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.
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 doesnt 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 businessnegotiating deals, evaluating financial statements, and all the restobey 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 Colvins practical advice, will change the way you think about your job and careerand will inspire you to achieve more in all you do.
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.
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.
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.
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.