Steven Pressfield's THE LION'S GATE now available in paperback.

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What It Takes

What It Takes

What Kind of Pitcher Are You?

By Callie Oettinger | Published: July 3, 2015

What kind of pitcher are you?

I’ve spent the past week thinking about a comment Steve made in an interview and a comment my son’s baseball coach made during a practice.

At the 20 minute mark in the interview, August Cole asked Steve what happens when he doesn’t do the work. Steve replied:

“I get symptoms . . . I’ll start to get in trouble . . . When you don’t do your work, vices start to creep into your life—and they get worse and worse and worse. They start out with potato chips and wind up with crack smoking or something like that.”

During the baseball practice, Coach asked my son if he knew why so many errors occurred after a pitcher threw consecutive balls. The answer? The players in the field are left “flat-footed”—so used to the slow pace of having the opposing players at bat walk to first base because the pitcher threw them four balls, rather than the faster pace of the opposing players hitting the balls into the infield or outfield because the pitcher was throwing strikes, which the other team either 1) missed or 2) hit. The slow pace causes the players in the field to relax, to lose their form, their awareness, so they aren’t ready when an opposing player at bat fires a ball in their direction.

The baseball example followed the interview example, and got me thinking about quality of work, rather than degrees of work—it sent me into the place between no and yes, black and white, dark and light.

We spend a lot of time on this site talking about doing the work. You’re either doing the work or you’re not doing the work, right?

If doing the work is defined as doing the things that will help you reach your goals, how is not doing the work defined? What is the opposite of doing the work? Is it so black and white, dark and light? Is the animated version of not doing the work an image of a sloth eating potato chips, on his way to smoking crack, or is it the woman toiling over her work, but not at the level needed to break out, never supercharging her engine.

In baseball, the pitcher throwing balls vs strikes is doing his work, right? His job is to pitch—and whether he’s throwing balls or strikes, he’s pitching, which means he’s doing his work. But, does that mean he’s doing his job? His job is to pitch, but his job also is to pitch strikes, to be the best pitcher so the other team doesn’t advance.

How do you do that? (more…)

Posted in What It Takes
21 Comments

What It Takes

What It Takes

How NOT to Tell a Story

By Shawn Coyne | Published: June 26, 2015

[Join www.storygrid.com to read more of Shawn’s Stuff]

A full page advertisement on Page 7 of the Sunday June 21, 2015 edition of The New York Times—in the main news section a full page requires 126 column inches at a retail price of $1,230 per inch ($154,980)—ran as follows:

Inanity as Philosophy

Dear Food Leaders,

I’ve had lots of successful folks give me advice about you.  Advice on whether to work with you (be wary), on how to grow with you (go slow)—and the good we can do with you (very little).

We built a movement, and the fastest-growing food company on earth, around intentionally ignoring all of it.

We started Hampton Creek because we believe in the goodness of people—in the goodness of you.  And you, the same folks who created a food system that often violates your own values, have validated what all of us knew:  It turns out that when you create a path that makes it easy for good people to do good things—they will do it.

(more…)

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15 Comments

What It Takes

What It Takes

The Lion’s Gate Book Giveaways After-Action Report

By Callie Oettinger | Published: June 19, 2015

Hitting the bottom of the box of The Lion's Gate.

Over the past month we’ve run a few giveaways. The following is some of what we’ve observed along the way.

200 Copy Giveaway

June 3, Steve announced a 200 copy giveaway of The Lion’s Gate, just as the paperback edition was being released.

The announcement ran at the top of his post “A Tale of Two Covers.

A link was included within the announcement, to a form readers could populate to submit their shipping information.

First day: All 200 copies were claimed. Of those copies, 198 were sent out by the publisher within a week. One individual provided a bad address, and hasn’t yet replied to our request for a correct address, and a second individual provided his name/address twice. (Yes, we do actually look at the lists…)

(more…)

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