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Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence [Kindle Edition]

Daniel Goleman
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Produktbeschreibungen

Pressestimmen

Goleman appears to have the measure of his readers. In Focus, he cleverly employs short chapters littered with case studies to engage professionals swimming against a tide of electronic correspondence ... A highly readable manifesto for turning our smartphones off once in a while Financial Times From the best-selling author of Emotional Intelligence is this collection on attention, about our age of rampant distraction. Goleman says both focused attention and mind-wandering are necessary for well-balanced, insightful brains ... This is a riveting read Irish Examiner Focus certainly recounts some diverting anecdotes Ed Smith, The Times Sure to provoke oodles of debate about declining attention spans in the young Bookseller This book is about the importance of staying focused when distractions have never been greater ... Goleman's book ranges across psychology and sociology with a mix of anecdotes, research and personal observations Irish Times

Kurzbeschreibung

In Focus, Psychologist and journalist Daniel Goleman, author of the #1 international bestseller Emotional Intelligence, offers a groundbreaking look at today’s scarcest resource and the secret to high performance and fulfillment: attention.

Combining cutting-edge research with practical findings, Focus delves into the science of attention in all its varieties, presenting a long overdue discussion of this little-noticed and under-rated mental asset. In an era of unstoppable distractions, Goleman persuasively argues that now more than ever we must learn to sharpen focus if we are to survive in a complex world.

Goleman boils down attention research into a threesome: inner, other, and outer focus. Drawing on rich case studies from fields as diverse as competitive sports, education, the arts, and business, he shows why high-achievers need all three kinds of focus, and explains how those who rely on Smart Practices—mindfulness meditation, focused preparation and recovery, positive emotions and connections, and mental “prosthetics” that help them improve habits, add new skills, and sustain greatness—excel while others do not.


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4.0 von 5 Sternen
4.0 von 5 Sternen
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4.0 von 5 Sternen A nearly excellent book! ;) 27. Juni 2015
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
This book is very interesting and fast to read. Throughout the 250 pages, Goleman presents a lot of concepts from psychology and neuroscience and applies them to a wide range of topics. He explains the significance of attention and focus, empathy and self-awareness in the modern, highly information-loaded society. His thesis is that these skills basically behave like muscles which need to be trained and practiced constantly, in order to grow and improve. The writing style of the book is rather scientific. The author cites many relevant articles and studies which gives the impression that he really has a lot of experience and valuable knowledge in the field. Additionally, he tries to illustrate his thoughts and theories with a large variety of different people`s stories and other examples.
Overall, the book is recommendable to anyone who is interested in the topic in general and - after reading the book - i`d also say especially for people who are somehow related to medicine and psychology because the book also contains a lot of facts about neuroscience, explanations about the brains functional principles and an interesting part about how doctors should treat their patients.
Nevertheless, at some points, there is a slight overload of neuroscience jargon and information which is more or less dispensable for the average reader and partly makes it difficult to follow the thoughts of the author (might also be cause im not a native speaker, though ;)). In the end, the book gets a 4/5 rating from me. Already bought the next book from Goleman, looking forward to reading it! :)
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Fokus = Persistence 22. März 2015
Format:Taschenbuch
Nach amerikanischen Schreibstil hätte ich mir ein oberflächliches Buch über "Konzentration" erwartet.

Stattdessen liefert Daniel Goleman in seinem Buch die unterschiedlichsten Arten von "Konzentration", und auch gute Gründe, seinen Geist einmal baumeln zu lassen. Gut strukturiert, gut aufgearbeitet und auf jeden Fall sehr gut recherchiert. Kein Ratgeber im eigentlichen Sinne, sondern eine wissenschaftliche Auseinandersetzung mit dem Thema.
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3 von 11 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
Sehr interessant aber mir fehlt der rote Faden (Focus... ;-) ) etwas da der Autor von einem Thema zum anderen übergeht ohne wirklich erkennbare Kontinuität...
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.7 von 5 Sternen  228 Rezensionen
336 von 357 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen A surprisingly unfocused book about focus 8. August 2013
Von Mark P. McDonald - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
Daniel Goleman's writings about emotional intelligence (EQ) have become a central element of human resource and leadership development. That earlier work, its importance and wide scale adoption raised the bar for this book -- Focus. A bar that Goleman misses, not for the lack of ideas, but for the surprisingly disjointed approach and arguments of his chapters. Its a four star book - worth reading if you have the time, but its ok if you miss this one particularly if you have read other books about the brain, attention or social science. Here is why:

