Leading@google: Tony Schwartz

Uploaded by AtGoogleTalks on 06.05.2008

>> WITTENBERG: Hi, everybody. Thank you for coming. My name is Evan Wittenberg. I work
in the leadership development and people management group as part of Google University. And we're
very excited today to be introducing Tony Schwartz as our next Leading@Google lecturer.
Tony has an interesting history. Currently, he's the founder, president, and CEO of a
company called the Energy Project which deals all about with how to manage your energy,
not your time to be more effective and achieve optimal performance in the workplace, at home,
in life, et cetera. His background is really interesting. He began his career as a journalist.
He was a reporter for the New York Times, associate editor at Newsweek, staff writer
at New York and Esquire Magazines, and a columnist for Fast Company. He also has a little dirty
secret from his past, co-authored the number one, international bestseller "The Art of
the Deal" with Donald Trump. So if you have questions about his opinion of Trump, you
can ask him later. And more importantly, wrote a book call "What Really Matters: Searching
for Wisdom in America." What he's here to talk to us today about is what I alluded to
you before, how we can be more effective by thinking about our energy throughout the day
rather than our time. And he's actually piloted his two-day version of the course here at
Google that some people on the audience, raise your hand if you've been through that course;
a couple of people. So, you can look around and ask them later if you want to know how
that was and we'll be announcing more about that in the next few weeks. A couple of important
things that Tony has asked, one thing that you'll learn about in this book when you read
it, for those of you who got it, "The Power of Full Engagement," is that the brain is
actually unable to multitask. So Tony has asked to please close your laptops unless
you're actually taking notes about this because it's not possible to pay attention to both
even though we fool ourselves about that all the time. There will be time at the end for
questions and I would ask you to please come up to this microphone at the end if you have
questions about the talk. Hopefully, Tony will keep you engaged so you won't be tempted
to go back to the Blackberrys and computers throughout the talk. And I think without further
adieu, let me introduce Tony Schwartz. Welcome. >> SCHWARTZ: Thank you. Thank you. Good morning.
It's great to be here with a wonderful day. This work comes out of a passion of mine that
began somewhere in my teens when other people were doing things very different than I was
doing. I was trying to figure out what life was all about and what made it possible, what
was it that made it possible, I guess, back then to be a happier and more satisfied human
being than I was growing up in a difficult New York Jewish family. But over time that
evolved into a passion around, what makes it possible for a person to be all they're
capable of being. What makes it possible for a human being to build progressively over
their life a richer, deeper version of who they are? And this work is about that. It's
nominally about helping organizations to be more effective and more productive. It's nominally
about the difference about what it takes to be a great leader. But I deeply believe that
you can be a great human being and it may or may not have any impact on--I'm sorry,
you could be--yes, you could be a great human being and it may or may not have any impact
on whether you can be a great leader. But you can't be a great leader if you're not
a great human being. And so to me, the work of leadership, the work of really being the
most effective you can possibly be begins with the work of yourself. And so today, I'm
going to give you just a little taste of it. You're going to see that it's oriented a little
bit in the physical direction and that's largely because everything begins with the body. I
want to assure you that if you choose to, if you're intrigued by this work that there's
a lot more to it and that we ultimately take account of quite a wide variety of components
that influenced your capacity to show up with everything you've got in each part of your
life. So, what is it that starts us off? What is it that makes it possible for me to get
folks interested in bringing me into organizations? And basically, it's this. It's that we have
developed a gap between demand and capacity. So, here's the deal. In your lives, what happens
is when you're born, you obviously have very low demand. You make a lot of demands but
you don't have a lot of demand. And your demand progressively goes up over time. And in the
world we live in, it just keeps on going until hopefully one day you drop off the face of
the cliff and your demands in the most graceful way possible. But in the meantime, what's
happening is that in the absence of a conscious and intentional intervention on your part,
the capacity you bring to the table is rising no matter what you do. How many people here--well,
I don't want to ask that quite yet--the capacity in your life is rising no matter what you
do to your body, no matter what you do to yourself. Your capacity just keeps on going
up, but it hits a peak at a certain point in your life in the absence of intervention.
What age do you think that peak is? >> MALE: Forty-five.
