#1 NYT Best-Selling Author of Range, Expert on the Science of High Performance
“Range is an urgent and important book, an essential read for bosses, parents, coaches, and anyone who cares about improving performance.” –Daniel Pink
“David Epstein manages to make me thoroughly enjoy the experience of being told that everything I thought about something was wrong.” –Malcolm Gladwell
“I want to give Range to any kid who is being forced to take violin lessons — but really wants to learn the drums.” –Amanda Ripley, Author of The Smartest Kids in the World
New York Times best-selling author and science writer David Epstein has made it his mission to uncover the keys to achieving high performance in any domain, and to debunk popular myths along the way. His New York Times best-seller, The Sports Gene, took readers inside the surprising science of extraordinary athletic performance. (It has been translated in 21 languages, and was read by both President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.) In his latest book, Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World, which is on the top ten New York Times bestsellers list, named one of Amazon's best business books of 2019, Inc.’s 2019 Must Read Books for Entrepreneurs and #2 out of 100 of the Best Social Psychology Books of All Time by BookAuthority, Epstein examines the world’s top performers, from professional athletes to artists, scientists, entrepreneurs and Nobel laureates. Named as one of Wharton professor Adam Grant’s “New Leadership Books to Read in 2019,” the Washington Post’s “10 Leadership Books to Watch For,” Apple's Best Audiobooks of 2019, selected for the JP Morgan Summer Reading List, honored on the Longlist for the 2019 Outstanding Works of Literature at BookPal as well as the 2019 Porchlight Business Book Awards Longlist and Porchlight/800CEOREAD’s #4 business book of 2019, Range has received rave reviews from the likes of Daniel Pink and Malcolm Gladwell, and best-selling author Susan Cain as well as praise from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and NPR. Read More >
TEDx: How Falling Behind Can Get You Ahead
Virtual Keynote: Leading Through the Unknown, Coronavirus, and Beyond
Epstein and Gladwell discuss “Range” at MIT
Lateral Thinking With Withered Technology
CLSA Investors' Forum 2014
An Introduction to “Range”
TEDTalk: Are Athletes Really Getting Faster, Better, Stronger?
Lateral Thinking: The Reason You’ve Heard of Nintendo and Marvel
CBS This Morning: "Range" Generalization Over Specialization
Juggling Through Implicit Learning
What’s the most effective path to success in any domain? It’s not what you think. Plenty of experts argue that anyone who wants to develop a skill, play an instrument, or lead their field should start early, focus intensely, and rack up as many hours of deliberate practice as possible. If you dabble or delay, you’ll never catch up to the people who got a head start. But a closer look at research on the world’s top performers, from professional athletes to Nobel laureates, shows that early specialization is the exception, not the rule. Best-selling author on the science of performance David Epstein has examined the world’s most successful athletes, artists, musicians, inventors, forecasters and scientists. He discovered that in most fields—especially those that are complex, unpredictable, and difficult to automate—generalists, not specialists, are primed to excel. Generalists often find their path late, and they juggle many interests rather than focusing on one. They’re also more creative, more agile, and able to make connections their more specialized peers can’t see. Read More >
Drawing from his new book Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World, which has attracted praise from thought leaders like Adam Grant, Malcolm Gladwell, Daniel Pink, and Susan Cain; Epstein shares how individuals, teams and organizations of all kinds can harness this under-recognized superpower. As Gladwell put it: “For reasons I cannot explain, David Epstein manages to make me thoroughly enjoy the experience of being told that everything I thought about something was wrong.”
David Epstein customizes his content for specific audiences, including:
Business: No matter the industry, every business thrives or dies on educated guessing about what the future holds. In a tour of fascinatingly counterintuitive research, David explains how specialists often develop worse judgment about the future as they gain knowledge and credentials in a particular domain, and how interdisciplinary thinkers can reverse that troubling trend.
Human Resources/Management: Employing studies of “serial innovators,” David explains how HR policies at mature companies often accidentally screen out employees with the highest potential for creative contributions, and what recruiters and hiring managers can do to counter that. But the power of range doesn't stop with recruiting; David shares research on how employees with diverse work experience can make an organization more competitive, more agile, and better prepared for the unexpected.
Healthcare: Increasing specialization in healthcare has been necessary, but also means that individual providers now see a smaller piece of the total health puzzle than ever before—a trend that has led to some eyebrow-raising outcomes. David discusses how generalists can enhance specialized environments, and how healthcare organizations can hire, develop, and cross-train to improve performance and the patient experience.
