Author(s): Geoff Colvin
What if everything you know about raw talent, hard work, and great performance is wrong? Few, if any, of the people around you are truly great at what they do. But why aren't they? Why don't they manage businesses like Jack Welch or Andy Grove, play golf like Tiger Woods or play the violin like Itzhak Perlman? Asked to explain why a few people truly excel, most of us offer one of two answers: hard work or a natural talent. However, scientific evidence doesn't support the notion that specific natural talents make great performers. Expanding on one of the most popular Fortune articles in years, with much more scientific research and real-life examples, 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. This 'deliberate practice' isn't the kind of hard work that your parents told you about. It's difficult. It hurts. But more of it equals better performance. Tons of it equals great performance. This new mindset, combined with Colvin's practical advice, will change the way you think about your life and work - and will inspire you to achieve more in everything you do. Most profoundly, Colvin shows that great performance isn't reserved for a preordained few.
Geoff Colvin is Fortune's senior editor-at-large and is also the author of Humans are Underrated. He has served as moderator of the Fortune Global Forum, where he has interviewed Bill Gates, Jack Welch, Herb Kelleher, Peter Drucker and other business legends. Colvin graduated Harvard cum laude with a B.A. in Economics, and received his MBA from New York University's Stern School.