Tweaks and Overhauls

Roger Federer playing tennis

Only a small, select group of people can or wants to be an elite athlete like Roger Federer.  But everybody can learn from how he manages his own professional and personal development: through a series of tweaks rather than dramatic, game-changing overhauls. Federer has a coach, the former pro-tour player Paul Annacone, who topped out at No. 12 in the world in the 1980s.  Annacone describes his role in modest terms: “There’s no magic pill, no secret whispering with voodoo dolls going on.”  He knows the importance of keeping expectations in check.  “People tend to get sensationalistic about what’s going on,” he says, “ and I think it’s my job to kind of help keep that perspective.” When it comes to self-improvement, Federer has some obvious advantages, not the least of which are his enormous talent and an awesome track record of success.  Yet even for someone at the topContinue Reading >

Tweaks and Overhauls

Roger Federer playing tennis

Only a small, select group of people can or wants to be an elite athlete like Roger Federer.  But everybody can learn from how he manages his own professional and personal development: through a series of tweaks rather than dramatic, game-changing overhauls. Federer has a coach, the former pro-tour player Paul Annacone, who topped out at No. 12 in the world in the 1980s.  Annacone describes his role in modest terms: “There’s no magic pill, no secret whispering with voodoo dolls going on.”  He knows the importance of keeping expectations in check.  “People tend to get sensationalistic about what’s going on,” he says, “ and I think it’s my job to kind of help keep that perspective.” When it comes to self-improvement, Federer has some obvious advantages, not the least of which are his enormous talent and an awesome track record of success.  Yet even for someone at the topContinue Reading >

Practical Wisdom

viewer-eyes

New York Times columnist David Brooks is on to something. He believes you can find the answer to just about any question you have about human behavior. He is probably right. Today, if you know where to look, there is no reason to be flummoxed by all the seemingly irrational things your kids, co-workers, and customers do. You can gain lots of insight in your own surprising behavior, too Brooks suggests you visit Kevin Lewis’ blog, where you will find a “Lollapalooza” of useful social science research. Spend a few minutes browsing the studies summarized there, and you may gain some clarity on handling that difficult management or family situation you have been dreading. If this site fails to offer the guidance you seek, there are plenty of other easily accessible sources you can consult for help. Whether you are a parent, a spouse, a supervisor, or an entrepreneur, thisContinue Reading >

Friends

images

Here are four African-American men in their early twenties sitting at a Greensboro, North Carolina lunch counter on February 1, 1960.  Three of them have turned around to look at the camera.  They have expressions of wariness and mild interest on their faces.  The fourth man looks off to the side, as if distracted.  They are engaged in a courageous political act that will have dramatic consequences across a string of Southern U.S. cities. Their decision to sit down in the “Whites Only” section at the Woolworth’s lunch counter drew a small crowd.  By the end of the day, a photographer from the local paper was standing outside, along with a few others drawn by their curiosity. The four men came back the next day, accompanied by twenty-three other classmates from their local college.  And the day after that, the protest continuing, eighty supporters gathered at the restaurant.  And theContinue Reading >

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