The Talent Code

The Talent Code

The Talent Code: Greatness Isn’t Born.  It’s Grown.  Here’s How. by Daniel Coyle was a much-needed and well-timed reminder of how sitting idly by won’t lead anyone to greatness, whether or not a talent is innate.

Deep Practice

True growth of your talent occurs as you struggle, correct mistakes, and learn.  If you never hit roadblocks, there’s never anything to push you to be better, to do better, or to ultimately become great.  I realize that I hold myself to insanely high standards, and I can be so hard on myself if I don’t get it right the first time.  I fail to account for my myelin connections developing so that I don’t make the same mistake next time.  Even if I’m not succeeding in my task or activity, I’m learning and becoming wiser, which is also a form of success.

Be strategic about your practice.  Focus on the core skills needed, and develop those foundations well.  It’s the quality of time, not the quantity.  The sharper you are, the better, so capitalize on your best time of day for the toughest stuff.  You’ll usually find me trying to automate my job from 1-4pm, or at 7am if I woke up feeling inspired.

Ignition

There’s a point in your practice where your brain switch flips, and your passion lights up.  You come to realize the goal is attainable, and hard work will get you there.  You become more devoted and dedicated to your practice.

Ignition is about the set of signals and subconscious forces that create our identity; the moments that lead us to say “that is who I want to be.”

What triggers this moment?  It’s all about the environment.  In my favorite study Coyle shares, students who came from tough circumstances, and who were unlikely to succeed in school or go on to college, were put into a new charter school.  There, they were constantly told they would go to college, given rigorous studies and course work, and it was reinforced with college visits and college-named classrooms and teachers who focused on the end goal and set clear expectations.  Almost all of them went on to college, and succeeded there.  I realized this is the same environment my parents and my high school crafted for me.  How humbling to be reminded that my success has everything to do with them.

Master Coaching

The best coaches have the ability to connect with their students.  They can understand how the student thinks, and what the student really needs.  Coaches should also be passionate and have plenty of experience.  They don’t need to be the “best coach in the world” to be effective at guiding your talent to grow.  I’m a huge advocate of coaching and mentorship at every level and in every aspect of your life, because it’s absolutely true.  Having good mentors and learning from their wisdom can make or break a career.

In Summary…

Absolutely worth a read.  It’s a lot of common sense, packaged in a pretty bow, pushing for reflection of how you are growing your own talents and the talents of those around you.

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