This summer, a lovely mother of one of my clients bought me this extraordinary book entitled 'The Talent Code’ by Daniel Coyle. Maybe you’ve read it? She mentioned that it reminded her of the work we are doing at Kaizen. As soon as she said it had to do with cutting-edge neurology and firsthand research gathered from talent hotbeds including: soccer and baseball players, famous authors, musicians and extraordinary schools who turned inner city low income students into college grads, I was hooked.
As I worked my way through the book, I reflected on how we teach our students to be better and better. At Kaizen, we avoid the ‘your are born with natural intelligence and talent’ debate - it really is a circular argument of opinion that ends up going nowhere and in my experience, ends up with kids either feeling overly anxious to perform or hopeless to even try. After all, we have all met students that are ‘super smart’ and are even labelled and classified as ‘gifted and talented’ according to their IQ scores. Often, this labelling does not always equate to exceptional daily performance, but instead sits as a label: the potential to be a talented high performer. We have also all met students who have been diagnosed with various combinations of learning difficulties who feel invincible and determined to persevere to develop their talent. In other words, like you, I’ve witnessed ‘high IQers’ fail and ‘average IQers’ excel. Why?