This brilliantly written book is one of the most impactful I have read this year. Author Daniel Coyle has done an outstanding job of taking research into myelin, a substance that insulates nerve cells, and turning that scientific breakthrough knowledge into a prescription for achieving greatness in a variety of fields, from music to athletics to business.
Using powerful case studies, Coyle has identified three distinct key elements that determine how individuals achieve greatness: Deep Practice, Ignition, and Master Coaching.
Deep Practice involves short burst of energy - perfecting, identifying errors, repeating. Each time an individual - violinist, tennis player, soccer player - engages in this kind of Deep Practice, the nervous system generates new layers of myelin to further insulate and streamline the flow of electrical energy within neural synapses.
In order for an individual to have the motivation, persistence, and determination to engage in this level of Deep Practice, there needs to have been an Ignition event. In the case of Korean women who now dominate the LPGA, the igniting event was Se Ri Pak winning the McDonald's LPGA Championship in 1998, and becoming a visible symbol and role model for young Korean girls. Five years later - enough time for Deep Practice to have made a significant difference - Korean women began to dominate women's golf.
The third key element is Master Coaching.. Mr. Coyle calls these master teachers "The Talent Whisperers." Common traits are patience, nurturing spirit and the ability to use years of observation and pattern recognition to know just the right word to say to encourage and motivate the person being coached. IConic UCLA coach John Wooden is cited as a prototype for this kind of Master Coach.
The implications of these three key elements that lead to greatness are far reaching. They can be applied to the realm of parenting, teaching, coaching, and business leadership. This is a MUST READ book for anyone who aspires to greatness or to lead others in achieving greatness.