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How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day Paperback – February 8, 2000


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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Here's a personal growth guidebook that's won the admiration and recommendation of Ted Hughes, Poet Laureate of England. He calls this "a brilliant, practical guide to awakening and training our vast, unused resources of intelligence and ability." Author Michael Gelb, founder of High Performance Learning and consultant for companies including AT&T and National Public Radio, says that we all can unlock the "da Vincian" genius inside us. Gelb says there are seven critical principles that need to be followed for success, whether you're learning a new language, studying to be a gourmet chef, or just hoping to be more effective on the job:

  • Curiosita: An insatiably curious approach to life.
  • Dimonstratzione: A commitment to test knowledge through experience.
  • Sensazione: The continual refinement of the senses, especially sight, as the means to clarify experience.
  • Sfumato: A willingness to embrace ambiguity, paradox, and uncertainty.
  • Arte/Scienza: The development of the balance between science and art, logic and imagination ("whole-brain thinking").
  • Corporalita: The cultivation of ambidexterity, fitness, and poise.
  • Connessione: A recognition and appreciation for the connectedness of all things and phenomena; "systems thinking."

Gelb discusses each of these principles in relation to what da Vinci accomplished, thereby giving this book a built-in history lesson. The illustrations from the master's work and time add a nice warmth to the work. As the president of NPR said after working with Gelb, this is a program recommended for "anyone who wants to experience a personal and professional Renaissance." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Founder and president of the High Performance Learning Center, Gelb, in seminars and workshops and now in this book, offers "the Seven Da Vincian Principles" for learning how to approach life like a genius. He uses Leonardo's native Italian language to label these principles: "curiosita" (curiosity and continuous learning), "dimostrazione" (learning from experience), "sensazione" (sensory awareness), "sfumato" (accepting and embracing uncertainty), "arte/scienza" (balancing art and science, or "whole-brain" thinking), "corporalita" (physical fitness and ambidexterity) and "connessione" (seeing the interconnectedness of everything). Gelb provides discussion of each principle in relation to Leonardo's work, questions for reader "self-assessment," exercises and even notes for parents to apply the principles to child-rearing and teaching. His view reflects the current trend in working with "multiple intelligences" and creativity, and is similar to the approach outlined in Todd Siler's Think Like a Genius (1997). The Renaissance mood Gelb successfully invokes, however, adds a unique richness to this deeper, more expansive work. Illustrations. Editor, Tom Spain; agent, Muriel Nellis.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Dell; Reissue edition (February 8, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440508274
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440508274
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (182 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,877 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

http://michaelgelb.com/

Michael J. Gelb is the world's leading authority on the application of genius thinking to personal and organizational development. He is a pioneer in the fields of creative thinking, accelerated learning, and innovative leadership. Gelb leads seminars for organizations such as DuPont, Genentech, Merck, Microsoft, Nike, Raytheon and YPO. He brings more than 35 years of experience as a professional speaker, seminar leader and organizational consultant to his diverse, international clientele.

Michael Gelb is the author of 14 books on creativity and innovation including the international best seller How to Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day. (1998) How to Think Like Leonardo has been translated into 25 languages and has appeared on the Washington Post, Amazon.com, and the New York Times best seller lists.

In 2007 Gelb released Innovate Like Edison: The Five Step System for Breakthrough Business Success, co-authored with Sarah Miller Caldicott, the great grand niece of Thomas Edison. As Professor Vijay Govindarajan, author of Ten Rules for Strategic Innovators noted, "This book is a must have for anyone who wants to turn creative ideas into profitable reality."

In 1999, Michael Gelb won the Brain Trust Charity's "Brain of the Year" award; other honorees include Prof. Stephen Hawking, Bill Gates, Garry Kasparov and Gene Rodenberry. In 2003, Michael was awarded a Batten Fellowship by the University of Virginia's Darden Graduate School of Business. Michael co-directs the acclaimed Leading Innovation Seminar at Darden with Professor James Clawson. From 2008 to 2012, Michael Gelb also served as the Director of Creativity and Innovation Leadership for the Conscious Capitalism Institute.

A former professional juggler who once performed with the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan, Gelb introduced the idea of teaching juggling as a means to promote accelerated learning and team-building. He is the author of The 5 Keys to High Performance: Juggling Your Way to Success. A fourth degree black belt in the Japanese martial art of Aikido, Gelb is co-author with International Grandmaster Raymond Keene, of Samurai Chess: Mastering Strategic Thinking Through the Martial Art of the Mind. Michael Gelb is also a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique, (the method taught at The Julliard School for cultivating commanding stage presence), and the author of the classic work: Body Learning: An Introduction to the Alexander Technique. Michael's 1988 release Present Yourself! Captivate Your Audience with Great Presentation Skills guides readers to develop the communication strategies they need to generate support for their innovative ideas.

Michael has also created many best selling audio programs, include: Mind Mapping: How to Liberate Your Natural Genius, Work Like Da Vinci: Gaining the Creative Advantage in Your Business and Career and The Spirit of Leonardo.

Michael Gelb's passion for applying genius thinking to personal and organizational development is also expressed in his Harper Collins release (2002) Discover Your Genius: How To Think Like History's Ten Most Revolutionary Minds.

Published in 2010, Wine Drinking For Inspired Thinking: Uncork Your Creative Juices, offers a unique, original and very enjoyable approach to team building.

