One of the most popular Fortune articles in many years was a cover story called “What It Takes to Be Great.” Geoff Colvin offered new evidence that top performers in any field—from Tiger Woods and Winston Churchill to Warren Buffett and Jack Welch—are not determined by their inborn talents. Greatness doesn’t come from DNA but from practice and perseverance honed over decades.

And not just plain old hard work, like your grandmother might have advocated, but a very specific kind of work. The key is how you practice, how you analyze the results of your progress and learn from your mistakes that enables you to achieve greatness.

Colvin has expanded his article with much more scientific background and real-world examples.

Daniel Pink, author of “A whole new mind,” wrote about Colvin’s book: “With clarity and precision, Geoff exposes one of the fundamental misconceptions of modern life—that our ability to excel depends on innate qualities.”

Join us for a discussion about this intriguing book Wednesday, Dec. 2 from 12:30-1:30 p.m. in CMU 227. Presenters: Theresa Hest, Merrie Sue Holtan and Denise Gorsline, all from the department of Communication Studies.

The first seven faculty to contact Steve Grineski ( and agree to attend this event will receive a free copy of this book. Please include your department name and campus mailing address.

Please invite your students!