Recently I was encouraged to read Primed to Perform by Neel Doshi, and Lindsay McGregor, and I could not have been more delighted. The style of writing fits precisely with my learning style of essentially teaching by example. The case studies and examples are compelling and the data yields tremendous value that I found to be directly and immediately applicable to my daily work life; and to a lesser extent also with how to help my kids be more successful too.

I myself found tremendous value in the anecdotes and studies reviewed by the author covering topics like attribution bias, direct vs. indirect motivators, total motivation (“tomo”) and many others.

Most importantly, Primed to Perform teaches you how to build great cultures using a systematic and sustainable approach—whether you’re part of a five-person team, a school, a nonprofit or a mega-institution. The result: higher sales, more loyal customers, and more passionate employees.

What I found to be perhaps the most applicable for software teams is the distinct and clear difference between tactical and adaptive performance coupled with the underlying science of how “play, purpose, and potential strengthen adaptive performance while emotional pressure, economic pressure and inertia weaken it.” Understanding the two well and how to play the role of “fire watcher” is something I intend to work aggressively on as a result of this reading.

If you’ve ever led a team, or had any aspiration to become a leader in any capacity this should be required reading!


Skip the Gatekeeper – Jake Litwicki · July 19, 2018 at 3:43 pm

[…] because they are enabled to complete their work more rapidly and efficiently, giving them far more purpose and play which leads to a higher ToMo; and the gains go on and […]

How To Win Friends And Influence People - Jake Litwicki · October 31, 2019 at 11:09 am

[…] poorly, and more scientifically relevant thought leaders have produced more meaningful science; Primed to Perform for […]

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