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Exploding Creativity

May 29th, 2010 at 10:30 am

Talent is Overrated and is Never Enough Book Reviews

Continuing copying my book reviews from my LinkedIn Amazon widget to my blog. I’ve referenced Talent is Overrated in Episode 6: Leadership and Creativity.

Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else, by Geoffrey Colvin

This book is about high performance and achievement, whether in a sport, music, art, science, engineering, medicine, chess, etc. The title comes by Colvin first explaining how there has been no discovery of any genetic component to talent; i.e., there is no scientific evidence that any person is born with an inherent talent for anything.

Colvin describes the process by which people do achieve high performance. This is called Deliberate Practice. This is a process by which someone continually stretches their abilities, through a repetitive process with a lot of feedback.

Colvin goes into what deliberate practice does to a person and where the motivation comes from for a person to dedicate themselves to the practice.

Now, if I can only get my kids to read this book. 🙂

Talent Is Never Enough: Discover the Choices That Will Take You Beyond Your Talent, by John C. Maxwell

After reading “Talent is Overrated” by Geoff Colvin, I felt I had to read “Talent is Never Enough” by John C. Maxwell. Whereas “Talent is Overrated” takes the perspective that God-given talent may not really exist and then gives a study of Deliberate Practice that leads to high performance, “Talent is Never Enough” starts with the assumption that God-given talent does exists, but, as the title states, it is never enough for achievement. Maxwell writes that what is needed is:

– Belief
– Passion
– Initiative
– Focus
– Preparation
– Practice
– Perseverance
– Courage
– Being teachable
– One’s personal character
– Relationships with others
– Responsibility
– Teamwork

There’s a chapter for each of the topics with plenty of examples.

For me, the book started out as a “rah-rah” book, cheer-leading one on to self-help. However, a couple of the points in the book did personally resonate strongly with me, and I suspect there would be a point or two or more most other people would strongly resonate with.

If you only wanted to read one book about talent, I would recommend “Talent is Overrated”. But you couldn’t go wrong reading this one, too.

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