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
214 von 230 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Out Of Focus 7. August 2013
Von Big Data Paramedic - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
The book is well written with every chapter peppered with amusing examples and stories making it an interesting read. Most of us will agree that we are deluged by interruptions and distractions every step of the way. Be it the Email, or IM or text. Multiply by a factor of ten or hundred to see the interruptions a teenager faces. If any one had any doubt about the impact it is having on each one of us and the society as a whole, the book settles the issue.

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 Thinking, Fast and Slow and of course, the all time great The Road Less Traveled, Timeless Edition: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth.
92 von 100 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Informative, but lacks focus 5. August 2013
Von Aretae - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
I've been studying the topic of focus rather intently recently, trying to find new thinking in the area. I've read Pomodoro technique, Eat That Frog, was working on GTD, and so Goleman's book arriving just at the right time was a lovely surprise. The book starts with relatively laser-like focus on the eponymous title of the book. But after four or five chapters he drifts away. I loved the first section of the book. Really well done. But I came looking for a book on the topic of focus, and I found a book that riffed on several topics of interest to Goleman, many individually fascinating, but only peripherally related to the central idea of the book. In some books, that is a perfectly acceptable approach. With a book titled "Focus", that seems inexcusable.

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.
53 von 58 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen How to pay attention and why it matters 3. August 2013
Von Dennis Littrell - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
In part this book is aimed at helping readers become better at what they do. In this sense "Focus" is a sophisticated self-help book. Love what you do, do what you love and do it with focus and deliberate (and smart) practice and your life will be more rewarding.

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. Interesting is the idea that sociopaths experience what others are feeling in their frontal lobes instead of in the limbic system. What this can lead to is the sense that the suffering of others is merely academic or verbal, which may be why sociopaths don't really care how anybody feels but themselves.

In Part IV "The Bigger Context" Goleman shifts to the "Patterns, Systems, and Messes" of the entire planet and what we can do to better understand what is going on. He argues that we suffer from "system blindness" leading to an inability to deal effectively with "distant threats" such as the earth's rising temperature.

In Part V "Smart Practice" Goleman shows us how to get better not just by putting in the highly touted 10,000 hours of practice but by practicing with a deliberate goal of improvement augmented with feedback.

Part VI is about "The Well-Focused Leader" while Part VII "The Big Picture" looks to how we can focus on the future and make things better for our children and grandchildren.

Goleman is as always both upbeat and caring. He is readable and you get the sense that he really cares about being a positive force for good in the world. The material in the book is mostly new and cutting edge. Goleman has done the homework and the field work as both a psychologist and a journalist. This is a book that reveals what contemporary psychology is about in a personal, hands on sort of way.

Some quotables (page numbers are approximate since I am reading an uncorrected proof):

"The signs of mental fatigue, such as a drop in effectiveness and [a] rise in distractedness and irritability, signify that the mental effort needed to sustain focus has depleted the glucose that feeds neural energy." (56) If you pay attention you can actually feel low blood sugar. It may make you shake a little.

"Self-awareness, then, represents an essential focus, one that attunes us to the subtle murmurs within that can help guide our way through life." (63) As Goleman writes a couple of pages later, these are "somatic markers" which are "sensations in our body that tell us when a choice feels wrong or right." The term is from neuroscientist Antonio Damasio, whose books I highly recommend.

"In the mind's arena, willpower (a facet of `ego') represents a wrestling match between top and bottom systems. Willpower keeps us focused on our goals despite the tug of our impulses, passions, habits, and cravings. This cognitive control represents a `cool' mental system that makes an effort to pursue our goals in the face of our `hot' emotional reactions--quick, impulsive, and automatic." (88)

What Goleman doesn't emphasize about self-control or willpower is that if you don't have it you are not likely to get it. He cites the famous study by Stanford psychologist Walter Mischel with kids trying to delay their desire to eat a marshmallow in order to get two later. The kids that were able to delay gratification did better in life than those who could not. The salient point however is that in follow up studies (as Goleman reports on page 87) the "'high delayers' who resisted the marshmallow at age four were still able to delay gratification, but the `low delayers' were still poor at stifling impulse."

