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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on September 22, 2012
3 stars for a good book. Well worth a read.

First of all, the book is well written and easy to read. So why only 3 stars? Well, to me, the second half of the book (chapter 9 onwards) is much better than the first half. While the anecdotes that fills up much of the front half of the book were interesting, I found it difficult to draw any solid conclusions from them. To me those stories only reinforced that there are rare talents but not how to identify them. My feeling is most readers, like me, would have known that already else they wouldn't be reading the book. Fortunately, the author does draw everything together in the final chapter of the book, distilling all the evidence and research into several clear and concise insights that fulfill the promise of the book. I would suggests new readers read the last chapter first; that way all the anecdotes will serve to reinforce the conclusions and I think you will get more out of the book. (as a reader of non-fiction, I'm not looking for a big payoff at the end of the book, so I'm not sure why the author felt he needed to withhold all the conclusion until the end like a fiction writer. I just want to get all the useful info out of the book as efficiently as possible.)

Also worth mentioning is that the book also provide ideas on how to KEEP the rare talents; talented people needs to be challenged. So in that sense, i hope this review can help the author improve on his next book.
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on November 12, 2013
5 stars, eh? Why?

The book focuses on what can we learn from the world's best talent judges in terms of finding the best people to hire. I'd summarize the best points below - but you might want to read it and figure it out for yourself! Not everyone looks for the same things!

Traits of great candidates:
* Without guidance, effectively tolerate stress, make adjustments, and still act with stunning decisiveness when required
* Build peer-to-peer bonds that will drive them forward throughout their entire career
* Analyze their failures; bounce back from them and determine how to do better in future
* Work well with others across the entire enterprise and outside it
* Have a drive to further the company's success - very self-motivated
* Are good listeners

Ways to determine these traits:
* Ask about their most rewarding experiences
* Ask about times they've overcome adversity
* Ask about areas of pride
* Ask about when they felt excluded and how they coped
* Push for motivation on decisions made; keep asking until satisfied

Additional relevant points:
Think through the assignment; different roles require different strengths
o Example of a successful change agent
- Quick wit
- Constant Curiosity
- Knack for bringing people around to her way of thinking
o Example of a teacher
- Set clear goals
- Motivate people to work hard toward those goals
- Constantly assess effectiveness/performance
- Work backward from desired outcome

If people are interested, they may:
o Ask a lot of questions
o Be more prepared
o Listen well
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on October 25, 2011
George Anders sets himself the goal to show his audience how to discover what he calls the "Rare Find" before somebody else discovers him/her. For this purpose, Mr. Anders comes up with a process that is articulated around three premises:
1. Widen one's view of talent;
2. Find inspirations that are hidden in plain sight; and
3. Simplify one's search for talent.

The candidate's core character is central to this quest. The nine character traits that matter the most to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) when choosing new agents are a good template to be used in this quest. These nine character traits are initiative, perseverance, compatibility, discipline, trainability, judgment, loyalty, leadership, and maturity. Mr. Anders often touches on these personality traits when he examines how the best talent recruiters from the public and private sectors proceed to find these rare "birds" that make all the difference between success and failure. Mr. Anders relates the experience of recruiters from the Green Berets, the music industry, new start-ups, multinationals, or hospitals, to name a few sectors of activity.

In summary, Mr. Anders gives some useful tips to his readers to broaden their horizon while being systematic in their search for the "Rare Find" that is too often hidden in plain sight.
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on March 30, 2012
Finding the right talent for any position in any organization is a challenge. Finding and keeping the right people are two of the vital strategic difference makers for any organization.

The Rare Find tells stories about people and organizations and how they come together to find the right characters to help develop and further the plot. After all, everyone has a story to their career, so what better way to explore insights into hiring the right people than to use stories? This is exactly what The Rare Find does in a well-written way.

The Rare Find is not a conventional book that outlines a specific number of steps on how to find great talent. Instead, it weaves together stories that highlight ideas and real approaches. It is very practical for organizations while being inspirational for talented people looking for the right opportunities. The Rare Find serves both audiences very well.

