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One of the books I’ve read was on the topic of Talent:

Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else

The book argues that talent is not innate but must be developed through a process called “deliberate practice”. The Greats are great because they have developed the right skills over an extended period of time to be good at that particular job. The author suggests that to be really great at something takes about 10 years worth of deliberate practice.

This of course is an extension of Gladwell’s book, Outliers, which posited that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to be an expert at something.

One of the disagreements in the area of Talent is whether or not it is innate. Are people born with a talent gene or can it be developed?

In The Sports Gene, author David Epstein says genes can and do make a difference in whether or not you have talent. However, just having the gene does not presuppose success.

My take on talent is that excluding to a certain point physical attributes (you wouldn’t find people 5ft or under playing in the NBA no matter how talented they are), talent can be developed (meaning anyone can do anything given enough time and support) but what is more important than just “talent” is the capacity for talent. In other words, the predictor for “greatness” or expertise is not genetic and is not necessarily 10,000 hours of practice over an extended period of 10-years BUT the power and fortitude to develop it.