31 May 2021

Tuesday’s Titles with Nicola O’Neill June 2021

The Gold Mine Effect: Crack the Secrets of High Performance

by Rasmus Ankersen

I picked up this book to do the review and found myself reading it again as I cannot tire of hearing about the Gold Mines. Rasmus describes them as small geographically defined locations that are pumping out top performers in an assembly line fashion. This book follows his adventures as he travelled around the world to visit six Gold Mines: from a village in Ethiopia where the world best middle-distance runners are raised, to Brazil where a vastly disproportionate number of the world’s top football players originated from.

He lists top performers as people who:

  • Must perform under conditions of intense pressure
  • Must understand that numbers drive everything
  • Are constantly under pressure from ambitious new competitors from all over the world
  • Realise that last year’s record becomes next year’s baseline
  • Constantly grow and reinvents themselves to stay on top
  • Are subject to brutal accountability, you win, or you lose, there is nothing in between
  • Must have the sustainable drive, or achieving performance when goals become difficult

He gives excellent examples of how the coaching and learning from the Gold Mines can be transferred into the organisational context. I particularly like his explanation of “Talent shouts” – a can’t miss athlete and a “Talent whisper” – someone who possesses tremendous potential but may go unnoticed as their talent may not be apparent in their performance at the time.

Enjoy the read. It is a page-turner.

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