This week’s resource recommendation is Clutch: Why Some People Excel Under Pressure and Others Don’t By Paul Sullivan.
This book’s title caught my eye in the store, so I picked it up. I read it on a plane trip recently. I was hopeful based on the title, and found it like many other books written by journalists – well researched, full of good writing and good stories.
The author starts by describing what “clutch” is – and isn’t – through examples. (Clutch is the ability to do what you could normally do but under extremely challenging or pressure filled situations). Then he outlines the keys to clutch performance, specifically:
- Being present
Then he uses the story of Billie Jean King beating Bobby Riggs in “the Battle of the Sexes” to talk about the concept of “double clutch.”
The second section of the book talks about why we choke – or why we aren’t clutch. Lastly he talks briefly about how to be clutch.
I found the book somewhat uneven, but the skills of a good journalist give the reader enough great stories and examples to overcome that unevenness. He also avoids the “too long” syndrome, keeping the book pretty tight and to the point.
This isn’t the best book I’ve read this year, yet I still recommend it because it talks about an important part of performance – excelling under pressure. It’s important for leaders to think about being clutch and to consider how you can assess and help others achieve that state as well.