Investment/Financial Services: As information becomes more rapidly disseminated, it is increasingly difficult (read: expensive, in time and money) to gain an information advantage. However, more information means more opportunity to take advantage of analytical inefficiencies in a market. Who is best suited to analyze the same information that everyone else has? People with range. David shares surprising research on the habits of mind that can lead to an analytical competitive advantage in an information-rich market.
Educators: Drawing on the latest research, David shares how learners of all ages, and their educators, can thrive in an increasingly complex world — not by picking a single specialty and mastering it, but by sampling many areas, changing (and failing) often, and focusing on the kind of analytical thinking skills that transfer between domains. His talk explains how to learn, teach, and create educational institutions primed for the 21st century.
Technology Innovators: In an age of rapid technological change, it can feel like hyperspecialization is a necessity for reaching the cutting edge, never mind pushing it. But in fact, there has never been more opportunity for “lateral thinking” generalists to drive technological progress. David discusses the habits of mind that lead generalists to make connections that their more specialized peers miss, and how organizations can be structured so that specialists and generalists enhance one another's performance.
Students & Parents: As any graduation speech will tell you, the key to success is knowing where you want to be years from now and determining the steps to get there. Except, research shows that’s precisely the opposite of how most successful and fulfilled people develop their lives and careers. David discusses work showing that top performers assiduously avoid rigid long-term planning and premature specialization. Along the way, he shares how anyone can adopt habits that will help them work toward an optimal fit between who they are and what they do. Read Less ^
It goes without saying that no one hopes for a crisis. And yet, responsible leaders prepare for the unknown and the unprecedented. Organizations that survive — or even thrive — in crisis wield two crucial competencies: the ability to make reasoned decisions under uncertainty, with imperfect data and unyielding deadlines; and the ability to improvise. The most effective leaders are constantly updating their mental models and abandoning strategic plans and solutions that worked in the past — especially when navigating through turbulent times and uncharted waters. Read More >
David Epstein draws on his #1 New York Times best seller Range to share surprising research and suspenseful stories of adaptation, innovation and improvisation triumphing over adversity. He explains why one of the most critical — and most difficult — aspects of navigating and leading through a crisis is getting experienced professionals to “unspecialize” and adapt in real time. Through powerful examples of creativity and insights into unleashing the “range” of your team, David explores how difficult times can not only make us stronger, but can actually spur innovation and unique opportunities. Read Less ^
In his new top ten New York Times best-seller, Range, performance expert David Epstein shares insights that changed the mindset of Malcolm Gladwell and garnered high praise from Daniel Pink and Adam Grant. This deeper dive into Range reveals how generalists not only triumph as individuals, but are essential to high performance teams. In this game-changing talk, which can be adapted to a variety of industries, audiences and applications, Epstein examines what it takes to create teams with the diverse skills and experience to drive success in any field. Read More >
Topics include: Read Less ^
In today’s fast-changing world, organizations are looking to do more with less people—supplementing and even replacing narrow specialists with skilled generalists that can work easily across multiple disciplines. What is the secret to finding, cultivating and retaining an agile workforce with this mindset and potential? And once you find them, how do you match generalists, experts and, increasingly, AI to form optimal teams hardwired for impact and innovation? In this essential talk, David Epstein expands on his #1 best-seller, Range to reveal what it takes to recruit, build and retain the workforce of the future. Read More >
David’s customized presentations provide research-based strategies to: Read Less ^
The curse of expertise is the cognitive bias that comes from knowing too much about a particular project or investment. In the financial world, it can bedevil those making decisions or predictions. In this essential talk, #1 New York Times best-selling author David Epstein reveals how to use full range thinking to avoid this common pitfall and triumph in a fast-changing world. Read More >
David also reveals: Read Less ^
As sports have become high stakes, global competitions, the performance margins that differentiate good, great and legendary have shrunk dramatically. Fortunately, cutting edge science has shone a light on the best path to peak performance, and it contradicts the most popular notions about skill acquisition, like the famed “10,000-hours Rule.” That argument says that only accumulated hours of practice matter to success. In fact, though, future experts start off practicing less in their eventual discipline than their peers. David Epstein explains just what it is that future elites are doing during that time that primes them for later (and greater) success. He also dissects how — once at the top competitive level — athletes are using “small data” to find what factors most matters for performance, and which of those they can change in the pursuit of the final 0.5% of performance. The conclusions from elite sports can guide any individual or team in the search to find their personal 0.5%.
