If you are a parent, teacher, coach, manager or leader then I endorse this book wholeheartedly.
The concepts taught in the book are practical and effective. I have already adopted them for my business, my kids little league teams and in my own personal development and found that they allow me to persist and lead others to greater levels of skill and achievement. It is a reliable framework for motivation, skill building and mastery. Using the skills in this book I have been able to make new college graduates adopt practical business and consulting skills that make them more billable for clients. I have enabled 1st and 2nd grade boys to play lacrosse effectively and with joy. Personally I adopted the skills to my own armature hobby - drawing - and seen a substantial improvement in my output.
Chapter 1 lays out the entire framework. If you only listened to chapter 1 and then stopped you'd get 60% of the value of the book. That's not a knock - I appreciated that. There is no reason for a business author to string out their ideas just to force us to get thorough all the material.
After chapter 1 the author expands on his three central ideas one at a time. As my wife and I read this book we both felt the points were getting emphasized over and over and it was a bit repetitive, but I forced myself to endure. I did get value from the repetition and got slightly different ideas from each example.
The narration is a bit cheesy and gimmicky. It's not entirely the narrators fault, the content can be a bit gimmicky from time to time. Again, I thought the underlying ideas were good enough to merit endurance.
I have not sampled lots of books on the general principals of building talent so I have no comparative alternatives for you, however, I am not sure I will seek alternatives right now as I felt this book as sufficient and effective.
I hope you get as much practical application as I did.
This book explains the science of how skills are built -- in the brain, myelin wraps around nerves and increases signal strength, speed, and accuracy. The more you practice, more myelin is built. The brain is like any other muscle -- it gets better and stronger with continued practice. The key is that the practice be purposeful and deep. A student studying a topic shouldn't just read the chapters a few times. The student needs to do practice exams. Identify the wrong answers and keep working on those problems until she can get 100% on them. Developing talent is about "knowing" what you're doing (like why is something right, not just memorizing equations or why does a swing cause the ball to go in certain direction, not just perform exactly the same swing over and over). By "knowing," you can feel a move is wrong or hear a musical note is off immediately.
There are also plenty of stories of how people "became" talented. People don't become world-class athletes and musicians overnight. They weren't prodigies who created classical pieces on their first try. They were usually exposed to the field at a young age, they were motivated to continually develop their skills, and there were coaches and mentors in their lives who knew the right encouragement to give to get them to do better. This is valuable book for anyone who wants to be an expert in a field or who is a parent/teacher/coach. An interesting observation was that many of the world-class people didn't have professional teachers/coaches in the early years of their learning. They had the right teachers/coaches who kept them committed to deep practices.
I think this book could have included specific techniques for improving skills. I noticed the author has another book "The Little Book of Talent: 52 Tips for Improving Your Skills." I haven't read it but it probably complements this book.
A commuter with a carniverous apetite for audiobooks of all stripes and colors.
The title is not sexy enough to capture the value of this book. The first thing I should say is it was well read. I never tired of the narrator. Aside from the narration it is well written and chalk full of information, written in a compelling way. Ultimately it made me think a little differently about the process of learning. I think it's an essential read for those who teach, coach or parent. Its entirely worthwhile for those that don't fit in the above categories too. So if you are debating it, pick it up. You can't regret this selection.
If you consider yourself a lay reader and are just looking for a little motivation to start taking those piano lessons again, this is a great book; something you might find in Readers Digest. If you are a brain science geek, this is a pretty light book.
This book flowed very smoothly and was easy for me to follow, since there was a lot new information to take in. I really loved it.
Sounds easy, hard to do!
Quick read that lasts through implementation. Inspiring, complex, and concrete.