Anders Ericsson, Robert Pool: Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise

E risk of oversimplification I learned that in my case super slow but perfect execution is better than normal speed with mistakes Indeed that is how they teach even the most gifted prodigies at JulliardI now play pretty wellThat said people are not naturally inclined to do that Deliberate practice does not feel good It is not intuitive It feels awkward and is the antithesis of what attracted me to the piano ie FUN I do not think I would be practicing in this manner if it had not been for Ericcson s research that has now been widely disseminated Plus its principles have bled over into my performance in my business and other areas of my lifeSo I am a huge proponent of Ericsson s research But I think Ericsson is far from being able to disprove that natural talent derived from the gene pool is not a significant factor in the success in any area of endeavorFor one thing the small sample size of individuals whose brilliance he explains being purely the result of deliberate practice is small There s the Polgar Sisters Mozart Paganini and a few others Plus the case he makes about Mozart is far from being proofThere are far too many well documented instances where we hear very young children of apparently normal parents whose genius that cannot be explained other than by genetic lotteryWhen I read the biographies of folks like Warren Buffett Elon Musk Jeff Bezos Steve Jobs it s commonplace that I see some edge by way of their parents andor education or gene pool that has nothing to do with deliberate practiceElon Musk had intelligent somewhat offbeat parents and was beat up a few times in school That can be said of many ids however None of this remotely explains the Elon Musk we see todayAndre Agassi s father played a strong role in this success as a tennis pro I would say he s a beneficiary principles taught in Ericsson s book However it s hard to say it s the only factorBruce Springsteen had no role model or guidance He liked Elvis and wanted to be like him His natural talent got him thereThere was nothing remarkable about Jeff Bezo s childhood He did not have any edge other than that which was innate But his business smarts was evident on Wall Street before he founded Before Arnold Schwarzenegger became a movie star was already successful in real estate It was due to his prowess in math and the ability to make projections in his head about how much houses would be worth after they were fixed up Nothing in his childhood foreshadowed his successEinstein Well that is another case in which he had no special training or advantage when he was as a child 45 Stars if that was possible What Ericsson gets right is far important than what is subject to debateThe bottom line is this in the absence a nurturing environment or generous genetic endowment deliberate practice is one thing that can go a long way to leveling the playing fieldHere are books I ve read that prior to Ericsson s book that are related to his findings on deliberate practice I ve not had much Deliberate Practice writing reviews but I ll do my bestA fascinating read This book gives a compelling argument against the old adage of natural talent In fact there is no such thing as natural talent Only deliberate practice leads to outstanding performance Having read the examples and research in this book I agree with the authors This is a straight to the point book describing how deliberate practice can make you successful in any area of your life This book is easy to read but it is also meaty with many actionable ideas I especially like that this book is very research based the authors give you the science behind the ideas they present The only issue with this book like any self help book is actually implementing the strategies in your own life I highly recommend this book Please mark if you find my review helpful Thank you so muc. Ellence can be divided into two eras before Ericsson and after Ericsson His groundbreaking work captured in this brilliantly useful book provides us with a blueprint for achieving the most important and life changing work possible to become a little bit better each dayDan Coyle author of The Talent Code Ericssons research has revolutionized how we think about human achievement If everyone would take the lessons of this book to heart it could truly change the worldJoshua Foer author of Moonwalking with Einstei.

Having read many of Ericsson s papers I wasn t expect to learn much but the narrative style and the ways in which he synthesises a career s worth of research sheds new light on practice and expertise Excellent book everyone who seriously want to improve their performance in anything should read this Anders Ericsson became famous for his work on what he called deliberate practice a set of recipes that could help someone gain expertise in an area In this readable and well researched book he expands upon this concept and brings several time tested and scientifically reviewed ideas to bear on the search for perfection in our lives Ericsson and his co author Robert Pool are good storytellers and they pepper their ideas with dozens of case studies and examples from diverse fields like music sports and medicineIn the first part of the book Ericsson dispels the myth that most prodigies or experts achieve what they do by innate talent I thought he was a bit biased against the truly brilliant individuals like Mozart which humanity has produced but he makes the good point that even Mozart adopted certain strategies and worked very hard often helped by his father to become famous Similarly Ericsson examines several other extraordinary individuals mainly in the realm of sports music and recreational arithmetic such as Paginini Picasso and Bobby Fischer and tells us of their intense and often grueling routine of practice What he perhaps fails to mention is that even the intense ability to focus or to work repeatedly with improvement has an innate component to it I would have appreciated his take on recent neuroscience studies investigating factors like concentration and mental staminaOnce the myth of some Arise kind of an innate unreachable genius is put to rest Ericsson explains the difference between ordinary practice and deliberate practice In this difference lies the seed for the rest of the book When it comes to deliberate practice theey words are focus feedback specific goals and mental representations Unlike naive practice which involves doing the same thing again and again and expecting improvement deliberate practice involves setting specific goals for oneself breaking down complex tasks into chunks making mental representations of paths leading to success getting out of your comfort zone and getting constant feedbackMuch of the book focuses on those ey last three factors Mental representations are patterns or heuristics that allow you to become successful in a task and do it repeatedly with improvement Ericsson provides examples from calculating prodigies and chess grandmasters to illustrate the utility and power of mental representations Getting out of your comfort zone may sound obvious but it s eually important helped in his narrative by neuroscience studies which illustrate how the brain strengthens neural connections in certain areas when you push yourself Ericsson provides good tips for exerting yourself just a little bit than you did the previous time when you attempt to get better at a taskLastly he shows us how getting constant feedback on results is of paramount importance in becoming an expert Ericsson calls this the Top Gun method based on a reference to the elite US Navy pilots who became much better when they got feedback on their combat maneuvers at the Navy s Top Gun flight school The lack of feedback can explain many seemingly paradoxical results For instance Ericsson spends several pages describing studies showing that experienced doctors aren t always necessarily better at diagnosis mainly because they often work alone don t change their methods and have no peers to provide feedback in a nutshell the work they put in daily contributes to ordinary practice but not deliberate practice Doctors who made positive changes in all three areas were much better and so can. This book is a breakthrough a lyrical powerful science based narrative that actually shows us how to get better much better at the things we care aboutSeth Godin author of LinchpinAnyone who wants to get better at anything should read Peak Rest assured that the book is not mere theory Ericssons research focuses on the real world and he explains in detail with examples how all of us can apply the principles of great performance in our work or in any other part of our lives Fortune Anders Ericsson has made a ca.