"David Epstein came highly recommended through various colleagues who were familiar with his research and had enjoyed his bestselling book, Range. Although we originally intended for David to speak to a group of our talent development executive members in-person, we switched to a virtual meeting last-minute due to new realities of a COVID-19 world. David was completely flexible and willing to work with us and this new virtual environment. He was enthusiastic and responsive as we planned the content and format of the 90-minute session. He asked excellent questions about the audience and tailored his presentation to best suit their interests and challenges, even accepting individual questions from attendees ahead of the meeting. The content was exceptional and the visuals – using Prezi video – unlike anything I’ve seen virtually. David was overprepared, which I loved. He had enough material to present for hours and allowed attendees to choose which information they were most interested in discussing. Working with David was an A+ experience from beginning to end!"
"I’ve heard a lot of positive feedback from our CEO’s and other executives. It’s clear to me that the audience learned a lot during the presentation and that is exactly what we were hoping for. We sincerely appreciate all of the prep work you put into this event, the Prezi slides worked great and your delivery was perfect."
"David was just amazing! He is so smart, creative, and endearing! Not to mention generous with his time. Far Brook was so lucky to have him. Thank you!"
"You tied with the Harvard Business School Professor as best speaker at the conference. What’s more, the survey results all featured lines like, 'more speakers like Epstein."
"The audience loved him! David was so wonderful to work with. He took time to really talk to every attendee who approached him and attended his book signing. I watched him interact with them and he really took the time to listen and ask questions. I know those connections are what the attendees go home and tell their co-workers about. Very entertaining and engaging session. Fantastic and fascinating subject."
"We thoroughly enjoyed David's talk and please convey to him our gratitude! There was nothing but very positive feedback from the audience."
"Everyone loved your discussion and relevance to their own lives and of course their businesses. The feedback has been terrific. It was excellent."
"I thought David was great! Really interesting and informative presentation and he also tried something new (he said was the first time) by having the audience pick different topics on this “map” he had created to discuss or show examples about. He also joined us for our Friday night dinner at the St. Regis which featured a political fireside chat so that was great. Would definitely be interested in using him at another event where there is no audience cross over!"
"David was terrific! He was engaging, and spent lots of time with guests, and we loved the interactive nature of his presentation."
"It was a wonderful event, and we have gotten such great feedback from parents, faculty, and student on David's visit and presentations. We were especially impressed by the degree to which David tailored his presentation to Fay, and even modified his talk to make it age-appropriate for the middle schoolers. We felt that everything went beautifully, and both you and David have been a pleasure to work with."
"What an awakening and powerful commencement address to the UPJ class of 2019...I raised my children on the Gallup Philosophy and not only did you expand on it as it relates to today, you confirmed to them I’m an awesome mother!"
"David's presentation made a huge impact at our annual leadership summit. His flawless, enthralling presentation on late specialization was a complete package of fascinating data and illustrations. Speaking to an audience of elite military veterans studying medicine, business, public policy, mental health, law, and the arts, his message was universally applicable to those with unique skill sets who may feel momentarily "behind" in a new career. He was the highest rated speaker for the second year in a row by our attendees!"
"His presentation was enlightening, entertaining and well received by a large audience. David combines a science based background with an engaging delivery, keeping the entire audience focused on his presentation. He is personable and does a very nice job answering questions and communicating with the attendees. His book is excellent and addresses the question of greatness: created or developed. His presentation is even better and I highly recommend David for your upcoming events. He is a special speaker who can combine honesty and observation with a diverse background from his sports medical journal experience."
"We just had David Epstein and he was so wonderful. One of our longtime members thought he was the smartest person we have ever had. He was just so interesting, charming, and great, and just a huge, huge, huge hit. What a perfect match he was for our group, and what a great success he was."
"On behalf of Hortonworks, Yahoo! and the Big Data community, we want to thank you for an outstanding presentation at the 2015 Hadoop Summit. Your keynote effortlessly interlaced evidence-based sports performance with data analytics and hard science in a way that everyone understood. Your use of real-world examples were entertaining and relevant. During your presentation, our Twitter feed was off the charts with positive comments. We know you connected with our audience of developers, architects, engineers and executives and would welcome you back without hesitation. Your kind and friendly demeanor made the experience even better. Thank you."
"His speech was well received by the audience at the forum…everything worked perfectly. Many of the participants were impressed by the amount of preparation he put into his presentations and visual/audio aids. It made the speech more engaging for the non-English speaking audience."
"David, you were amazing!!! The feedback was overwhelmingly positive; you caught the audience immediately and kept them fully engaged for the entire presentation. And the takeaway from a business perspective was great. We will be following your career and wish you even greater success!"
"Everyone LOVED David Epstein! We are so looking forward to having him back some day. I can’t tell you how many times I heard “this was the best talk ever.” Thank you again for you and your team helping with the organization and being so patient with my response time. You all are wonderful. I hope we work together again soon."
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