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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lessons learned from "hotbeds" of creativity about how best to develop talents to their full potential
For more than 20 years, Anders Ericsson and his associates at Florida State University have conducted research on peak performance. The results thus far have been discussed in dozens of books and articles, including Daniel Coyle's earlier book, The Talent Code, as well as Geoff Colvin's Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else...
Published on 27 Aug. 2012 by Robert Morris

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some interesting ideas, but weak on science
This is the second book by Dan Coyle that I've bought and read. The Talent Code was great, but sadly I'm not so keen on The Little Book of Talent.

What made the first book work, for me, was the inclusion of some science. Although he didn't give actual references (which would have been helpful) he usually gave enough clues for them to be found and described the...
Published on 4 Oct. 2012 by Matthew Leitch


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some interesting ideas, but weak on science, 4 Oct. 2012
By 
Matthew Leitch (Epsom, Surrey, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
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This review is from: The Little Book of Talent (Kindle Edition)
This is the second book by Dan Coyle that I've bought and read. The Talent Code was great, but sadly I'm not so keen on The Little Book of Talent.

What made the first book work, for me, was the inclusion of some science. Although he didn't give actual references (which would have been helpful) he usually gave enough clues for them to be found and described the relevant studies.

In the new book he has cut back on even this little bit of science and fallen back on pop psychology too often.

So, although he provided several interesting ideas that I think I'll try out, there were lots of others that don't seem to make much sense, and the frequent references to brain science were not persuasive at all. Because Dan doesn't provide references it will be hard to check the details of claims he makes about ideas being based on research. That's time wasting and a bit frustrating.

So, sorry, but only three stars this time.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lessons learned from "hotbeds" of creativity about how best to develop talents to their full potential, 27 Aug. 2012
By 
Robert Morris (Dallas, Texas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
For more than 20 years, Anders Ericsson and his associates at Florida State University have conducted research on peak performance. The results thus far have been discussed in dozens of books and articles, including Daniel Coyle's earlier book, The Talent Code, as well as Geoff Colvin's Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else and Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers: The Story of Success.

In The Talent Code, Daniel Coyle gratefully acknowledges the importance of Ericsson's research, agreeing with Colvin and Gladwell that greatness isn't born; rather, it is developed by a combination of luck (i.e. being "given" opportunities); ignition (i.e. self-motivation activated by one or more "primal cues"), what Coyle calls "deep practice" (i.e. 10, 000 hours of focused and disciplined repetition, requiring an energetic and passionate commitment), and master coaching provided by "talent whisperers" who "possess vast, deep frameworks of knowledge, which they apply to the steady, incremental work of growing skill circuits, which they ultimately don't control."

In his latest book, Coyle focuses on myerlin in the Appendix, as he did in The Talent Code when observing, "We are myelin beings" and adding, "it's time to rewrite the maxim that practice makes perfect. The truth is, practice makes myelin, and myelin makes perfect. And myerlin operates by a few fundamental principles" that explain where extraordinary talent (defined as "the possession of repeatable skills that don't depend on physical size") comes from and how it can be developed.

According to Dr. George Bartzokis, professor of neurology at U.C.L.A., myerlin is "the key to talking, reading, learning skills, being human." It is a neural insulator that, Coyle explains, some neurologists now consider to be "the holy grail" of skill acquisition because every human skill "is created by chains of nerve fibers carrying a tiny electrical impulse - basically a signal traveling through a circuit. Myelin's vital role is to wrap those nerve fibers the same way that rubber insulation wraps a copper wire, making the signal stronger and faster by preventing the electrical impulses from leaking out. When we fire our circuits in the right way - when we practice swinging that bat or playing that note - our myelin responds by wrapping layers around that neural circuit, each new layer adding a bit more skill and speed. The thicker the myelin gets, the better it insulates, and the faster and more accurate our movements and thoughts become." Better yet, "we are all born with the opportunity to become, as Mr. Myelin [viewed as broadband] likes to put it, lords of our own Internet. The trick is to figure out how to do that."

What we have in Coyle's latest book, The Little Book of Talent, is a collection of 52 "Tips," several from his research for The Talent Code but many additional ones from his visits to various "hotbeds" of creativity during a five-year period. They include a "ramshackle" Moscow tennis club, a "humble" Adirondacks music camp, an inner-city charter school in San Mateo (CA), a Dallas vocal school, and a ski academy in Vermont as well as to major laboratories and research centers at which research continues on the new science of talent development. He explains how and why the combination of intensive practice (under strict and expert supervision) and motivation produces brain growth.

"Why brain growth? Because developing talent is all about growing the brain. `Muscle memory' doesn't really exist, because our muscles simply do what our brains tell them to do. This, the new science can be summed up as follows: You want to develop your talent? Build a better brain through intensive practice."

All of us possess undeveloped talents in areas of no interest to us but there are other areas that do interest us in which our talents are [begin italics] under-developed [end italics]. So what? The best career advice I have yet encountered is to do what you love and love what you do. All well and good but the challenge remains: How to do what you love well enough to have a career doing it? The "new science of talent development" reveals HOW and Coyle provides a non-scientific explanation in his latest book. Hence the importance of myerlin to "building" and then applying a better brain.

Of course, as is often the case, there's bad news and good news. First the bad news: Most people lack the motivation to commit the time, energy, and attention that intensive practice requires. What's the good news? Most people lack the motivation to commit the time, energy, and attention that intensive practice requires.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too short, 24 Dec. 2013
This review is from: The Little Book of Talent (Kindle Edition)
An enjoyable read, however woefully short. I read it in about an hour. It does contain some great nuggets of information, just would have liked a bit more flesh on the bone.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 30 Mar. 2013
This review is from: The Little Book of Talent (Kindle Edition)
A superb book. Very similar to the Talent Code but full of outstanding advice for teachers, pupils, musicians, sportspeople, in fact virtually anyone.

Highly recommended
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting ideas, 21 May 2014
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This review is from: The Little Book of Talent (Kindle Edition)
I had become interested in the idea that the concepts of being talented or a prodigy are overrated, and that instead we should consider the value of focussed practice. I did not want an academic work that referred to source material, but rather a concise book of hints and tips to help me improve my skills at a pastime. This book fits the bill and is full of interesting ideas, albeit inevitably some are more relevant to any specific activity than others.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Talent, 18 Jun. 2014
By 
Mr. V. P. Oliver (UK) - See all my reviews
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I wanted to find out what the modern methods of training are.
The book explains the reasons how the newest methods of training and instruction to trainees works.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great teaching tips!, 4 April 2014
By 
G. Hugman (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Little Book of Talent (Kindle Edition)
I read The Talent Code buy Daniel Coyle and recommended it to one of my clients who then purchased this 'follow up'. Both are as excellent as one another and a great tool for teachers. I highly recommend both.
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4.0 out of 5 stars pithy practical tips, 19 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: The Little Book of Talent (Kindle Edition)
Pithy and enjoyable. This book offers practical suggestions to grow your performance. I would recommend this book to my work colleagues.
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5.0 out of 5 stars short, simple and effective. no fluff., 21 Oct. 2012
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This review is from: The Little Book of Talent (Kindle Edition)
I previously got the Talent Code and liked it so much I decided to buy this. I was not disappointed. The points are short and simple to understand. If you want to develop any talent or teach anyone something, you wont regret spending a few quid on this book!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good book full of useful tips, 17 Oct. 2012
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This was a good little book with lots of easy tips to do that can significantly improve your performance or talent in whichever you are specialising in. It was useful not just for me but I was thinking how I can pass these tips to my kids and niece and nephews too.
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