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.
One of the oldest myths in business is that every customer is a valuable customer. Even in the age of high-tech data collection, many businesses don't realize that some of their customers are deeply unprofitable, and that simply doing business with them is costing them money. In many places, it's typical that the top 20 percent of customers are generating almost all the profit while the bottom 20 percent are actually destroying value. Managers are missing tremendous opportunities if they are not aware which of their customers are truly profitable and which are not.
According to Larry Selden and Geoff Colvin, there is a way to fix this problem: manage your business not as a collection of products and services but as a customer portfolio. Selden and Colvin show readers how to analyze customer data to understand how you can get the most out of your most critical customer segments. The authors reveal how some companies (such as Best Buy and Fidelity Investments) have already moved in this direction, and what customer-centric strategies are likely to become widespread in the coming years.
For corporate leaders, middle managers, or small business owners, this book offers a breakthrough plan to delight their best customers and drive shareowner value.
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.
In the dawning age of brilliant machines, what will people do better than computers?
It's easy to imagine a frightening future in which technology takes over the jobs that we now get paid to do, working more accurately and for barely any cost. Computers can already perform surgery, drive vehicles, write articles and do intricate legal work, so what hope will there be for tomorrow's workforce?Drawing on a wealth of research, Geoff Colvin uncovers the skills that will be in great demand as technology advances - and how they can be developed. In this new machine age, we shouldn't try to beat computers at what they can do. We'll lose that contest. Instead we must look to unlikely places, learn from the best, and cultivate the human abilities that make us unique.
As technology races ahead, what will people do better than computers?
What hope will there be for us when computers can drive cars better than humans, predict Supreme Court decisions better than legal experts, identify faces, scurry helpfully around offices and factories, even perform some surgeries, all faster, more reliably, and less expensively than people?
It’s easy to imagine a nightmare scenario in which computers simply take over most of the tasks that people now get paid to do. While we’ll still need high-level decision makers and computer developers, those tasks won’t keep most working-age people employed or allow their living standard to rise. The unavoidable question--will millions of people lose out, unable to best the machine?--is increasingly dominating business, education, economics, and policy.
The bestselling author of Talent Is Overrated explains how the skills the economy values are changing in historic ways. The abilities that will prove most essential to our success are no longer the technical, classroom-taught left-brain skills that economic advances have demanded from workers in the past. Instead, our greatest advantage lies in what we humans are most powerfully driven to do for and with one another, arising from our deepest, most essentially human abilities--empathy, creativity, social sensitivity, storytelling, humor, building relationships, and expressing ourselves with greater power than logic can ever achieve. This is how we create durable value that is not easily replicated by technology--because we’re hardwired to want it from humans.
These high-value skills create tremendous competitive advantage--more devoted customers, stronger cultures, breakthrough ideas, and more effective teams. And while many of us regard these abilities as innate traits--“he’s a real people person,” “she’s naturally creative”--it turns out they can all be developed. They’re already being developed in a range of far-sighted organizations, such as:
• the Cleveland Clinic, which emphasizes empathy training of doctors and all employees to improve patient outcomes and lower medical costs;
• the U.S. Army, which has revolutionized its training to focus on human interaction, leading to stronger teams and greater success in real-world missions;
• Stanford Business School, which has overhauled its curriculum to teach interpersonal skills through human-to-human experiences.
As technology advances, we shouldn’t focus on beating computers at what they do--we’ll lose that contest. Instead, we must develop our most essential human abilities and teach our kids to value not just technology but also the richness of interpersonal experience. They will be the most valuable people in our world because of it. Colvin proves that to a far greater degree than most of us ever imagined, we already have what it takes to be great.
From the Hardcover edition.
The must-read summary of Geoff Colvin's book: "Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else".
This complete summary of the ideas from "Talent Is Overrated" explains that talent is not born, it is made, and exposes how to make it. In this useful summary, the concept of 'deliberate practice' is exposed, as well as its 5 key elements and the ways in which it can be implemented, both at a personal level and at the scale of a company.
Added-value of this summary:
o Save time
o Understand the key concepts
o Expand your knowledge of management
To learn more, read "Talent Is Overrated" and discover how to make your talent!