In January 2012 Michael released Brain Power: Improve Your Mind As You Age, (New World Library).

His next book Creativity On Demand: Ignite and Sustain the Fire of Genius will be published by Sounds True in September of 2014.

Customer Reviews

Very interesting book, easy to read.
ToshiDog
It offers great insight into what you should be doing to be like Leonardo da Vinci, or any of the other great mind for that matter.
Travis Swicegood
It really makes you THINK in the correct way and make positive life changes.
Anita B. Adams

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

373 of 403 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is very hard for me to grade. It contains some of the best and worst material I have ever seen, all in the same book. That combination is unprecedented in my experience.
If the book were solely built around the exercises, I would say that it deserved more than five stars.
If the book were soley built around the analysis and history of Leonardo da Vinci as a thinker, I would grade it at two stars.
The exercises are so terrific that I urge you to read the book. I also urge you to see the text leading up to the exercises as merely an introduction to the excercises.
If you want to learn about Leonardo da Vinci as a thinker, I suggest you go elsewhere for that guidance. I do encourage you read the Leonardo notebooks directly. They are fascinating. While you are doing so, try to imagine yourself with the limited scientific knowledge of the day. One of the things that you will learn is the power of conceptualizing what is needed that is missing. This helps to set the goal that energizes those who then meet the goal. Leonardo had enormous influence in this way with his pioneering work on helicopters, submarines, parachutes, and many mechanical devices.
Research on creativity and innovation has shown that it is valuable to increase one's curiosity, testing of ideas, observation skills, openness to new ideas and ambiguity, whole-brained thinking, balance in life activities, and seeing systems connections. This book espouses those concepts as well. In fact, it felt to me like the author was more influenced by the creativity and innovation literature than by Leonardo. If the book had drawn on more of this kind of research, rather than just trying to oversimpify Leonardo da Vinci, it would have been a better book.
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64 of 69 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 21, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Michael Gelb has written an insightful and challanging book. Not being a da Vinci scholar, but one always impressed by da Vinci's ideas and especially his drawings and paintings, this book increased my knowledge of this genius and challanged me to think that I could benefit greatly by thinking like Leonardo.
Gelb sets out seven Da Vincinian Principles and illustrates each with examples from da Vinci's life and work. He encourages the reader to assess oneself with regard to each of the principles and then presents an abundance of exercises to develop one's awareness of the principle and skill at using it.
I found myself, over the course of reading the book, using the principles as I observed the world around me throughout the day, listening to the sounds of nature, really watching birds in flight, wondering at the beautiful pumpkin from a friend's garden that I was peeling, seeding and chopping to make into soup. The latter exercise was further enhanced by pouring myself a glass of the chardonnay that went into the soup and truly tasting it and savouring it (my own version of an exercise found in the Sensazione chapter.) The last of the principles presented is Connessione. I understood this principle clearly as I reflected on the earth from which the grapes were grown, the grapes and all that nourished their growth, the many hands and minds and hearts that created the wine, packaged it, shipped and distributed it and the many consumers who were enjoying it.
Yes, I can say wholeheartedly that this book is worth buying, reading and keeping around as a guide filled with practical ideas and exercises (including a beginner's drawing course) for stimulating and encouraging one's self understanding and indiviual genius.
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110 of 122 people found the following review helpful By M. Rodriguez on February 9, 2000
Format: Paperback
I picked this book up after the title grabbed me from the bookstore shelf and was instantly hooked. I've always admired DaVinci greatly and couldn't resist reading anything that could shed some light on his creative thinking process.
Will reading this book make you a genius? Probably not. What it will do, however, is open up avenues in your mind that you probably never thought existed. It has some great techniques on how to "think outside the box" and will be helpful to anyone who needs to address a group of others on learning issues. (I am a training instructor and have discussed some of this book's techniques with my students)
I walked away from this book with a whole new outlook on learning and whole brain thinking, and have found myself reflecting on it when trying to compose creative writing and solve problems. The price of this book was well worth it...it has given me many, many returns on my investment.
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68 of 74 people found the following review helpful By Charles Runels Md on January 23, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is not for everyone. Here's how it helped me and here's a test to know if the book's for you:

If you really want to see the "world" (cliche' but I do mean the entire world: your dog, your business, your lover's response, the smell of air) in a new way and if you really try to do so, then you know how difficult a task it can be to catch a new glimpse or a new idea. Though it's not too difficult to find what other's have already pointed out, it's the place of prophets and poets and the great entrepreneurs to see something new. As a research chemist 20 years ago, and now as a physician involved in research, I use a very powerful tool that helps improve vision; the tool (the notebook)and good techniques for using it are described in this book.

I see peole buy notebooks and diaries for school and personal use but I don't know many people who catch the real power of this tool. You could read this whole book (How to Think Like...) and not catch the power of the tool without giving the notebook technique a try. You could try the technique and not catch the power unless you keep trying and keep revising techniques and keep trying to see and to hear and to block out the voice of your teachers who told you what to see and what to hear.

Einsten kept a notebook with him even when he went sailing. Another famous mathematician kept notes and had theories even about why the good guy is quicker in a western gun fight. King David must have kept an extensive notebook (we read some of his notes in the Psalms). Seems most people have the idea that personal notebooks are for 13 year old girls to decipher puberty.
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