It takes extra effort to really understand what a person may bring in terms of talent to an organization. Some approaches that come through in the stories are:

- Read resumes from the bottom up to gain insights into a person's story and character traits.
- Explore those elements that may show resiliency or determination.
- Study yourself and determine why you have been successful. Look for similar traits in others.
- Examine the capacity of a person to learn and grow.

In many ways, The Rare Find is an unconventional read. The book adheres to its own advice of being a little different in exploring how to find and hire the right people.
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on September 6, 2016
This is one of my favorite books, I recommend it to peers constantly.
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on October 30, 2011
I wasn't sure I would enjoy reading "The Rare Find." Yes, the subject matter--finding remarkably talented people overlooked by others--interested me, but I was concerned the book might present a one-size-fits-all recipe for success. I also wondered just how interesting author George Anders could make the topic. Well, to get to the point, my concerns proved to be unfounded. I not only discovered this book to be very useful and informative, but quite interesting, too. It's a real page-turner.

I suppose I should have known better. Having read Michael Lewis' "Moneyball" (which I recommend) about the use of innovative approaches in finding exceptional baseball players overlooked by most major league teams, I should have realized that the topic can be made compelling. Like Lewis, Anders has woven the real-life stories of people and organizations into his discussions of what works in finding rare talent.

For example, when the U.S. Army's elite Special Forces look for those soldiers who will become effective Green Berets, they don't simply look for the most exceptional cases of physical strength and endurance. Physical capabilities are essential, of course, but they aren't necessarily enough. It turns out that watching small teams of Special Forces candidates try to move an old, rusted trailer a few miles can be very revealing about the leadership, persistence and flexibility components of the job. As the reader of this book becomes engrossed in the descriptions of the soldiers' efforts, through their stories the reader learns something about finding the key components of success.

This book is literally one seemingly unique (yet pattern-forming) story after another. There's the story of the remarkable success of the University of Utah's legendary graphics team, composed in large part of people who didn't fit well elsewhere. There's the story of how innovative organizations like Facebook found creative ways to compete with much larger companies that could devote countless hours to interviewing potential employees. For example, faced with the need to rapidly scale up their company, Facebook created innovative programming challenges ("puzzles") that it posted on its website. These puzzles were not like the famous brainteasers reportedly used years ago by big software companies (for example, "How many gold balls could you fit in a Boeing 747?"). Rather, Facebook's puzzles took hours of creative, innovative programming, and that's exactly what they were looking for. Unsurprisingly, they found a number of overlooked people in unexpected places, like Portland, Maine, for example. Indeed, a central message of this book is that exceptional talent doesn't always look to be quite so exceptional, until you look much closer.

The stories just keep on coming. Some involve people you may have heard of, like Yankees relief pitcher Mariano Rivera, Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling, or country singer Taylor Swift. These exceptionally talented people were not obvious stars from the beginning. Their stories are fascinating, and through them the reader continues to learn about the process of finding rare talent. Some of the organizations described by Anders, like Teach for America or Johns Hopkins Hospital, are also well known, and their stories about finding exceptional talent are also compelling. There's more--much more--but hopefully you can see how the author has used a lot of research regarding rare individuals in order to weave a compelling narrative. If the subject of finding rare talent interests you, this book is worthy of your consideration.
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on May 6, 2015
Great insight for myself and learned the importance of not hiring a body to fill a role. Finding the rare talent is critical to improving the culture on your team and organization. I highly recommend you read this book.
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on December 26, 2015
Loved this book and the examples of finding exceptional talent before others. You have to have a Navy in order to find your Navy Seals!
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on June 8, 2012
In my 72 years, I have run over 100 companies ranging from Fortune 500 subsidiaries to startups on behalf of venture capitalists. In that period, I have very seldom encountered a book so filled with what I have found to be true. I have recommended this book so many times to young entrepreneurs that they are beginning to joke about it. Yet I will continue because what it says is profoundly correct in my long experience and anyone who truly pays attention to this and its companion volume will be much the better for it.
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on August 14, 2014
A roadmap for the quest for hiring excellence...highly recommended for all Talent decision makers
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