How does a penniless Russian tennis club with one indoor court create more top 20 women players than the entire United States? How did a small town in rural Italy produce the dozens of painters and sculptors who ignited the Italian Renaissance? Why are so many great soccer players from Brazil?
Where does talent come from, and how does it grow?
New research has revealed that myelin, once considered an inert form of insulation for brain cells, may be the holy grail of acquiring skill. Journalist Daniel Coyle spent years investigating talent hotbeds, interviewing world-class practitioners (top soccer players, violinists, fighter, pilots, artists, and bank robbers) and neuroscientists. In clear, accessible language, he presents a solid strategy for skill acquisition - in athletics, fine arts, languages, science or math - that can be successfully applied through a person's entire lifespan.
©2009 Daniel Coyle; (P)2009 HighBridge Company
"I only wish I'd never before used the words 'breakthrough' or 'breathtaking' or 'magisterial' or 'stunning achievement' or 'your world will never be the same after you read this book.' Then I could be using them for the first and only time as I describe my reaction to Daniel Coyle's The Talent Code." (Tom Peters)
In essence this is what Coyle seeks to answer. In our day talent is a sort of frustrating "catch all" phrase. Why are people good at certain activities? Talent. Why do some excel and others fail? Talent. What determines what I do with my life? Talent. Maybe you're like me and deep inside you never felt this answer was really right.
Does it seem right that the genetic lottery determines my whole life? If I'm good at something I will be rich and famous and if I'm not (have no talent) then I will be a meaningless plebeian with no purpose or mark on the world? I never accepted this reasoning and so reading this book was like fresh air for my thinking.
First off the author shows how many people who we would consider talent-less outperform others who have all of the talent. Second, he shows the process whereby this ability and skill is formed and how you can have it too.
As a teacher of guitar, as well as other things light bulbs were going off in my head as I read of how people around the world are turning normal people into major talents.
If you are a coach you will love this book, it has great example throughout much evidence and science to back up each careful conclusion and much to say about how to achieve skill at any kind of task.
The only drawback is the reader. Not the best, but the material so interesting you won't even notice.
Bottom Line: EVERYONE should listen to this book!
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.
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've read Outliers, Talent is Overrated, etc., there's nothing new for you here. If you haven't read those books, they're better than the Talent Code.
This book in a nutshell: Deliberate practice + motivation + coaching = the Talent Code.
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.
In that Way
The stories are epic. The punchline is so human--so progressive and hopeful. The science is simplistic. The lessons learned are actionable and could prove fundamental to you or your children's ability to reach their potential.
Buy this book and enjoy a different kind of Outliers.
Robert Ryan Worley
Incredibly insightful!!! True long lasting talent and proficiency is built upon the foundations of improving synaptic plasticity, neurotransmitter activity, and increasing myelin acquisition through training & correct repeation.
I enjoyed reading this title so much that I read it twice!!!!
Great insight into how deep focused practice makes greatness!
This is a book for students, parents, athletes, performers, and everyone else on the planet!
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