This is a book summary I have written, by chapter, of an excellent peak performance book “Harvard Business Review on Bringing Your Whole Self to Work”.

hbr bringing your whole self to work

Chapter 1: Why smart people underperform
Attention deficit trait is epidemic in organizations. Unlike ADD, ADT springs entirely from environmental factors, such as overloading information & orders. Frontal lobe is in charge of complex planning, fluid learning, decision making and uniquely human managerial tasks. Lower region of the brain is in charge of survival and it is primitive, it fires signals of anger, panic and irritability. When under constant stress, the lower region takes control, intelligent dims, impulse, anger and black-and-white thinking takes over. Ways to manage ADT includes:

  • Have adequate sleep
  • Eat complex carbohydrates (whole grains, vegetables & fruits) and Omega-3 fatty acid supplements
  • Set aside a “think time” that is free from emails, calls and other distractions

Chapter 2: The human moment at work
The lack of human contact can result in isolation. Human moment has two prerequisites: (1) Physical Presence; (2) Emotional & Intellectual Attention. Regular human moments can stimulate creative thinking, team cohesiveness. The lack of human moment in electronic communications can lead to oversensitivity, self doubt, toxic paranoia, ambiguity and boorishness. Anecdotal evidence also favors the need for human moments: scientists hypothesize that face to face contact stimulates two important transmitters: dopamine (enhances attention & pleasure) and serotonin (reduces fear).

Chapter 3: The making of corporate athletes
Ways to build capacity:
Physical capacity: Exercise, manage glucose level by eating small meals several times a day
Emotional capacity: Music can have a huge physiological and emotional effect on human. Conciously create the look on the outside that you want to feel inside. Develop close relationships with others also enhance productivity at work.
Mental capacity: Visualization.
Spiritual capacity: Find deep purpose.


1 Comment so far

  1. gregory wolbers on September 25, 2009 11:20 am

    Great Job!

    I read 3-4 book summaries a day. I download or order the best one to read cover to cover. This is the Bubba Smith approach. If you are interested in what that is let me know.


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