The Two-Second Advantage: How We Succeed by Anticipating the Future

by Conisus
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One measure of talent is the ability to anticipate the outcome of decisions before they are made. Consider the following quotation from The Two-Second Advantage: How We Succeed by Anticipating the Future:

“Like Gretzky on ice, the most successful people in various fields make continual, accurate predictions just a little ahead of and a little better than everyone else. It is the one common denominator of almost all consistent success. Talented people don’t need to have a vision of the future ten years out or even ten days out. They need a highly probable prediction just far enough ahead to see an opening or opportunity an instant before the competition. That’s true for athletes, artists, businesspeople, or anyone in any field…. In other words, talented people have a two-second advantage.”

In this context, authors Ranadivé and Maney refer to Malcolm Gladwell’s 2005 best seller titled Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, in which Gladwell makes the case that “judgments made in two seconds are often more accurate than those made after months of analysis.”

Frequently, we all get consumed with measuring talent through test scores or solely based on aptitude. But for any given field or discipline, Ranadivé and Maney argue that talent comes with thousands of hours of deliberate practice framed in a mere two seconds.

Vivek Ranadivé and Kevin Maney. The Two-Second Advantage: How We Succeed by Anticipating the Future – Just Enough. Crown Business, 2011.

Jeff Giampalmi

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