Tony Schwartz of the Energy Project, Video of conference Leading@Google 2008

Check out all my posts on mentality, high performance and excellence in the welcome and index.

Google is a very modern enterprise. It is legendarily progressive and avant-garde in its relation with employees and the perks it makes available to them. Very smart people fight each other to work there because of pay, amenities, freedom and relevance of the work they get done. Not only do they take very good care of their own people, most of what they do is made absolutely transparent and accessible. And because of that, in this occasion we are benefiting with this talk Tony Schwartz delivered at Google in 2008 being openly available on YouTube.

I came to know of Tony Schwartz and the Energy Project because Jonathan Martínez Pallares, a good friend of mine, recommended their work to me. The Tony Schwartz we are writing about here is a USA citizen who has worked as a journalist, author, and most importantly is currently an expert in high performance and expertise. An expert on experts, and an expert on expertise himself. What is that supposed to mean? Expert on experts as he has worked with, studied, analyzed, followed and learned from top world performers: professional tennis players, professional violin players, race car drivers and so on. How cool is that? Going to Olympic athletes and top performers and identifying the features common to all of them to understand how someone makes himself an outstanding high performer. Expert in expertise, because Schwartz also knows and masters the theory and works of the researchers who have started out and are expanding the scientific field of high performance. In future posts, I’ll talk about K. Anders Ericsson and other notable experts in expertise and also further work by Tony Schwartz himself.

This conference presented to you is stuffed with facts and information. Everything is backed by scientific research and facts. It’s all actionable knowledge, to help guide your priorities and take better decisions.

This is a master lecture in how we humans function and it covers short term immediate performance as well as long term health, motivation and peak performance. It turns out that our short and long term capabilities are aligned and interdependent as would be expected. The conference mentions sarcopenia, which is the process that absent exercise deprives the body of muscle mass and capability as we age. Sarcopenia affects all kinds of mental and cognitive performance, just as physical exercise also helps maintain intellectual vigor.  The lecture mentions nutrition, and its linkage to performance and maintenance. It mentions the importance of renewal and rest in order to allow for the body’s natural organic cycles to keep our bodies functioning at their maximum. On every relevant aspect to human performance and functioning, Schwartz knows and delivers.

This is a conference that runs for an hour, but it would be really hard to find a better way to invest one hour of your time. Schwartz’s motto: – Manage your energy, not your time- aims to challenge and revolutionize our paradigms on how we manage and the performance we get out of ourselves. This is a blunt call to action, Schwartz delves into the details in this later conference from 2010 which is also indispensable viewing. The time constraint he faces hurries Schwartz somewhat into some fleeting misstatements, but he tries to stay light and fun throughout. His is definitely an argument to understand, experiment with, heed and to take guidance from.

Enjoy.

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