Peters, Tom. Talent: Develop it, Sell it, Be it. London: Dorling Kindersley Limited, 2005.

I picked Talent up in the Hong Kong airport last month. I thought I would read it on the flight to Delhi but found the format too annoying. The colored text on colored pages was simply too trying.

Yet, I did read the book the following week. I stayed in a guesthouse in Noida not far from the office. August is nasty hot and humid in Delhi and the early morning is really the best time to be outside. I’d sit under the front patio ceiling fan sipping Nescafe instant coffee and read a chapter of Talent before breakfast.

[Note to self] Next trip to India, I’m bringing my own coffee and cone filters.

Talent is one of four booklets in Peters’ “The Essentials” series. It’s a smallish book with five chapters.

Chapter 1 – Your career is dead. Develop yourself as talent and think like a freelancer.

Chapter 2 – Make everything you do matter. And brag about it.

Chapter 3 – Volunteer for crappy jobs and make them WOW! project. And brag about it.

Chapter 4 – Success = Sales Success. Sales is politics. If you suck at sales and politics, you are a loser. Period.

Chapter 5 – Surround yourself with the weird. If it ain’t weird, it’s mainstream. If it’s mainstream it’s mediocre.

Okay. This is a bit terse but it capture the essence of my experience with Talent. And I used Peters words in the context I believe he used them.

I’m not going to write a long review; It’s not a long book. I discovered that five short chapters is a nice format. You can read a chapter a day before breakfast and view the rest of the day in context of that chapter.

I have but one criticism of Peters’ message in Talent: For all his talk about re-invention, there is a stronger undercurrent of revolution. Much of Peters’s rhetoric is about bringing down the establishment. “Viva la Revolución!” blah, blah, blah. It’s a little naïve.

Peters achieved his stated goal: “I don’t expect you to agree with everything I say in this book. But I hope that when you disagree … you will disagree angrily. That you’ll be so pissed off that you’ll … Do Something.”

Talent reads like a dogmatic prescription to fix what’s broken but if you recast that dogma in terms of “what if?”, you’ll see the world in a different way. In this sense, Talent is a good supplemental text in the challenge of conventional thought.

I find myself threading his comments and ideas in my comments and debates. I say that that alters the conversation which, in turn, alters the course of events.