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Fortune Magazine Editor: Practice Key to Great Performance

JMK_3760 (2)During a Wednesday convocation, Fortune Magazine Senior Editor Geoffrey Colvin shared how through practice, students can be just as successful as people perceived to have inherent talent. During his lecture titled “Talent is Overrated: Truths for Success,” Colvin illustrated how passion, values, ethics and learning are more important to corporations than hours worked or IQ, and demonstrated how world-class performance comes from specific ethical behaviors.

“Where does great performance come from? All of us carry around deep-seeded answers about this question. We want to talk about this because standards are rising everywhere,” Colvin said. “Everything is getting better all the time generally in business technology all of these devices are better, faster, smaller and cheaper every month.”

Colvin, author of Talent is Overrated, said while many people believe greater performance comes from hard work, memory or innate talent, the research shows that most geniuses, world-classes performers and athletes acquired their skills and notoriety through many years of practice. Conversely, child protégés grew up to become underachievers.

“Most world-class great performers couldn’t have been identified when they were kids. The research is consistent,” he said.

“Deliberate practice has been designed specifically for you in this moment and will change as you get better. It pushes you to go just beyond where you are now,” Colvin said. “Every time you see a great performer and wonder how they got it, remember this: Great performance is not reserved for a preordained few. It is available to you and to everyone.”

The Edward C. Kennedy Center for Business Ethics brings nationally-acclaimed speakers to Belmont University to lead discussions about the importance of ethics in business decision-making and reinforcing the importance of integrity to Belmont students.

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