When you favored Greene’s Mastery, Gladwell’s Outliers, or Duckworth’s Grit, you’ll like Friedman’s Decoding Greatness, which argues that whereas inborn expertise and monumental effort can produce excellence, there’s one other technique to attain this brass ring that’s much more dependable, environment friendly, and efficient.

Particularly, the premise of Decoding Greatness is that we are able to study rather a lot about the right way to obtain greatness by reverse engineering the good accomplishments of others to find the important thing mindsets, methods, and techniques they used to attain such feats.

And whereas many self-development books make related guarantees—a lot in order that I virtually skipped Decoding Greatness—I significantly loved Friedman’s formulation for just a few causes:

  1. It’s recent. Many books within the style talk about how mindset, expertise, perseverance, grit, observe, and so forth. usually relate to success after which encourage us to determine the right way to apply them to our chosen endeavors, however that is usually tough to do. Friedman, however, believes {that a} more practical technique to increase our talents is to systematically analyze examples of the kind of success we need to obtain after which develop extremely tailor-made development methods primarily based on our findings.
  2. It’s compelling. Friedman helps his claims with a well-rounded and fascinating assortment of tutorial anecdotes, insightful evaluation, and scientific analysis.
  3. It’s sensible. As an alternative of merely giving success ideas and leaving it to us to determine the right way to apply them to our circumstances and targets, Friedman crammed the e-book with workout routines for incorporating his teachings into our plans, methods, and techniques.
  4. It’s straightforward to learn. It’s written in a transparent and conversational model that makes the fabric simply accessible.

So, if you happen to’re on the lookout for an evidence-based self-development e-book with a novel and instantly actionable path to extra success in any process or enterprise, you’ll like Decoding Greatness.

My High 10 Takeaways from Decoding Greatness by Ron Friedman


“In different phrases, if outright mimicry leads us nowhere and absolute novelty is met with scorn, the answer is to keep away from each extremes. What will get observed is the commonly conversant in a minor variation.”


“What distinguishes, I feel, nice writers from people who find themselves not nice writers, or usually are not writers in any respect, [is] style… Not style within the sense of realizing what is nice in an goal approach—as a result of there’s nothing goal to level you, there’s nothing to seek advice from out on the earth—however realizing what it’s that you simply your self reply to after which making the leap of religion that if you happen to reply strongly to one thing, there shall be individuals on the earth who additionally reply strongly.”


“In 2014, researchers on the College of Wisconsin examined the success charges of entrepreneurs, evaluating those that give up their job to run a brand new enterprise in opposition to those that performed it protected and saved their day job whereas quietly creating their enterprise on the aspect. Surprisingly, full-time dedication to a enterprise enterprise didn’t develop into the successful technique. Cautious staff had been considerably extra prone to succeed. Why? As a result of they possessed the monetary stability to achieve extra affected person, strategic selections—a luxurious not accessible to these whose livelihood was continually on the road.”


“Commentary alone will not be sufficient for training, Dewey believed. Information solely comes about once we replicate on our experiences, revise our beliefs, and take a look at our assumptions.”


“A vital mistake to keep away from anytime you’re working to develop a ability is to comply with the identical observe routine for various days. Predictability fosters boredom, and tedium is the enemy of focus, reminiscence, and studying. Novelty, however, is an consideration magnet. Our brains are naturally drawn to new options in our environment.”


“When speaking to consultants, three classes of questions are price contemplating: journey questions, course of questions, and discovery questions.

“Journey questions are designed to attain two aims: unearth the consultants’ highway map for fulfillment and remind them of their expertise as a novice. 

. . .

“Course of questions get on the nitty-gritty of execution. They’re designed to light up the consultants’ strategy by drilling down on the particular steps they apply to deliver their work to life. 

. . .

“Lastly, discovery questions focus consultants on their preliminary expectations and invite them to check these naive beliefs with what they know in the present day. By directing consultants’ consideration to sudden revelations, you get them serious about helpful insights they didn’t possess on the very starting, again after they had been in your footwear.”


“With regards to studying, research present that beginning with examples—versus summary, theoretical classes—results in sooner comprehension and fewer errors. It’s as a result of examples are concrete, which each makes them simpler to grasp and prompts listeners to generate their very own explanations, contributing to a deeper degree of understanding.”


“One other strategy to producing higher-quality suggestions entails posing questions that focus on your weaknesses head-on. Comic and playwright Mike Birbiglia has colleagues evaluate his script after which asks, ‘When had been you bored?’”


“In 2015, researchers on the College of Southern California made an enchanting discovery. Not all errors activate the painful anterior insula. Typically they activate the pleasurable ventral striatum. What determines which space lights up? It seems that when errors are mixed with new studying, we expertise them as rewarding. The knowledge we acquire permits us to see new alternatives for avoiding errors and succeeding sooner or later.”


“Having nice style and a transparent imaginative and prescient are sturdy indicators of potential. Typically, merely recognizing that one thing will not be but nice and having the drive and tenacity to revise for so long as it takes is the distinction between an beginner and an expert.”

Have you ever learn Decoding Greatness by Ron Friedman? What did you suppose? Have anything to share? Let me know within the feedback under!