The problem with Nicholas Bate is he writes such good stuff that it’s impossible to do justice to the thoughts that arise as a result of pondering what he writes.
His recent book, How to Be Brilliant, is a little gem. It is little (literally) – A5 sized and 50 points across 34 pages – but it’s also a gem (figuratively). It’s the kind of book I want to dip into every day, to read a page and be reminded of the foundational concepts of doing great work – such as knowing what you’re on about, going the extra 1%, looking after your health, taking breaks during the day to recharge, etc.
Actually, on that last point, I’ve been onsite with clients a lot over the past couple of months. Working in their offices. Working alongside their people. I have had to remind myself that the way I work best will probably be different from how the client staff work, and have thus “run my own race” during the day – not theirs. I’ve got up to get water to drink. I’ve taken the 20 minute walk outside in the afternoon – for fresh air. I’ve done what I need to achieve maximum results for them, even when it hasn’t looked like everyone else. Nicholas writes about this, albeit not with my example above.
Back to Brilliant, by Nicholas. It’s a good read, a good reminder, a good cultivator of important ideas. If you don’t aspire to being brilliant, don’t read the book. But if you do … do.
In closing, the most important take-away from the book for me is this: Common brilliance is a set of learned habits, not a genetic endowment.