"The longer someone ignores an email before finally responding, the more relative social power that person has. Map these response times across an entire organization and you get a remarkably accurate chart of the actual social standing. The boss leaves emails unanswered for hours or days; those lower down respond within minutes." (124) Goleman adds that an analysis of Enron Corporation emails revealed exactly this pattern.

Finally here is what I thought was the most fascinating factoid in the book. Computers searched an enormous number of keystrokes on Google for flu-related words like "fever" or "ache" to create an algorithm to predict flu outbreaks. "The resulting algorithm identifies flu outbreaks within a day, compared with the two weeks it typically takes the CDC to notice hot spots for the disease based on reports from physicians." (133)

--Dennis Littrell, author of "The World Is Not as We Think It Is"
22 von 22 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
1.0 von 5 Sternen "FOCUS" lacks focus (A review of the audiobook) 25. Januar 2014
Von DWD's Reviews - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Published in 2013 by HarperCollins.
Read by the author, Daniel Goleman.
Duration: 8 hours, 8 minutes.

Dr. Daniel Goleman is best known as the author of Emotional Intelligence. In many ways this book is less of a book about the importance of focus and more of a sequel to Emotional Intelligence. It is also a anti-global warming manifesto, an education reform book, a self-help book for business leaders who want to be the real leaders in their offices and there is a little bit about how people are able to focus their attentions a bit more and get better results.

That, of course, is the problem with the book called Focus. The primary topic should be the ability of people to focus and some hints to help you focus better. The book starts out with exactly this...well, focus. We learn how a store detective is able to focus on a crowded room full of bustling and sort out the normal shopping behaviors from the actions of a shoplifter. Goleman discusses how the give-it-to-me-now world of Tweets, Instagram, instant video makes our attention span short (I knew this already - I teach high school and my kids are on their phones all day long and I see the results).

But, then Goleman leaves this area of personal focus largely unexplored and veers into the focus of whole groups of people and uses global warming as his "focus" for this section. I listened to this as an audiobook on CDs and this lasted for more than a CD - well more than an hour of discussion about a topic that is basically off topic. He throws in a suggestion that schools adopt a global warming science project that probably would not hit most state's standards, goes on about carbon footprints, promotes websites that track your carbon footprint, tells how various companies have shrunk their carbon footprints. None of this, not one bit, not one iota, not one word is described in the blurb on the back of the audiobook. I got bored and started skipping whole chunks of text. To his credit, Goleman does point out that the concept of a zero-emission car is a misnomer since electric cars are charged up by an electric grid that is powered largely by coal and coal plants do have emissions (and if you get your electric car charged by a solar panel, there are emissions associated with the manufacture of those panels).

Then we veer into the world of corporate leadership and the book becomes an extended discussion of what makes a good leader. Turn out it is mostly paying attention the the feelings and needs of those that are following you - this is where the book becomes a sequel to his book Emotional Intelligence with a special focus on CEOs. I felt like I was not the intended reader (or listener, in my case).

Speaking of being a listener, the audio portion of this experience needs to be discussed. The author, Daniel Goleman, read his own book. I am always leery of this because sometimes the author may have a perfectly fine speaking voice but just should not read an audiobook. It is more than a reading, it has to be a performance. Goleman does a lot of public speaking (his website has a place to contact his agent to schedule Dr. Goleman to speak to our corporate gig about leadership, emotional intelligence or maybe even global warming) but public speaking is not the same as reading an audiobook. I cannot hear gestures or hear the fact that the speaker moved across the stage or stood up to put more emphasis on a point in an audiobook. It all has to be done with your voice. Goleman's voice is okay, but not great. He does not quite drone, but it is not really lively either. It definitely took on a nagging tone during the extended global warming discussion. Even worse, there was a bass reverb echo while he spoke that I could not get rid of no matter how much I fiddled with the bass in my car. It sounded like that echo sound you hear when someone is speaking to you on the phone in a small, enclosed room. A professional audiobook should not have this problem.

Note: This book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I rate this audiobook 1 star out of 5. I was so relieved to finish this thing and it took me forever to listen to it.
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