Posts filed as “Excellence”

Talent is cheaper than table salt

“Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.” – Stephen King, Author Carol Dweck led a fascinating study back in 1998 in which she and her colleagues worked with four hundred 5th graders and gave them a series of tests, mostly puzzles,…

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A group of all-stars does not make a team

They were unbeatable, invincible. The supergroup, the dream team. There must be thousands of ten year old boys in New England that play soccer. About forty of the best players from the very best teams were hand-picked to be evaluated by the best coaches. Of those top forty, twenty-eight were cut. They picked twelve players…

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Five Strategies for Accelerated Learning

Bobby Brown is one of the few freestyle skiers on the planet who can execute a switch double misty 1440, a fantastic move that entails skiing backwards off a ramp, spinning sideways in the air three times while holding one ski, and landing backwards. It’s an astonishing feat to watch—and a maneuver that was totally…

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It’s not about who, but how you do it

I don’t believe in failure. It is not failure if you enjoyed the process.” – Oprah Winfrey Drummer Hoff was one of my favorite childhood books. It’s a story about people who, in turn, provide pieces of a cannon (“Sergeant Chowder brought the powder, Corporal Farrell brought the barrel…”), and then finally it’s Drummer Hoff…

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You have great taste. And it’s killing your work.

What’s your most enjoyable pop music out there today? Mumford & Sons? The Lumineers? Carly Rae Jepsen? Please. Get that weak sauce out of here. For ten minutes of toe-tappin, wide grinnin joy, try Andrea Perry. She has been quietly producing inspiring music in her home studio in Austin TX, and she has the catchiest…

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There it is again. Weird works.

In 1968 Dick Fosbury astonished the world at the Mexico City Olympic Games by clearing 7′ 4″ 1/4 inches in the high jump. His efforts before 80,000 people were an aberration – an anomaly in track and field events. Dick was a gangly 6’3″ athlete who hadn’t excelled at any event in track and field…

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Fake It Until You Become It

“The signature of mediocrity is chronic inconsistency.” – Jim Collins Earlier this week I met Amy Cuddy. If you’re not familiar, she has a signature expression in her talk: “fake it until you become it.” Moving the discussion beyond “fake it ’til you make it”, she means to convey that whenever we try something new,…

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Go. Conceive and Deliver Art

In 1943, Richard James was a naval engineer trying to develop a meter designed to monitor horsepower on naval battleships. Richard was working with different types of tension springs when one of the springs fell to the ground. And after it fell to the ground, it kept moving as if stepping away. Astonished and delighted…

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Where’s Your Woodshed?

Woodshedding is an old jazz expression – it means to go deep in isolation to build your chops, get your groove on, master your instrument. As the legend goes, in 1937, when he was only 17 years old, young Charlie Parker – before he became the great “Bird” Parker – would go down to the…

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Day-glo 80’s ski tricks, Border Smashers, and Dinner Rolls

Before Roger Bannister broke the four minute mile, a group of runners had been working on it for a decade and many, including scientists, considered the four minute barrier physically impossible. But once the world saw Roger do it in May of 1954, within weeks his record 3:59 was beaten by John Landy of Australia….

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