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Clutch: Why Some People Excel Under Pressure and Other Don't Hardcover – Bargain Price, September 2, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"Mr. Sullivan has sallied forth with notepad and pen in hand to tell individual stories... [He] takes his examples from sports, business, the military and the stage. He explains right away that there are five traits that help people pull off a clutch performance: focus; discipline, adaptability, presence (i.e., actual involvement in the task at hand), and fear and desire. "
-Wall Street Journal
"In ...Clutch, Paul Sullivan, a columnist for The New York Times, examines strategies essential for remaining composed when the pressure's on.... Anyone who feels that they tend to lose their confidence when the stakes are high can glean something from this analysis."
"If you can't perform well under pressure, then you can't really perform well. Paul Sullivan explains very readably how great performers meet the challenge. Chokers everywhere-which means all of us, in some part of our lives-owe him thanks."
-Geoff Colvin, author of Talent Is Overrated
"In Clutch Paul Sullivan has captured the essence of what makes stars superstars. Concise, engaging, and invaluable. A brilliant book with lessons on how to excel in whatever you do both professionally and personally."
-Scott R. Singer, author of How to Hit a Curveball: Confront and Overcome the Unexpected in Business
"In Clutch, Paul Sullivan-one of the best young journalists at work in this country-shows us what really effective people do in situations where they must perform well, even gracefully, under pressure. His interviews with people in clutch situations are never less than thoroughly entertaining. Sullivan has a keen eye for what matters, and this wise book deserves a large audience."
-Jay Parini, author of The Last Station
Top Customer Reviews
To discuss some of these "personal" traits, Sullivan focuses on examples, that are in my opinion, macro-events that took significant amount of time and a series of decisions - failure of the US auto industry, financial crisis etc. To attribute these macroevents to a specific decision (or a subset) seems overly simplistic given the plethora of books written on these very topics. Even earlier examples such as those focusing on successful litigator are incomplete since Sullivan talks only about the cases they won. It is this choice of narration and examples (that comes across as cherry-picked), the lack of any meaningful citations or detailed notes that make this book not attain its potential. The last segment - on how to be clutch - flattered to deceive without any new advice; unless you consider the need to accept, psychologically adjust, prioritize, etc as novel insights. In the end, this reads more like a motivational book on decision making than gaining any significant insights. A recent book, Choke: What the Secrets of the Brain Reveal About Getting It Right When You Have To, despite its sometimes tangential topics, does a remarkably better job, at least from a researcher's viewpoint.
The author defines clutch as doing what you normally do well but under pressure. According to Sullivan, there are five key areas of determining if a person is clutch. They are:
4. Being present (and blocking out everything else)
5. Using fear and desire to drive for success
On the other end of the spectrum is choking, of which Sullivan devotes the second portion of the book. He believes there are three reasons people choke, which are:
1. The inability to take responsibility for your actions
Instead of playing psychologist, Sullivan shares stories of those proven to be clutch players, such as a Navy Seal who had to adapt during wartime in order to win, a marketing genius who used his fear of leaving his family poor to start a profitable advertising agency, and a successful litigator who used focus to become one of the best attorneys in the United States.
And just like he shares stories of clutch players, he also considers stories of those who've choked, including a well-known name in sports whose overconfidence made him great during the regular season but insignificant when it counted most during The Playoffs, and a prideful leader at one of the Big-Three auto industries who choked while a newcomer thrived in the same environment.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book was a great read and had more than the usual take aways. It's context and outline for decision making and the way we focus on prioritization were critical in helping me... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Clayton Wood
This book is helpful if you have an athlete who has a hard time performing because of anxiety. Great for helping his/her mental game.Published on March 16, 2014 by momof3and3
This was good book. It gave great insight to what clutch is. its a really good book
I recommend everyone to buy it.
ANYONE who works in business under pressure situations MUST read this book. The essence of this book is simple and straightforward -- in business we often must do things we do... Read morePublished on May 25, 2013 by M. Polka
I am most of the way through this book but I have found it to be a great read. Great insight for anyone who needs to perform under pressurePublished on February 11, 2013 by Mark
Sometimes it's best for writers of business books to wait before using examples torn from today's headlines. Read morePublished on June 28, 2012 by Christopher B. Martin
I wanted to enjoy and learn from this book but once I finished it, it left me confused and disappointed. Read morePublished on May 14, 2012 by Robert Kirk