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Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence | [Daniel Goleman]

Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence

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.
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Publisher's Summary

In Focus, Psychologist and journalist Daniel Goleman, author of the #1 international best-seller 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.

©2013 Daniel Goleman (P)2013 HarperCollins Publishers

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.6 (132 )
5 star
 (33)
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3.5 (107 )
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Story
3.6 (108 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Daniel 11-17-13
    Daniel 11-17-13

    Educator, Guitarist.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    64
    ratings
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    60
    8
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    "Don't let the authors narrate their own books!"

    This is an important topic addressed by the Grandfather of Social and Emotional Intelligence and Learning. However, there was an important problem.

    The decision to have Dr. Goleman narrate his own text was not helpful. Although a journalist, he's clearly no sort of performer, and has no understanding of how to use his voice appropriately. His volume trailed off occassionally, or he rushed through sentences. I notice this often when authors narrate their own works. Perhaps it's because they are so familiar with their work, they forget that the rest of us are not. Most bothersome, though, was his tendency to whisper at the end of a sentence, as if to emphasize his point. We often do this when speaking, but it has no place in an audiobook performance. I found myself "rewinding" the book again and again to catch what seemed to be an important phase, and eventually just gave up and carried on with the book, ultimately missing what seemed to be important ideas. So, a note to Audible's producers: unless the author is an experienced performer, don't let them narrate! Also, he butchered the pronunciation of bestselling psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's name, which he shouldn't have done if he's connected in the field.

    Nonetheless, Dr. Goleman's analysis of our attention to outer, inner, and other types was very insightful. It's particularly helpful to teachers (like me) who are interested in helping kids. I'm looking forward to watching some of his supplamental videos on the topic.

    24 of 26 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ernest Newton, NJ, United States 11-03-13
    Ernest Newton, NJ, United States 11-03-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
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    65
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    "Too much preaching"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    No. The book had too much information that did not deal with the topic I was expecting from the book description.


    Would you recommend Focus to your friends? Why or why not?

    No. Same reason as the last answer. Not enough information on the topic.


    What does Daniel Goleman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    His voice is nice, however too low/Quite. I just got a new phone and headset, the volume does not go up as high as my previous equipment. I had difficulty listening when there was any noise in my surroundings. I do have some hearing loss. He did a nice job reading and has a pleasant voice. I just do not like being limited that much on where I can listen to the book.


    Was Focus worth the listening time?

    I was expecting to hear about issues with focus/attention and how to help improve this area myself. There was very little practical recommendations for personal improvement. What I did get was a lecture on global warming, CO2 and climate change. Twice I actually went back into the Audible app to see if I had selected the wrong book to play. If the publishers summary was accurate I would have never bought this book. I don't want to discuss the pros and cons of the climate issue. I wanted a self help book to improve attention. I am an Independent and am sick of listening to democrats and republicans lie and spin the truth to fill their pockets with money or gain more power. This author on several occasions used republicans as bad examples to illustrate his point. Unfortunately on several occasions he used biased information to analyze his example. Several times he could have used president Obama or democrats to illustrate his point, but he would not say anything negative about them. As I said earlier, I am an Independent and am sick of this behavior from both major parties. If an author is going to be biased with his examples, when can I trust him. Some of the book reminded me of listening to some biased reporting on what we call our "news". If you want to improve your focus and attention look for another book.


    16 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew D. Styers Oklahoma 11-15-13
    Matthew D. Styers Oklahoma 11-15-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
    ratings
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    9
    2
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    "Didn't Make It Very Far..."
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    To be fair, I didn't make it all that far into into Focus. Goleman opens the book with a lengthy diatribe on "today's youth" and how all the ding-dang social media and the new-fangled contraptions are ruining their brains – essentially the sort of "back in my day" argument you can get for free at your local barber shop or assisted living center.

    After skipping forward to subsequent chapters, it became clear that Goleman is intent on shaming those who have embraced technology and its faster pace of information flow than providing any sort of real insight or instruction into managing and leveraging it.

    I'm not terribly interested in reminiscing about an obsolete lifestyle or being told that accepting the advantages of progress is going to rot my brain or make me somehow emotionally retarded. A discussion of how to better focus by embracing available tools rather than running away from them would have been much more welcomed.


    What was most disappointing about Daniel Goleman’s story?

    Goleman's general sentiment toward what he broadly generalized as "distractions" was disheartening to say the least. I found the strength of his argument in this regard reductive, weak, and somewhat pejorative.


    What about Daniel Goleman’s performance did you like?

    There was nothing glaringly bad about his narration.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Focus?

    Most of it? Or perhaps everything that made him sound like a man bitterly holding onto the final vestiges of a "golden era" that never truly existed by belittling younger generations.


    15 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rod Morton, IL, United States 11-06-13
    Rod Morton, IL, United States 11-06-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
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    "Very little about focus and mostly political opini"
    What disappointed you about Focus?

    Three quarters of the content was the author's political agenda. I can not emphasize this enough. If you want to read about global warming and the importance of the redistribution of wealth, this is the book for you. This book was a little about the importance of focus, but had zero content about improvement strategies.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Not this guy. Not ever again.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    ego


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment and disgust


    Any additional comments?

    This book has little to do with focus.

    14 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shahram Khorsand Karlstad, wermland Sweden 02-21-14
    Shahram Khorsand Karlstad, wermland Sweden 02-21-14 Member Since 2012

    Shahram Khorsand

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "If you have read Pink & Kahneman, don't read this"
    What would have made Focus better?

    very few new ideas. Constantly commenting where in the brain different things happen doesn't make the ideas more scientific.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Daniel Goleman’s performances?

    no


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    repetition of what you have read in other books sometimes gets the ideas to stick.


    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andre 09-15-14
    Andre 09-15-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Bom conteúdo, mas a narração é terrível"
    What did you like best about Focus? What did you like least?

    O livro é bem interessante, com conceitos atuais sobre a importância do foco em diversas áreas da vida.


    What didn’t you like about Daniel Goleman’s performance?

    Demorei muito para terminar de ouvir o livro porque sua narração é terrível!


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Se fosse um documentário, certamente.


    Any additional comments?

    O Daniel Goleman deve se focar no conteúdo do livro, não na narração.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alex Limon Monterrey, NL Mexico 07-29-14
    Alex Limon Monterrey, NL Mexico 07-29-14 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
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    Story
    "Good subject, poor audio performance"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Yes, but to read, not to listen.


    Were the concepts of this book easy to follow, or were they too technical?

    Little technical, that is ok. Very good content and helpful.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    His voice tone is not clear. My mother thounge is not english but I understand pretty well. In this audiobook it was hard for me to understand, it was not very clear. Please suggest Mr. Goleman to contract a professional locutor (reader?).


    Do you think Focus needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Don't know yet


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rob Neshanic Station, NJ, United States 05-04-14
    Rob Neshanic Station, NJ, United States 05-04-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    3
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    "Interesting book but the sound echoes"
    Would you listen to Focus again? Why?

    Why would I read it again, with so many other books to read.

    The recording is very weak. It sounds like they recorded it in a tile bathroom.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It is not a story. It is a book that explores research on focus and social emotional learning.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    tom NASHVILLE, TN, United States 04-22-14
    tom NASHVILLE, TN, United States 04-22-14 Member Since 2012

    Marketing maven for sustainable construction!

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Focus and development of learning skills in middle"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Focus to be better than the print version?

    Agnostic really but audio books are more suitable to my schedule


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Focus?

    Parts relating to smart practices - mindfulness meditation, focused preparation and recovery, positive emotions and connections


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Couldn't possibly


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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