In the event you appreciated 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 solution to attain this brass ring that’s way more dependable, environment friendly, and efficient.

Particularly, the premise of Decoding Greatness is that we are able to study quite a bit about obtain greatness by reverse engineering the good accomplishments of others to find the important thing mindsets, methods, and ways they used to realize such feats.

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

  1. It’s contemporary. Many books within the style focus on how mindset, expertise, perseverance, grit, follow, and so on. usually relate to success after which encourage us to determine apply them to our chosen endeavors, however that is typically troublesome to do. Friedman, however, believes {that a} simpler solution to increase our skills is to systematically analyze examples of the kind of success we need to obtain after which develop extremely tailor-made progress methods based mostly 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 apply them to our circumstances and targets, Friedman crammed the e book with workout routines for incorporating his teachings into our plans, methods, and ways.
  4. It’s simple to learn. It’s written in a transparent and conversational type that makes the fabric simply accessible.

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

My Prime 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 widely aware of a minor variation.”


“What distinguishes, I believe, 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 figuring out what is nice in an goal method—as a result of there’s nothing goal to level you, there’s nothing to seek advice from out on the planet—however figuring out what it’s that you just your self reply to after which making the leap of religion that if you happen to reply strongly to one thing, there will probably be folks on the planet 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 facet. Surprisingly, full-time dedication to a enterprise enterprise didn’t become the profitable technique. Cautious workers had been considerably extra more likely to succeed. Why? As a result of they possessed the monetary stability to succeed in extra affected person, strategic choices—a luxurious not out there to these whose livelihood was continually on the road.”


“Statement alone will not be sufficient for schooling, Dewey believed. Information solely comes about after we replicate on our experiences, revise our beliefs, and check our assumptions.”


“A vital mistake to keep away from anytime you’re working to develop a talent is to observe the identical follow 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 specialists, three classes of questions are price contemplating: journey questions, course of questions, and discovery questions.

“Journey questions are designed to realize two goals: unearth the specialists’ 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 specialists’ method by drilling down on the particular steps they apply to deliver their work to life. 

. . .

“Lastly, discovery questions focus specialists on their preliminary expectations and invite them to check these naive beliefs with what they know immediately. By directing specialists’ consideration to sudden revelations, you get them fascinated about helpful insights they didn’t possess on the very starting, again once 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 understand and prompts listeners to generate their very own explanations, contributing to a deeper degree of understanding.”


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


“In 2015, researchers on the College of Southern California made a captivating 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 achieve 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 newbie and an expert.”

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