The One Surprising Habit of Effective Leaders

Stop Warming Up, Start Learning Up

You’ve seen it a thousand times. It happens before every game, at every level (and not just in sports, but also in music, theater, and dance). Before the game begins, the players loosen up. They get the juices flowing, they do a few moves, find their rhythm, and get comfortable. We call this process “warming …

How to Use Failure

Seeing as I’ve been absent from this space for while now — and I’ll be writing more often now that the new book is mostly done — I thought it might be good to write about failure. Beginning with a question:
What happens when we fail really badly at something? 
I’m not talking about almost-success or near …

Some news

After a long hiatus spent researching my new book, I’m back, and I plan to be posting here regularly in coming weeks. Thanks for your patience. The new book will be called The Culture Code: The Hidden Language of Successful Groups, and it will be published next fall (2017) by Random House.
It’s based on a …

The Power of High-Leverage Practice

A Quick Cure for Ineffective Practice

Practice sessions, like everything else, occur along a broad spectrum of effectiveness. At one end you have the perfect session where everything clicks, everyone is engaged and working productively.
Way, way over on the opposite end of the spectrum you have the Really Bad Practice. The sessions where no one is engaged, where no learning happens, …

Stop Doing Drills; Start Using Challenges

One mysterious day many years ago — maybe around the Industrial Revolution — coaches and teachers started using a particular word to describe repetitive learning activities. It was a vivid, mechanical word: implying pressure, precision, progress. And it caught on in a big way.
The word is “drill.”
“Drill” has become the single most common word we …

A Mental Trick from the World’s Best Team

By most measures, the New Zealand All-Blacks are the toughest, smartest, and most successful sports team on the planet. The rugby squad has won 86 percent their games during the modern era against some of the most ferocious competition in the world. Best of all, they begin each match with a crazy, terrifyingly cool haka …

The Best Locker-Room Speech Ever, and Why it Works

Five Simple Back-to-School Study Hacks for Kids