Monday, July 20, 2009

Lance Armstrong & Alberto Contador: Racing for the Team

"If we ride into Paris with the yellow jersey in the team, I'm cool with that. I've got seven of them at home."

--Lance Armstrong, seven-time winner of the Tour de France and teammate of Alberto Contador on the Astana team.

VERBIER, Switzerland -- Alberto Contador, current leader in the Tour de France, distanced himself in Stage 15 from seven-time winner Lance Armstrong and a group of other rival contenders.

Contador, with the reputation as the best climber in the world, now holds the 2009 Tour lead by 1 minute, 37 seconds over teammate Armstrong, who acknowledged he couldn't keep up. Armstrong's performance kept him in second place overall.

"The differences now are pretty big," Contador said, "and the team's bet should now be me, no? I'm happy to have earned this jersey."

"We are ready to sacrifice everything to have Alberto in the yellow jersey in Paris: the teams standings and Lance's second place," Astana sports director Alain Gallopin told Reuters on Monday.

So, Lance Armstrong, cycling icon, with the handwriting on the wall sacrifices his individual goals to assist 2007 Tour winner Alberto Contador and the Astana team achieve their rightful glory.

Excerpts from and the New York Times, July 20, 2009.

For more on Peak Performance, click on The Handbook of Peak Performance.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Lance Armstrong: Championship-Calibre Teammate

"Like I've said all along, my first obligation is to the team."

--Lance Armstrong, during a TV interview after the seventh stage.

ARCALIS, Andorra -- Lance Armstrong dropped one spot to third place in the Tour de France on Friday, July 10, 2009, with rival and teammate Alberto Contador breaking away in the final sprint up the mountain to claim second. Armstrong began the day a split second off the lead and now trails by eight seconds. Contador, the 2007 Tour winner, sped ahead in the last 1.2 miles in an attempt to seize the overall lead. He started the day 19 seconds behind Armstrong and finished 21 seconds before the seven-time Tour champion Texan crossed the line.

Italy's Rinaldo Nocentini captured the yellow jersey from Switzerland's Fabian Cancellara after a punishing climb in the Pyrenees to complete the seventh stage. The 140-mile leg, the first in the mountains, was won by Brice Feillu of France in a solo breakaway.

Excerpts from (July 10, 2009).

For more on Peak Performance, click on The Handbook of Peak Performance.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

The Tenacity, Determination & Focus of Roger Federer

"Sometimes it takes a loss to make you strong. As you can see, I reacted, I've come back."

--Roger Federer, discussing his tenacity and determination in returning championship form and winning the Wimbledon men’s singles title.

A back injury hampered Federer early this year, and many were predicting that Federer was on the way down.

"Australia was pretty tough. It's huge that he loves tennis. That helps him a lot. Otherwise, he would maybe need some time off afterwards. But he loves tennis, so he went on. He was practicing hard, he was staying focused, and everything paid off now."

--Severin Luthi, the Swiss Davis Cup captain who acts as a part-time coach for Federer, who believes the comeback was fueled by Federer's passion.

Excerpts from (July 9, 2009)

For more on Peak Performance, click on The Handbook of Peak Performance.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Michael Jackson: A Tribute to the Greatest Performer of All Time

"He studied the great and became greater. He raised the bar and then broke the bar. His talent and creativity thrust him and entertainment into another stratosphere. Michael Jackson went into orbit and never went down."

--Barry Gordy.

Roger Federer: Wimbledon Champion Already Planning the Future

“I definitely have to regroup after this victory and put my mind in the right frame of mind for the rest of the season. I definitely want to finish the year at No. 1.

--Roger Federer, discussing the future after winning his record-breaking 15th Grand Slam tournament at Wimbledon on Sunday.

Federer said he felt the “defining moment” of his "comeback" this summer came when he was practicing in April of this year.

“I’ve always been pushing myself in practice, but I told my team that we needed to do something completely extreme.”

Federer has played in 39 consecutive Grand Slam tournaments, and he has won the last two after being forced to take a break in February because of lower back pain that affected him during his loss to Rafael Nadal in the 2009 Australian Open final.

Excerpts from the New York Times, 07/07/09. For the original article, go to:

For more about Peak Performance, click on The Handbook of Peak Performance.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Roger Federer Wins His 15th Grand Slam Singles Title

"The great ones, at the end, they have just a little bit more.”

--Pete Sampras, referring to the resolve of Roger Federer, who beat Andy Roddick, to win the 2009 Wimbledon championship.

