What Makes Brilliant People,Brilliant?

What Makes Brilliant People, Brilliant?

By Sheridan VoyseyMonday 16 Mar 2009Open House Interviews

Editor of Fortune Magazine, Geoff Colvin, set out to examine what made brilliant people so brilliant. What he found is surprising – The research showed that it’s about hard work, not talent.

Audio – Geoff Colvin discusses the research between natural talent and hard work

Have you ever tried to learn a new skill or taken on a new venture, struggled with it, and given up – thinking, “I’m just not cut out for that”. “You’ve either got it or you haven’t”.

Perhaps you’ve observed that one of your kids seems born with a natural talent for a particular skill, drumming perhaps, but is “just not wired up for sport”.

Well, Geoff Colvin, the senior editor of Fortune Magazine, believes this thinking is flawed and he says so in his new book, Talent is Overrated.

By looking at extensive scientific research, he argues that talents aren’t pre-packaged from birth, but rather, that the greatest achievers - from Mozart to Bill Gates - only reach the top by old-fashioned hard work. What’s more, he says it’s great news - because it means anyone can do it.

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