Monday, July 07, 2008

The Dynamic Path - book review

The Dynamic Path

Access the Secrets of Champions to Achieve Greatness Through Mental Toughness, Inspired Leadership, and Personal Transformation
By James M. CitrinRodale, 2007 ISBN #978-1-59486-358-5

Ground-breaking tennis great Billie Jean King won 20 Wimbledon titles, 13 US Opens, the French and Australian Opens, and was ranked the world’s No. 1 woman tennis player seven times. She went on to do pioneering work on Title IX legislation for women’s access to athletics resources in schools and to found the Women’s Tennis Association and the grant-giving Women’s Sports Foundation.

Arnold Palmer racked up 61 PGA Tour victories, 19 international tournaments, 12 Champions (Senior PGA) wins and was the first person ever to earn one million dollars from golf. His legacy includes funding a radiation and chemotherapy treatment facility and a children’s trauma center, building a multi-divisional business empire and founding the Golf Channel.

New York Knicks basketball great Bill Bradley won Olympic gold for the U.S. plus two NBA championships and election to the Basketball Hall of Fame. Later on he became a three-term Senator and a serious contender for the Presidency of the United States.

Most champions fade away in time, believing that their best years are now behind them. Author James Citrin wondered what differentiates them from top level athletes who, having retired from active competition, just keep growing, achieving and giving back to society. Think of people like Arthur Ashe, Terry Bradshaw, Mia Hamm, Tiger Woods (someday), and Lance Armstrong. They all follow what his research identifies as the “dynamic path.”

While this is by no means the best book I’ve run across on leadership, Citrin does offer yet another perspective on the topic. The dynamic path these post-glory successes take can apply to anyone who starts out as a individual contributor and moves into a leadership role. If you are a sports fan, the examples and lessons from this book will particularly resonate with you. I am not a fan and they surely did with me.

Citrin’s dynamic path has three stages:
1. Champion in their chosen sport. Here, not surprisingly, their focus is on individual results (theirs).
2. Effective leader, where they shift their focus to collective results
3. Leaving a legacy that benefits others through enduring results


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