Interesting point of view about the relevance of the business books written by stellar performers or the Gurus, on the TIME Ideas blog..

Ideas

The success story is a staple of business books and magazines: the faces of top investors and executives smile at us from the covers, and inside their words invite us to emulate their actions. But research suggests we should be cautious in modeling ourselves after extraordinary performers or adopting their much-praised methods; these paragons may offer less wisdom than they promise. Greater value can be found, studies show, in less sexy but more substantial theories, and in the practices of those who are second best in the field.

In an article published last month in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science, Jerker Denrell of the University of Oxford and Chengwei Liu of the University of Warwick reported on experiments that modeled the results of a game played in many rounds. Over time, the most skilled players came to inhabit a second tier of reliable competence. Those who…

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