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The Little Book of Talent: 52 Tips for Improving Your Skills Hardcover – August 21, 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 289 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • The Little Book of Talent: 52 Tips for Improving Your Skills
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  • The Talent Code: Greatness Isn't Born. It's Grown. Here's How.
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  • Mindset: The New Psychology of Success
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Advance praise for The Little Book of Talent
 
The Little Book of Talent should be given to every graduate at commencement, every new parent in a delivery room, every executive on the first day of work. It is a guidebook—beautiful in its simplicity and backed by hard science—for nurturing excellence.”—Charles Duhigg, bestselling author of The Power of Habit
 
“It’s so juvenile to throw around hyperbolic terms such as ‘life-changing,’ but there’s no other way to describe The Little Book of Talent. I was avidly trying new things within the first half hour of reading it and haven’t stopped since. Brilliant. And yes: life-changing.”—Tom Peters, co-author of In Search of Excellence

About the Author

Daniel Coyle is the author of The Talent Code, as well as the New York Times bestseller Lance Armstrong’s War. He lives with his wife and four children in Homer, Alaska, and Cleveland Heights, Ohio.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; 1 edition (August 21, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 034553025X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345530257
  • Product Dimensions: 4.9 x 0.6 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (289 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,427 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Bradley Bevers VINE VOICE on July 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This concise little book packs a lot of wisdom into 120 pages or so. It quickly dispels what assumptions you have about talent and makes a compelling case for the science of building your talent. There are some great tips here, though none that are earth shattering - I have read most of these before, but it is nice to have everything condensed down to one book. The only critique is that some of the tips just read like other tips repackaged and could probably have been cut. That said, a few of my favorite tips and quotes from the book are below:

Tip #3 - Steal Without Apology - Build on other's work

Tip #11 - Don't Fall For The Prodigy Myth - Early success is poor predictor of future talent (see Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Michael Jordan, etc)

Tip #12 - 5 Ways To Pick A High-Quality Teacher Or Coach - This is great - some of the best advice in the book
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Tip #30 - Take A Nap - Science says so . . .

Tip #33 - To Learn From A Book, Close It - Great advice. Don't read to retain information. If you follow this tip you will retain more information, much faster. Valuable advice.

Tip #46 - Don't Wast Time Trying To Break Bad Habits - Instead, Build New Ones - Great advice

Tip #51 - Keep Your Big Goals Secret - Why you should not share your newest dream with your friends - very interesting and helpful as well.

There are plenty of gems here that make this book a worthy buy. Just about anyone can read it in a few hours, and it could potentially change every day of the rest of your life. Hard to ask any more than that from a 120 page book - Recommended.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Both books say basically the same thing. But The Talent Code is more focused on telling stories and analysing research; The Little Book, with its extremely practical approach, could easily have been an appendix to The Talent Code.

So, if you want guidelines for developing a talent, buy this one. If you want a good, informative read, but which will not be so actionable, buy The Talent Code.,
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
It is hard not to admire a little book like this. Distilling masses of information into small applicable/usable bites is no mean feat. Putting it into an easy to carry around format is just icing on the cake.

The book is broken into 3 broad topics: Getting started, improving and continuing improvement. Each topic takes about 1/3 of the book although some tips are very short one paragraph type things and others are a few pages long.

The source material for the tips originate from notes made while researching his other book The Talent Code. Since that book has a decided tilt towards measurable performance activities (sports/music/etc) this book can't escape those confines and thank goodness it doesn't really try to awkwardly create generalities to fit specific observations. That is, Coyle spares us endless attempts at applying his observations to stuff he thinks his readers might use the information. I found that refreshing because any effort on his part along those lines would only create artificial boundaries to how you or I might proceed.

I haven't read the other book yet but so I am not sure how much of a companion this small book is to the other. From the blurb on the other book it seems like there is a lot of duplication. Of course, this book is distilled down and physically printed in 'fit in your back pocket' size.

It was interesting to me that, in broad terms, a whole lot of what Coyle talks about is also the sort of things that Zig, Tracy and Hopkins talk about too. A nice affirmation of their work through Coyle's independent research.

There's bad news all throughout the book. It takes hard work to be successful. It takes commitment.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The author of The Talent Code, Daniel Coyle, is a man driven to find out how people train for excellence. The Little Book of Talent is Coyle's attempt to distill this wisdom into one volume, arming you with the 52 tips that will help you improve your skills. Although I really wanted to like this book, I really felt that it fell short. The book gives a laundry list of great techniques to foster genius, but is too general to be successful.

That said, I have not read Coyle's Talent Code. It may well be that in conjunction with The Talent Code book, the Little Book of Talent is more helpful.

I doubt it though.

[Note (10/16/2012): since writing this review, I have read Coyle's The Talent Code and have now posted my reveiw. I do not feel that the information within The Talent Code added anything that would change this review, so I have let this review stand as is. After reading The Talent Code and researching the evidence for myself, I admit that I had severely underestimated the role of deliberate practice when it comes to developing talent. Even so, there is enough evidence for me to believe that there is still a significant component to talent and expertise that goes beyond deliberate practice. My opinion would be that this is an innate component, but this is only my opinion. See my review of The Talent Code for further details.]

Part of the problem lies in Coyle's method of discovering his tips to success. He does research, he speaks to educational scientists, and--most importantly--visits actual training grounds for successful musicians and athletes. He makes observations and takes meticulous notes. He then distills it all down and provides us with the tips--the very tools--for success.
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