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Decoding Greatness

How the Best in the World Reverse Engineer Success

Read by Ron Friedman

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About The Book

NATIONAL BESTSELLER

For readers of Atomic Habits, Deep Work, and Peak comes a game-changing approach to mastering new skills and succeeding faster.

For generations, we’ve been taught there are two ways to succeed—either from talent or practice. In Decoding Greatness, award-winning social psychologist Ron Friedman illuminates a powerful third path—one that has quietly launched icons in a wide range of fields, from artists, writers, and chefs, to athletes, inventors, and entrepreneurs: reverse engineering.

To reverse engineer is to look beyond what is evident on the surface and find a hidden structure. It’s the ability to taste an intoxicating dish and deduce its recipe, to listen to a beautiful song and discern its chord progression, to watch a horror film and grasp its narrative arc.

Using eye-opening examples of top performers—from Agatha Christie to Andy Warhol, Barack Obama to Serena Williams—and groundbreaking research on pattern recognition, skill acquisition, and creative genius, Friedman reveals the staggering power of reverse engineering and teaches you how to harness this vital skill for yourself.

You’ll learn how to take apart models you admire, pinpoint precisely what makes them work, and apply that knowledge to develop novel ideas, methods, and products that are uniquely your own. Along the way, you’ll meet the culinary detective who exposes top-secret recipes, the burglar who can visit a bank and recreate its blueprints, and the celebrated artist who reverse engineered his way to the top of his profession without any formal education.

You don’t have to be a genius to achieve greatness, but you do need a method for getting there. Bursting with unforgettable stories and actionable strategies, Decoding Greatness is an indispensable guide to learning from the best, improving your skills, and sparking breakthrough ideas.

About The Author

Avi Pryntz-Nadworny

Ron Friedman, PhD, is an award-winning psychologist and the founder of ignite80, a learning and development company that teaches leaders science-based strategies for building high-performing teams. His research has appeared on NPR, in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Globe and Mail (Toronto), The Guardian, Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, and Psychology Today. He is the author of The Best Place to Work, an Inc. Magazine Best Business Book of the Year, and Decoding Greatness. He lives in Pittsford, New York.

About The Reader

Avi Pryntz-Nadworny

Ron Friedman, PhD, is an award-winning psychologist and the founder of ignite80, a learning and development company that teaches leaders science-based strategies for building high-performing teams. His research has appeared on NPR, in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Globe and Mail (Toronto), The Guardian, Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, and Psychology Today. He is the author of The Best Place to Work, an Inc. Magazine Best Business Book of the Year, and Decoding Greatness. He lives in Pittsford, New York.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio (June 15, 2021)
  • Runtime: 8 hours and 1 minute
  • ISBN13: 9781797125107

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Raves and Reviews

"Author/narrator Ron Friedman draws from music, cuisine, writing, sports, politics, art, and business to decode success stories and draw signifcant lessons from them. Listeners are provided with actionable tools to apply to their own circumstances, including a pdf with outlines of steps referred to in the audiobook. Friedman's fast-paced, enthusiastic narration will keep listeners totally engaged throughout this treasure trove of "aha moments." Listeners might conclude that in writing and performing this outstanding audiobook, Friedman demonstrates the very tools he recommends."

– AudioFile Magazine

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