I just added a book to my "Favorite Leadership Books" list (left margin). A new edition has come out and I'm getting it (three copies to be exact). The first edition changed my life. I went from being an academic lecturer to communicator after reading this book and applying it. I should have had it on my list all along. It's super practical and highly theoretical.
I came across it again because I'm looking for material to help me take my communication to the next level. Reading Talent is Overrated is lighting a fire in me. I highly recommend it for everyone. Basic premise is that the right kind of practice (hard practice) leads to great performance in anything from leadership to the arts.
In Decker's book on communication, he drives home watching and evaluating regularly, then working on and practicing skills that need improvement. Yes, it's painful to watch yourself or get honest feedback, but it is part of what's necessary to get better at anything. That's another big point in Talent is Overrated.
So I watched my message from two weeks ago and in five minutes had three skills to work on! Ouch. But I have to admit, this stuff energizes me. Especially knowing that the right kind of practice leads to great results. The facts are clearly presented in Talent is Overrated, a book heavy on research.
Come to think of it, these would be great Christmas gifts for your older kids or spouse or a good friend if they are readers.
For a great overview of the book, take a look at the author's article "Why Talent is Overrated" in Fortune magazine online. Colvin's book may some day land on my "Favorite Leadership Books" list.