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The Talent Code

Greatness Isn't Born. It's Grown. Here's How.
Narrated by: John Farrell
Length: 6 hrs and 12 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (75 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

What is the secret of talent? How do we unlock it? This groundbreaking work provides listeners with tools they can use to maximize potential in themselves and others.

Whether you’re coaching soccer or teaching a child to play the piano, writing a novel or trying to improve your golf swing, this revolutionary book shows you how to grow talent by tapping into a newly discovered brain mechanism.

Drawing on cutting-edge neurology and firsthand research gathered on journeys to nine of the world’s talent hotbeds - from the baseball fields of the Caribbean to a classical-music academy in upstate New York - Coyle identifies the three key elements that will allow you to develop your gifts and optimize your performance in sports, art, music, math, or just about anything.

  • Deep Practice. Everyone knows that practice is a key to success. What everyone doesn’t know is that specific kinds of practice can increase skill up to ten times faster than conventional practice.
  • Ignition. We all need a little motivation to get started. But what separates truly high achievers from the rest of the pack? A higher level of commitment - call it passion - born out of our deepest unconscious desires and triggered by certain primal cues. Understanding how these signals work can help you ignite passion and catalyze skill development.
  • Master Coaching. What are the secrets of the world’s most effective teachers, trainers, and coaches? Discover the four virtues that enable these “talent whisperers” to fuel passion, inspire deep practice, and bring out the best in their students.

These three elements work together within your brain to form myelin, a microscopic neural substance that adds vast amounts of speed and accuracy to your movements and thoughts. Scientists have discovered that myelin might just be the holy grail: the foundation of all forms of greatness, from Michelangelo’s to Michael Jordan’s. The good news about myelin is that it isn’t fixed at birth; to the contrary, it grows, and like anything that grows, it can be cultivated and nourished.

Combining revelatory analysis with illuminating examples of regular people who have achieved greatness, this book will not only change the way you think about talent, but equip you to reach your own highest potential.

©2009 Daniel Coyle (P)2019 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"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. I am even willing to 'guarantee' that you will not read a more important and useful book in 2009, or pretty much any other year. And if all that's not enough, it's also 'a helluva good read'." (Tom Peters, author of In Search of Excellence)

"This is a remarkable - even inspiring - book. Daniel Coyle has woven observations from brain research, behavioral research, and real-world training into a conceptual tapestry of genuine importance. What emerges is both a testament to the remarkable potential we all have to learn and perform and an indictment of any idea that our individual capacities and limitations are fixed at birth." (Dr. Robert Bjork, Distinguished Professor and Chair of Psychology, UCLA) 

“Daniel Coyle digs deep into the core of the insatiable desire to become ‘better’. An amazing read with many practical applications for everyday life.” (Apolo Anton Ohno, Olympic gold medalist)

What members say

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Simple and to the point!!

Loved it. straight up. good stories and practical tips. Recommending this book to my teams!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Luis
  • BROOKLYN, NY, United States
  • 09-15-19

Great book with practical tips.

Practical tips on deep practice. Break process down into smaller processes and then start chunking them together. Get a mentor/coach. Myelin is spoken about a little too dramatically for my taste, but it is important to know about. it is a key piece to a greater whole, but the author sets it up as the main piece for the whole. That was my take away. Great book either way.

Get more myelin, then deep practice when you have it so it wraps around stronger. Get a coach that understands you as an individual to enhance your wrappings correctly.

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Interesting and Useful

A lot of fascinating information on talent and skill development from a very unique perspective.

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Premise good, but slow and too many stories to make his point

This book should have been much shorter as the author labored to provide numerous examples to his premises. Although I agree with his points on how to develop talent, I found the material dry and slow for most of the book.