The Talent Code

Greatness Isn't Born. It's Grown. Here's How.
Narrated by: John Farrell
Length: 6 hrs and 12 mins
4.7 out of 5 stars (616 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 listeners say about The Talent Code

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Simple and to the point!!

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

2 people found this helpful

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Okay read. Won’t read a second time

My opinion of the book: Long winded story with irrelevant pseudoscience to make a simple point that we can all learn and improve through focused, thoughtful doing. Not 6 hours worth of relevance here.

1 person found this helpful

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Great Coaching Book

I read this for a coaching class for graduate school. It was great for my first coaching book. I'm not sure what he said about neurons in this book is true. I was telling someone in the science field about this book and they didn't agree with that. That aside, I learned quite a bit about how to communicate with my coachees more effectively. I enjoyed listening to all of his stories about effective coaching. Maybe I would have played sports if coaches in my school had more of the attitude that this book describes.

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Great for Ballet Masters!

So many things that will help me become a better Ballet Master! i can't recommend this enough to aspiring dance instructors and ballet masters like myself!

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informative and useful

I found this book to be insightful and interesting in an engaging way, and the reader does a great job. If you are looking for a thorough understanding of how and why some learn to excel and "have talent" while others struggle, this is a great look into the mechanics of building exceptional skill. Great information for those looking to master a craft or skill, be it carpentry, the piano, or a golf swing.

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So Helpful!

I felt this book helped me grow regarding knowledge - how a person learns, how a person improves - and confidence. As a musician and a parent, I felt equipped to continually grow personally,’with my own talents, and to help my children with theirs. Excellent, helpful resource!

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Do not buy this book, I repeat, do not buy this book.

Total waste of time. Everything in this book is bad, hope I can get my money back, that would be the only good thing about this experience.

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a bit repetative

struggled to finish. the storytelling was good, but all stories kind of returned to the same theory and reasearch

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Educative

Learned a lot about how learning works, if that makes sense! Author explains well and breaks down information to make it chewable.

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Good Book

Great points made throughout this book. One caveat I would make is about the final chapter. I would expand more on the failings of the team and their coaching in regards to Jamarcus Russell. Otherwise, it may seem counterintuitive to the items discussed in this book. It seems like the author set it up that way in his final sentence of the chapter, but I would not gamble on that one sentence conveying the message accurately.

1 person found this helpful