interviews with athletes who have rare genetic mutations or physical traits, Epstein forces us to rethink the very nature of athleticism.
About the Author
Mark McClusky is the editor of Wired.com and founding editor of Wired Playbook. Previously, he was special projects editor at WIRED, an editor and reporter at Sports Illustrated and SI for Kids, and a founding editor of Sports Illustrated's website. A former member of the baseball analytics collective Baseball Prospectus, McClusky contributed to several of its bestselling books, and is a coauthor of Alinea by Grant Achatz. He lives in Oakland, California.