The Talent Code | Book Review


After observing The Talent Code’s outline, I decided to read the Epilogue: The Myelin World first, then returned to the introduction.

Thoughts & Applications to Academy Leadership | The Sweet Spot:

On page 19, Borke’s explanation of brain construction is terrific. Rather than a simple storage device, he presents the analogy of scaffolding, built up over time with new impulses (perhaps using E2L, Johari Window insights, etc.). Reaching beyond abilities to a sweet spot also relates well to our High Jump slide from our introductory slides.

General Coaching Observations:

On page 34, in The Deep Practice Cell chapter, Coyle combines targeted practice with passion & persistence, as necessary ingredients. This is key. Translation: We’re unlikely to spend the time (10,000 hours - again – page 53) if we are not highly motivated. Aside: Interesting how a period of “incubation” exists for both personal and corporate excellence (Great by Choice). On page 46, thinking about skill as a muscle is a terrific analogy everyone can understand. Or extended further, Chapter 3, The Brontes, the Z-Boys, and the Renaissance, begins with Aristotle’s Excellence is a Habit. These are just some of my favorites, as the book has many other examples we may incorporate during coaching sessions.

Thoughts on The Teaching Circuit: A Blueprint

The structure of this chapter; based on four virtues of master coaches, is appealing on a number of levels. First is the recognition that it takes time for any of us to become a master coach. That alone inspired me since coaching, certainly with the frequency required of an Academy Leadership Affiliate, is personally a relatively new experience.

The first virtue, The Matrix, is an excellent model for describing an Academy Leadership Affiliate candidate. That is, we should seek candidates not just with successful business experience - but with a repertoire of knowledge, strategy, and instinct in additional to a military background. A reflective question for each of us:  What is my Matrix?

Application to Academy Leadership:

The other three virtues in Chapter nine map very well to our Boot Camp motivation module and even more to our Executive Coaching. Virtue Two, Perceptiveness, maps very well to the creation of an environment whereby fundamental motivation is highly probable. This aligns well with the Teachable Point of View in the Motivation module.

Virtue Three, The GPS Reflex, is a terrific analogy for coaching technique. Short, staccato bursts encouraging action and correction. The narrative on pages 196-7 is a fine model I plan to emulate.

The fourth virtue, Theatrical Honesty, reminds me of the idea of living our Leader’s Compass. Ron Gallimore’s quote “Truly great teachers connect with students because of who they are as moral standards” hits pretty hard, likewise the holistic notion we are teaching life rather than just individual lessons, brings the point home.

JE | March 2012