Range: How Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World Paperback – 30 May 2019
|Paperback, 30 May 2019||
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An urgent and important book, an essential read for bosses, parents, coaches, and anyone who cares about improving performance -- Daniel H. Pink, author of Drive and To Sell is Human
A captivating read that will leave you questioning the next steps in your career―and the way you raise your children -- Adam Grant, author of Originals and co-author of Option B
A goldmine of surprising insights. Makes you smarter with every page -- James Clear, New York Times bestselling author of Atomic Habits
Brilliant, timely, and utterly impossible to put down. If you care about improving skill, innovation, and performance, you need to read this book -- Daniel Coyle, author of The Talent Code
I want to give Range to . . . everyone who wants humans to thrive in an age of robots. Range is full of surprises and hope, a 21st century survival guide -- Amanda Ripley, author of The Smartest Kids in the World.
The storytelling is so dramatic, the wielding of data so deft and the lessons so strikingly framed …[it’s] a pleasure to read . . . Range offers such a wealth of thought-provoking material, New York Times Books Review
From the Back Cover
What if everything you have been taught about how to succeed in life was wrong?
From the ‘10,000-hours rule’ to the power of Tiger parenting, we have been taught that success in any field requires early specialization and many hours of deliberate practice. And, worse, that if you dabble or delay, you’ll never catch up with those who got a head start.
This is completely wrong.
‘For too long, we’ve believed in a single path to excellence. Start early, specialize soon, narrow your focus, aim for efficiency. But in this groundbreaking book, David Epstein shows that in most domains, the way to excel is something altogether different. Sample widely, gain a breadth of experiences, take detours, and experiment relentlessly. Range is an urgent and important book, an essential read for bosses, parents, coaches, and anyone who cares about improving performance’
Daniel H. Pink, bestselling author of Drive
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- Item Weight : 439 g
- Paperback : 352 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1509843507
- ISBN-13 : 978-1509843503
- Dimensions : 15.3 x 2.9 x 23.4 cm
- Publisher : Macmillan (30 May 2019)
- Reading level : 18 and up
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,726 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from India
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It is important to do a sampling a range of related things in your field before you choose a specialisation. It helps to develop an overall competence so that the skills learnt in other fields act as an added advantage and boost your final skill in your chosen field. Also, you will know which field suits you the best and for which you have a passion which will help you in the long term to achieve excellence on par with the best in the world.
The age of sampling should be typically between 6 to 16. In these formative years you can experiment freely and as your body is flexible and ur brain plastic, you can learn many skills naturally.
Thirdly, not all specialisation needs sampling and range. For eg Golf, Chess and Coding need a lot of practice and pattern recognition rather than different set of skills. So, in such fields u can simply go for a specialisation without wasting time on sampling period.
In fact the exposure to different fields and personal experimentations over the extended period may actually enhance creativity and accelerate learning once the field of specialization is chosen.
David Epstein brings in the wealth of research and relate-able real life stories to prove and endorse the above viewpoint.
And yes, if you are already believe in the above statements, the book will only read like stating the obvious.
The world is a wicked world where previous patterns doesn’t repeat. Repeating patterns and learning will work well in chess and gold but in life it’s totally unpredictable.
To navigate life we need a different tool box to think. RANGE says what’s the tool box you will need and what to do with it.
It’s a practical book which if applied first to your mind and than to your practice is a game changer.
This book breaks the dogma of 10000 hr rule and other such ideas. It’s not necessary to accumulate much time in a world where the patterns don’t repeat. So it comes down to learn to think differently and effectively
You need to be prepared for the wicked environment. To become a "T" person. A person who is a polymath or a person who is reasonably specialised in one area while is also quite aware of a broad range of fields. So gain knowledge of other fields outside your own as much as you can and try to implement them in the problem solving you undertake in your office or life.
But Range argues that one should flirt with the possible selves to have a much better shot at our interests. A holistic view of things. And what better example would you get than Roger Federer.
Top reviews from other countries
Unfortunately at around 100 pages or so - Chapter 5 or thereabouts - the quality of writing deteriorated significantly with normal conventions on grammar and punctuation seemingly ignored. I gave up soon after that as the writing became so disjointed and irritating.
I tried dipping in to later chapters and the quality of writing had seemed to improve but there was so much rambling that by the time the point of each description had been reached I didn't care.
I was disappointed since I have long been a believer in what was said in the early pages but the book just didn't do it justice.
This book is about getting range, not depth – at least not too quickly. Citing the works of Daniel Kahneman, Philip Tetlock, and many others, Epstein proffered the view that it is better to be the fox that knows many things rather than the hedgehog who only knows one big thing.
In science, Epstein, citing James Flynn, noted that, ‘students learned the facts of their specific field without understanding how science should work in order to draw true conclusions’. ‘One good tool is rarely enough’ he writes, ‘in a complex, interconnected rapidly changing world’. Epstein, however, is not against specialization, but is voicing thoughts of a wider range.
Range is a very welcome antidote - well argued and looking at a range of research as well as illustrative stories: offsetting Tiger Woods with Federer or the German Football team, creativity in science, mastery of multiple instruments.
I was fascinated to read for example how Darwin was a massive collaborator, not just the barnacle super-specialist I had assumed; or the struggles of Kepler as he reached to conceive of new possibilities.
A really good book, and I hope it has the impact it deserves.