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The Talent Code

We  were in New York City this past weekend and one could not turn a page without reading something about the new Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin. Until last week, Lin was a virtual unknown outside of a circle of devoted fans. How quickly things changed for Lin! However, like all “overnight” successes, Lin’s rise from obscurity was actually a decade in the making. Anyone who has read either The Genius in All of Us by David Shenk or The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle knows exactly why.

Talent is neither inborn nor out-of-reach for the average person. There are real, repeatable, and proven ways to develop talent. Some coaches (Tom MartinezLinda Septien, etc…) have a “knack” for nurturing individuals into superstars. Now, thanks to advances in medical imaging and neurobiological research, the scientific foundation for the “how” and “why” of the process is starting to become clear. What it is telling us is that greatness is not born, but grown.

Tom Brady, Beyonce, and others (chess players, artists, etc…) who have had great success in their chosen field have three things in common:

  • Deep Practice – “Practice does not make perfect, practice makes permanent.” All skills are acquired through practice. How one practices is the key. Error correction rather than blind repetition is the secret.
  • Ignition – “If they can do it, why can’t I?” You can bet Jeremy Lin will be an inspiration to a generation of younger American Chinese basketball players.
  • Master Coaching – “You can’t always correct your own mistakes.” A master coach inspires love for the skill while helping the student improve.

The cool thing is that these techniques are not magic formulas reserved for elite athletes and performers. They are steps which are applicable to anyone looking to improve. The key is to understand why the steps work and how/when to apply them.

Whether you are starting a sport, learning how to play a musical instrument, or just looking to improve your performance in something you enjoy doing, The Talent Code will show you the three key mechanisms to help you achieve your goal. Get it, read it, and use it.

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