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Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence Hardcover – October 8, 2013
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“With compelling insights, wide-ranging examples, and cutting-edge science, Daniel Goleman makes the convincing case that the ability to focus is a key to excellence, in both our personal and professional lives-and also explains how to boost that focus.” (Gretchen Rubin, bestselling author of The Happiness Project)
“Daniel Goleman has written the perfect prescription for today’s deficit of attention in business and life....Highly recommended!” (Chip Conley, founder of Joie de Vivre Hospitality and author of Peak and Emotional Equations)
“Goleman has provided a highly readable manifesto for turning our smartphones off once in a while.” (Financial Times)
“I’ve been studying attention for more than a decade, but I learned something new on every page of Focus. It is a powerful guide for taking control of our attention and will lead you to nothing less than taking control of your life.” (Tony Schwartz, author of The Power of Full Engagement and CEO of The Energy Project)
“Attention is so important that ordinary people take it for granted, while scientists subject it to microanalysis. Steering deftly between these extremes, Dan Goleman synthesizes what is known and what we need to know.” (Howard Gardner, John H. and Elisabeth A. Hobbs Professor of Cognitionand Education at the Harvard Graduate School of EducationHoward Garnder, John H. and Elizabeth A. Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Educati)
Top Customer Reviews
This book covers ground that others have already written about and explained. From the Stamford Marshmallow study to discussions about how the internet is rotting your brain, Goleman breaks little new ground nor offers really new advice or insight. If you have read other books about these subjects than take a pass as Goleman is late to the game.
There is little in the way of an actionable idea or framework in focus, beyond talking about the way the brain works top down or bottom-up. Unlike EQ, there is not simple way to practice or adoption. Sorry but there is no focus quotient or FQ -- probably for good reason -- but this is a major gap.
The overall book's organizations is more of a collection separate essays -- a compendium rather than a book which require great focus.
Sorry, this is a book that is worth reading, but not one worth putting to the top of your list -- like EQ
But wait, how do I increase my focus ?
Do I do Yoga? . How do I effectively increase my focus while juggling between office work, Kids , pickup and drop off at school, Homework, Baseball,Watching NBA, America's Got Talent, shopping for Milk . Yes, superficial advice in the book like "walk in the nature" are good but they are not silver bullets. (Smart games > oh yeah, my kid will love it to improve Focus as he spends hours on it) The entire book reflects one side of the coin with no real solutions to improve focus. There are chapters on "Well focused Leader" .. It is a fact that the leaders get all the help, best training programs with or without reading the book...It is a common man like you and me who needs help .
The book would be a 4 star if it was written by anyone other than Goleman,but the benchmark set by him for himself in Emotional Intelligence: 10th Anniversary Edition makes me give this book three stars. Well, don't be disappointed. Do yourself a favor by reading other master pieces like ...Read more ›
I loved some other parts of the book. He talks better than I've ever heard someone talk about the 4-sigma empaths. He points out the limitations in the 10,000 hour rule around practice, and discusses eduation issues well. He discusses leadership. And he conlcueds by annoyingly riffing on economically illiterate sustainability issues at the end of the book.
He also hits a bunch of standard psychology topics, as with most modern popular psychology books, which becomes annoying when you've read the rest of them.
The first few chapters were clear and insightful enough to give the book 5 stars, had it continued as it was. If it had had just one digression into a topic like hyper-emotionally intelligent folks...it would also have been worth 5 stars. But the comprehensive lack of focus, and the annoying obligatory environmental bits at the end push it down to 3.5 stars.
In a larger sense this book is about saving the planet from the catastrophic threat of systems breakdown with reference to pollution, soil depletion and erosion, habitat destruction, global warming, etc.
The book is organized into seven parts. In the first, "The Anatomy of Attention," Goleman presents his ideas about "top-down" and "bottom up" drivers of behavior and how focus leads to "flow" which is "full absorption" in what we do. He makes a distinction between our attention being "hijacked" which leads to negative outcomes and our attention being deliberately allowed to drift, which leads to creative ideas. We find "balance" when we live our lives in harmony with periods of intense focus (but without undue stress) followed by periods of creative drift.
Goleman sees bottom-up drivers as coming from our more primitive brain modules and top down drivers as coming from the so-called higher brain modules such as the neocortex. These two systems must work in harmony for us to be successful and for us to be able to find and manage sustainable systems for the planet.
In Part II "Self-Aware" Goleman guides the reader toward seeing ourselves as others see us and gives a "recipe for self-control."
Part III "Reading Others" is mainly about what Goleman calls "The Empathy Triad," that is, three ways of being empathetic. Empathy comes from within ourselves and is partly the result of mirror neurons which allow us to feel what others are feeling.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Paradoxically, the content is highly unfocussed. A hotchpotch of emotional intelligence information, thrown together to sell another book. Read morePublished 7 days ago by Floccinaucinihilipilification
Sounded like a fascinating topic because my own minor success are from a combination of ability to have extreme concentration at times, and wide open mental wandering at others. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Tom Cantlon
One would think that a book about focus would come about maintaining full attention through a complex task. Instead, it goes on to environment awareness, leadership and EQ. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Najla
Very interesting, lots of examples and very important suggestionsPublished 2 months ago by begoña urien
It is okay. If had to do over would not purchase. Check for it at a local library.Published 2 months ago by FlamingHart 63
Despite its title, the writing is scatterbrained. I found I needed to take notes to remember points made by the author, which I do not need to do for better organized books. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Reader