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Geoff Colvin Quotes

Colvin Geoff Fortune

Geoff Colvin quotes: here’s what Fortune Magazine editor and author of Talent is Overrated, Geoffrey Colvin, has to say about business success.

“If you set a goal of becoming an expert in your business, you would immediately start doing all kinds of things you don’t do now.”

“The best performers set goals that are not about the outcome but about the process of reaching the outcome.”

“Top performers understand their field at a higher level than average performers do, and thus have a superior structure for remembering information about it.”

“We will achieve greatness only through an enormous amount of hard work over many years.”

“Being good at whatever we want to do is among the deepest sources of fulfillment we will ever know.”

“What you really believe about the source of great performance thus becomes the foundation of all you will ever achieve.”

“There is absolutely no evidence of a ‘fast track’ for high achievers.”

“Anyone who thinks they’ve outgrown the benefits of a teacher’s help should at least question that view.”

“‘World class’ is a term that gets thrown around too easily.  For most of history, few people had to worry about what world class was.  But now that’s changing.  In a global, information-based, interconnected economy, businesses and individuals are increasingly going up against the world’s best.  The costs of being less than truly world class are growing, as are the rewards of being genuinely great.  Understanding where extraordinary performance comes from would be valuable at any time.  Now, it’s crucial.”

“Genes could play a role in a person’s willingness to put himself or herself through the extremely rigorous demands of becoming an exceptional performer.”

“It’s nice to believe that if you find the field where you’re naturally gifted, you’ll be great from day one, but it doesn’t happen.  There’s no evidence of high-level performance without
experience or practice.”

“Ambitious parents who are currently playing the Baby Mozart video for their toddlers may be disappointed to learn that Mozart became Mozart by working furiously hard.”

“Extensive research in a wide range of fields shows that many people not only fail to become outstandingly good at what they do, no matter how many years they spend doing it, they frequently don’t even get any better than they were when they started.”

“Maybe we can’t expect most people to achieve greatness.  It’s just too demanding.  But the striking, liberating news is that greatness isn’t reserved for a preordained few.  It is available
to you and to everyone.”

“IQ is a decent predictor of performance on an unfamiliar task, but once a person has been at a job for a few years, IQ predicts little or nothing about performance.”

“We can never make progress in the comfort zone because those are the activities we can already do easily, while panic zone activities are so hard that we don’t even know how to approach them.  Identifying the learning zone, which is not simple, and then forcing oneself to stay continually in it as it changes, which is even harder – these are the first and most important characteristics of deliberate practice.”

“The reality that deliberate practice is hard can even be seen as good news.  It means that most people won’t do it.  So your willingness to do it will distinguish you all the more.”

“What all of us can achieve – as individuals and as organizations – is far greater than most of us imagine.  It isn’t just theory or wishful thinking.  We understand great performance much better than ever before.  The first step is thinking in new ways.”

“The great performers isolate remarkably specific aspects of what they do and focus on just those things until they are improved; then it’s on to the next aspect.”

“We can see mentors in a new way – not just as wise people to whom we turn for guidance, but as experienced masters in our field who can advise us on the skills and abilities we need to acquire next, and can give us feedback on how we’re doing.”

“While the best methods of development are constantly changing, they’re always built around a central principle: they’re meant to stretch the individual beyond his or her current abilities.  That may sound obvious, but most of us don’t do it in the activities we think of as practice.  At the driving range or at the piano, most of us, as adults, are just doing what we’ve done
before and hoping to maintain the level of performance that we probably reached long ago.”

“The differences between expert performers and normal adults reflect a life-long period of deliberate effort to improve performance in a specific domain.”

“You can work on technique all you like, but if you can’t see the effects, two things will happen: you won’t get any better, and you’ll stop caring.”

“We know that great performance comes from deliberate practice, but deliberate practice is hard.  It’s so hard that no one can do it without the benefit of passion and a truly extraordinary
drive.”

“In a world that forces that push toward the commoditization of everything, creating something new and different is the only way to survive.  A product unlike any other can’t be commoditized.  A service that reaches deep into the psyche of the buyer can never be purchased solely on price.  Creating such products or services was always valuable; now it’s essential.”

Cory Johnson: CEO of a business he has yet to launch. As seen on your mom’s phone. Scaled to 7-figures in seven seconds selling a course on selling courses. Kidding. Watch this.