Top Dog: The Science of Winning and Losing by Po BronsonIf you are a coach, or business owner/leader this is a must read book. It breaks down what at team needs to succeed, how a team best works together - in an office on and off the field.
Any book that opens with novice parachute jumpers, ballroom dancers and a recap of Jason Lezak’s anchor leg of the 2008 Olympics 4X100 freestyle relay draws you in for the get go. (Especially if you appreciate the sport of swimming!)
The authors, Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman were basically on a quest to find out what it is that makes competitors tick. How people respond to challenges, rise to the occasion or flop. How they work individually and as teams.
In a time of decreased concentration on competitiveness and more collaboration on the field - or the ever present ‘everyone gets a trophy’ mantra - social scientists want to know if people benefit from competition and if we’re hard wired for it. The short answer is yes and yes. And, competition facilitates improvement (for about 50%). Some people don’t benefit from competition and likely they self select out of it (in sports) and have a disadvantage in other arenas.
An interesting premise that has been found from years of looking at competition is that people need a ‘fighting’ chance. Actually, women are more in tune with what that chance may be and don’t engage in competition unless it seems likely they have a chance. Less than a quarter of our elected officials are women - not because they are incapable - but women simply won’t waste their time running for an office if there is no point. Men, on the other hand - whether it’s a political office, or a gambling scenario - will throw their hat in. It seems, women look at the reality of the situation and gauge the potential and balance that with the effort needed while men see the outcome - the prize- and go for it.
Their discussions included SAT test takers in different venues, rivalries, competitive focus and the Matthew Effect - attributed to the gospel of Matthew, home field advantage, micro-management, mastery of skill, gender influence on the stock market, productivity and the like.
It was a very engaging read that covered topics ranging from ‘when the stakes go up’, to productivity and professionalism. The compared and contrasted worriers with warriors, as they called the groups of people and which groups prevail in which situations.
Testosterone and other hormones were discussed. How do they play a roll when people feel threatened or challenged? How do people react to loved ones in the crowd watching? Will it benefit everyone? Etc.
The detailed discussion of childhood development, risk taking, and learning to ‘play to win’ versus ‘play not to lose’ was enlightening. You can see yourself in the book.
Bone Health 101
Osteopenia & Osteoporosis are some of the topics covered in The Complete Book of Bone Health
Osteoporosis, characterized by loss of bone mass, affects both—and often with life-changing results. The Complete Book of Bone Health provides a comprehensive resource that presents information in a reader-friendly format. It covers aspects of osteoporosis that run the gamut from patient bone assessment, fracture risk evaluation, treatment options, nutrition basics, and complementary and alternative medicine to pain management. It offers insightful details on prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and the realities of living with osteoporosis. One chapter offers specialized insight into FDA-approved medications used to treat osteoporosis, discussing their efficacy and side effects. The comprehensive information encompasses off-label uses for some medications and the possible need to consider drug holidays after specific periods on osteoporosis medications.
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Protecting your bone health is easier than you think. Understand how diet, physical activity and other lifestyle factors can affect your bone mass. Bones play many roles in the body — providing structure, protecting organs, anchoring muscles and storing calcium. While it's important to build strong and healthy bones during childhood and adolescence, you can take steps during adulthood to protect bone health, too. Your bones are continuously changing — new bone is made and old bone is broken down.