Thursday, 17 November 2011

Book review: The Talent Code

I've just finished reading 'The Talent Code ' by Daniel Coyle and already i feel it's one of those books I'll refer to again and again. It's a well researched book describing daniels theory of how talent is best progressed.

He uses research from state of the art thinkers and introduces new perspectives such as the impact of our new understanding of myelin. The bodies electrical insulator on how skills are developed.

I first read daniels work in a new york times article about 'how to grow a super athlete'. It was such a ground breaking article in my eyes for several reasons.

Firstly it resoundly came from the nurture end of the talent debate. Daniel is very clear that there is always a clear story behind an athletes success. As long as you're prepared to look hard enough.

Secondly he applies the latest biological research to find a plausible, physical answer to this challenging problem. Myelin. My dad is an electrical engineer. He deals with wire, electricity and circuits. So I was brought up with the notion that proper insulation, also known as shielding, in electrical circuits is as important as the wires themselves.

Think about the effect of the radio signals from your phone on the electric signals flowing inside medical and flying equipment. Newer phones provides better shielding for the radio signals they emit so they don't effect other equipment as much as they used to.

Thirdly his work has stayed in my mind since I first read his article on growing super athletes a few years ago. When I recently came across another article talking about his Talent Code principle, I clicked through to his talent code website and saw that very article linked from the side menu. I thought 'this guy likes that same article about myelin and developing tennis stars'. Then I noticed the author and realised he had written it and that I like a lot of his work. His delivery, approach and message resonate with me.

My lifelong pursuit is an understanding of human performance. How far can one person push themselves through their life without breaking. It is taking me on a fascinating journey into the most advanced technology we know of, the human body.
The talent code is a really important work putting some of this elaborate jigsaw together.