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Customer Review

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very good read., November 25, 2010
This review is from: Clutch: Why Some People Excel Under Pressure and Others Don't (Hardcover)
If you pick up the new book "Clutch" thinking it is a how-to book, you'd only be partially right. Instead of giving readers step-by-step instructions on how to be a clutch player in life, Paul Sullivan shows readers examples of clutch players in life.

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:

1. Focus
2. Discipline
3. Adaptability
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
2. Overthinking
3. Overconfidence

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.

"Clutch" seems to lose its way a bit towards the end of the book when the author starts to dole out advice on how to be a clutch with your money and how to be a clutch in sports. Though given his background as the "Wealth Matters" columnist for the New York Times and the fact that he has interviewed legends like Tiger Woods, the chapters shouldn't be a surprise. Perhaps if he had coached his readers on how to be a clutch in business and at home as well, the addition would have made more sense.

Sullivan's book is still a very good read, and the lessons learned from both clutch players and those who have choked will stay with you a long time.

Recommended

Review by Emanuel (E.R.) Carpenter
Author of "Six-Figure Cold Calling"
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