Last year I downloaded a digital copy of Daniel Coyle’s popular book The Talent Code from the library but because of my busy schedule I wasn’t able to get through it all before it disappeared off my Kobo. So I recently jumped at the chance to read his new, much shorter offering The Little Book of Talent in which he shares 52 tips for improving skills that he picked up while he was researching the bigger book.
I read this cover-to-cover in one sitting. What’s great about it is that the tips are applicable to learning any new skill, such as playing an instrument, or playing a sport, or speaking a language. Everyone can get something out of this book, and you don’t even need a recognized talent. You just need the desire to do something well.
One of my favourite parts of the book is when Coyle talks about the prodigy myth and that early success is a weak predictor of long-term success. It’s a load off to know that talent can be built not born. It means that you can’t count anybody out.
The Little Book of Talent: 52 Tips for Improving Skills
And further to that idea, my absolute favourite quote in the book is the following:
Whatever talent you set out to build, from golfing to learning a new language to playing guitar to managing a startup, be assured of one thing: You are born with the machinery to transform beginners’ clumsiness into fast, fluent action. That machinery is not controlled by genes, it’s controlled by you. Each day, each practice session, is a step toward a different future. This is a hopeful idea, and the most hopeful thing about it is that it is a fact.
Then the best part is Coyle tells us exactly how to make that happen in doable, bite-size tips.
I wish this book had been around when I was a kid, teenager and young adult, but I’m thrilled to have this resource now that I’m a parent with small children. I foresee myself referring to it often. It’s not a “read once and give to a friend” type of book. This one is a keeper.
The Little Book of Talent is for parents, teachers, coaches, and anyone who has something new to learn; in other words, everyone.