WIMBLEDON, England — Andy Roddick made Roger Federer work hard, but Federer won another Grand Slam tournament for a record 15th singles title.

Roddick played the match of his career. But Federer was a little better.

Federer breaks his tie with Pete Sampras, who is now second on the career list with 14 major singles titles.

Federer, who has won Wimbledon six times, held off Roddick by the unprecedented score of 5-7, 7-6 (6), 7-6 (5), 3-6, 16-14.

Federer served a personal record 50 aces in a match that took 4 hours 18 minutes. But Roddick was the better server: holding 37 times in a row before finally being broken in the last game.

“It was a crazy match with an unbelievable end, and my head is still spinning,” Federer said after the match. “But it’s an unbelievable moment in my career.”

Thursday, July 02, 2009

The Neo/Post Economy: The Information Age 3.0

Malcolm Gladwell, Mark Cuban, Chris Anderson, Seth Godin, and Chris Brogan are talking interestingly about the idea of free. I would suggest that you read what they have to say about it. I am sure the conversation will continue.

In the new economy, which is still a long way from working itself out, things are shifting as we speak. It still has a long way to go. It has been broken badly and for a while. Smart people are discussing the value of free. Should the Internet be free? Should digital music be free? Should the news be free? Will customers start to pay for what they can get for free? Should providers give away what used to charge for?

Have you heard about the hamburger joint that gives its food away for free? All they ask is that you give them whatever you think is reasonable. Stiff them or leave them a ten. It works. They make as much or more that they would with fixed prices on their items. Most of the customers love them.

The saxophone player on the street corner hopes you put some coins in the cup. The waiter at your favorite watering hole hopes you like his service and tip him well. I heard Johnny Depp left a $4000 tip the other day. My dad, who was a small business owner, would often barter for goods and services when his customers couldn’t pay.

I am an entrepreneur, a CEO, a consultant, a small business owner. I blog frequently. I am LinkedIn. I do Facebook. I Tweet, Ning, Ping, and Xing. I get the whole social networking thing. I have a weekly newletter. I field phone calls, answer questions via e-mail, I comment on others’ blogs. I answer questions.

Through these activities I have the capacity to inspire, motivate, inform, solve problems, find solutions, identify hidden problems, move careers forward, help others make decisions, and provide new insights and opinions. I can keep a deal alive and kill it. Much of this I do for free (Mostly voluntarily, sometimes, not so much).

Yes, that’s right. I give lots of information, advice, and counsel away for free. I like it. It adds value. It develops and deepens relationships. It works. I get a lot of free lunches and dinners. And I get a lot of free coffee. Don’t get me wrong. I like it. And I will continue to do it, a lot.

When I am lucky, I get real business that way. I get hired. I get involved in projects, I provide services and products to my customers. I write proposals. I submit contracts. I have billable hours. I have fees. I send out invoices. I get paid for those things.

But in the Information Age and with the Economy 3.0, that sometimes isn’t enough. For many people in my shoes, it really isn’t enough. Sometimes there aren’t enough projects or enough billable hours. Much of my value is not easily billable. More troubling, much of what I do others do not see as billable. They seek me out. They see the value. They thank me. They say “I owe you one.” They say “I will try to bring you business.” I appreciate that so much. Sometimes the cash does not come with it.

What am I doing about it? What should I do? What should you do. Well, I am going to keep adding value, giving away information for free, and building deep relationships. Also, with my customers, clients, and valued relationships I am asking them for something in return. I am asking for them to keep my lights on and bills paid for a few days or a few weeks. Whatever they can afford, whatever they thing I am worth to keep in business.

You can call it what you want: donations, sponsorships, retainers, pay-per-click, pay-per-view, a service fee. I don’t care. I don’t think they will care. If they feel I add value, they will want to keep me going. They will want me available to them. They want my blog alive, they want my Facebook, my Tweet. They want to be LinkedIn with me. They will want me to send them my newletter. They will want to continue calling or e-mailing me. They will want me to have place to work, a fast computer, a smart phone, and a way to test the next new thing in my field or theirs. They will want my advise, my information, my counsel. I will be there for them. But I will need their support, their sponsorship. They will be there for me. I will thrive.

If I am lucky, I will be able to break even, stay in the black. If I am even luckier, I will be able to go to camp with the rest of the kids (actually my kids will get to go to camp). If I am really good, I will be able to put something in the bank for a rainy day.

And, that is the beginning of the new economy. Malcolm, Mark, Chris, Seth, Chris: There is free and there is value. It will all work.

Doh?! Geez, did I just give that away for free? If you liked the song, put your coins in the cup.