The rest of us In fact it is startling to realize how little feedback we get from our daily work Other studies from the areas of motivational speaking and business management showed similar trends breaking up jobs into parcels and getting regular feedback on these can make an enormous differenceAs an aside Ericsson offers a good critiue of Malcolm Gladwell s book Outliers in which Gladwell made the ten thousand hour rule so popular Ericsson cautions us that Gladwell misunderstood many details of that rule including its limited utility as an average and its inapplicability to some of the examples he cites in his bookOverall I found the book very readable and interesting with scores of recognizable and thought provoking examples thrown in The only caveat to deliberate practice is one Ericsson himself states in the middle of the book it is mainly applicable only to highly developed fields like sports or music where there have been hundreds of years of published and nown case studies and data and widely agreed upon metrics for the field and where there are several world class experts to whom one can compare themselves when trying to improve Ericsson himself states that the principles for deliberate practice don t work as well for professions like engineer teacher consultant electrician and business manager I would think that these professional titles apply to millions of people around the planet so those people will probably benefit a bit less from Ericsson s principles Nonetheless in a world constantly competing with itself Ericsson s book offers some timely and well researched advice for self improvement Great book This is probably the second best book I have ever read in this genre the best is and probably always will be Getting Things Done by David AllenWhy did I love it Because I read a LOT of books of this ind self help psychology business etc and while lots of others provide good ideas or insights this book provides a completely new way of looking at the world That s why it s a game changer for me From the way I am learning to dance to the way I work at my desk the principles highlighted in this book are relevant and applicable They say there are two tests for a good book 1 Will I remember it in a month and 2 Does it change the way I think about the world This book is a resounding yes Before reading this book I had read several others books that were derived from or at least influenced by Ericsson s research They are listed at the end of this review Perhaps just as importantly I have also read biographies of great achievers who ve reached the pinnacle of their areas of endeavor From that I hope to formulate a uniue perspective about this book These are also listed at the end of this reviewI mention this because it enables me to speak from my own experience findings from a wide cross section of researchers and most importantly I hope the biographies of how people achieved greatness My Own Story Around ten years ago was when I first read Ericsson s academic paper on The Role of Deliberate Practice in the Acuisition of Expert Performance A colleague of mine at the time told me that he used its principles to train his son in baseball and that it was instrumental getting his son a baseball scholarshipI didn t think about it much at that timeSeven years later I decided to teach myself to play piano as a side hobby Initially I was a textbook case of doing everything wrong in that I would merely learn by repeating the same phrases over and over again until I reached a point of acceptable mediocrity What that meant is that I could play well in enough amuse myself but was nowhere near good enough play in publicFrustrated I remembered what I had learned years ago from Ericsson s published research From the books mentioned below I learned about deliberate practice techniues At th. Reer studying chess champions violin virtuosos star athletes and memory mavens Peak distills three decades of myth shattering research into a powerful learning strategy that is fundamentally different from the way people traditionally think about acuiring new abilities Whether you want to stand out at work improve your athletic or musical performance or help your child achieve academic goals Ericssons revolutionary methods will show you how to improve at almost any skill that matters to you The science of exc.

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ANDERS ERICSSON PhD is Conradi Eminent Scholar and Professor of Psychology at Florida State University  He studies expert performance in domains such as music chess medicine and sports and how expert performers attain their superior performance by acuiring complex cognitive mechanisms through extended deliberate practice  He has edited “Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance” 2006 and “The Development of Professional Expertise” 2009In the book Outliers Malcolm Gladwell based his “10000 hour rule” on Ericsson and colleagues’s research on musicians