>> SCHWARTZ: Unfortunately, it is 30 not 45. Now, in this group unlike most of the groups
I talked to, that's not yet such bad news for you because you're not there yet. But
guess what, even if you're not, I promise you will be. And what happens then is that
your capacity progressively diminishes over time most especially, most especially at the
physical level. So for example, in the absence of you're doing anything to keep this from
happening, from the age of 30 on, you will lose one half pound of lean muscle mass every
year for the rest of your life. That's not good news. And the reason it's not good news
is that demand is not only--how many of you would say that the demand in your life over
the last two or three years is as high as it's ever been in your life. Okay. And how
many of you expect given that you probably pushed yourself pretty damn hard to get to
where you are today that over the next year the demand in your life will finally begin
to diminish. So, in other words, your demand is the highest it's been ever over the last
three years and you have every expectation that it's going to continue to rise at a minimum
not to diminish. Let me ask you this question. How many of you think that along with your
demand your capacity will rise systematically to keep pace with your demand over the next
period of time? Houston, we got a problem. It's this problem, it's this gap, and that's
the game we're in the business of trying to address. So, the issue is that when it comes
to meeting demand, the number one resource most of us use, naturally use, instinctively
use is our time. So, if you've got more demand, you put in more hours. And I'm sure that many
of you are putting in a lot of hours. And in fact, organizations, even progressive organizations
like Google, even if it doesn't say it, even if it has all sorts of wonderful things to
give you an opportunity not to be working does in fact value you to a considerable degree
based on the number of hours it's perceived that you invest. Now, that's great for a certain
period of time. But when you reach the limit of the number of hours you have available
to invest, you've got a problem when it comes to expanding your capacity, don't you. How
many people here would like me to stop, spend a few minutes giving you some advice on how
to use your free hours? So, we're already. That dance card is already full, isn't it?
That dance card is fall and the bottom line is that time is finite. You've got 168 hours
in the week. You're never going to have another hour and you already don't have any free but
I guess you're--but I know that your demand is rising. So, that's not going to solve your
problem if we are going to make it possible to meet the increasing demand in our lives,
to take account of the fact that we live in a more complex world, what you're going to
have to do is you're going to have to find a way other than time to get more done. In
other words, you're going to have to get more than in less time. And the only way that we
have recognized that that really fundamentally is possible is to go after a different resource
and that resource is energy. And the reason energy is a good resource to use is because
energy unlike time is inside you. Time is outside you. It moves by you like a train
and once it's gone, it's gone forever. But energy is inside you and it can be systematically
expanded and it can be regularly renewed. So energy is a fabulous resource to put it
in your disposal. But what is energy? What is energy? Because it's easy to say energy;
there's all kinds of energy and, you know, it's easy to get real soft on the idea of
energy. One of the reasons that organizations use hours is they're very clear to calibrate,
minutes, hours, days, that's really easy to calibrate. Energy is more ambiguous, more
subjective. So what is energy? Well, it turns out, actually, energy has been defined. Energy
is the capacity to do work, that's what you go in your physics courses, right? Energy
is the capacity to do work. So in other words, in simple terms, if you have more energy,
you have more capacity, don't you? So in other words, if I can help you to systematically
build the reservoir of energy that you have available, if I could put more fuel in your
tank then presumably you'll have more capacity. We tend to focus on skills and competencies,
that's the life you've lived. You've all developed an enormous number of skills, you've had all
kinds of achievements around skills and you've been measured by how many of those skills
you have. You've got into Google because you have more than most people, way more than
most people. But here's the problem in a demand-laden world with focusing simply on capacity. I'm
sorry, on competency. Capacity is underneath competency. Capacity is what makes it possible
for you to bring your skill and talent to life. You can't run on empty, although a lot
of us try to do it. So if you are trying to bring your skill and talent to life but you
are, you didn't sleep a lot last night or you don't eat the right foods, or you've got
the wrong emotional state, or you weren't good at focusing your attention, or your level
of commitment and passion isn't all that high, these are all components of capacity, then
you're not going to be able to do it. And we all know people, and we all know times
in our lives when you--despite your enormous skill and talent, haven't been able to deliver
it, particularly under pressure. In a human being, I'm sorry--in a car, you need one source
of energy to get the thing to go, and mostly it's been fuel. Now it's starting to change
but it still going to primarily be one source of energy. But a human being--a human being
requires a much more complex set of energies, energy in the human system is multidimensional.
We need four separate sources of energy in order to be able to perform at our best, each
one of them is necessary, none of them is sufficient by itself and they deeply influence
one another. So you can't get by--or I shouldn't say get by, you can get by using only one
or two of them to any great effect but you can't operate at your best if you do that.
So what are these four sources of energy? So I've already said that, so I don't need
to repeat it. The four--the four sources of energy start with the physical, why? Because
the physical is the base, it's the--it's the foundation on which everything else rests.
If you don't have sufficient physical energy, is it going to influence your focus of attention?
Is it going to influence your ability to manage your emotion under pressure? Of course it
is. So, we have tended to make this not performance relevant or relevant to performance in the
work place, we've discounted how important physical energy is, and we haven't systematically
focused attention on it, and in fact increasingly in schools for kids where we're starting to
do work we see that they basically dispense with the physical dimension. They don't pay
attention to it at all. You know, if you're not on a varsity team in high school, then
you're not getting any attention to your physical capacity. Physical capacity has four components.
It's the simplest of all the capacities because of that. Number one, nutrition; you're ability
to move glucose and sustain glucose at a certain level in your body, that's number one. Number
two, fitness; how well you transport oxygen through your body. Number three is sleep;
how well do you sleep, do you sleep enough hours, do you sleep deeply enough. And the
forth is, and this is the one that people don't pay much attention to is recovery or
renewal; the day time equivalent of sleep because the body is designed to sleep twice.
The body is designed to sleep for a longer period of time at night and it's designed
to sleep for a short period of time in the afternoon. And so it's also designed, unlike
a machine, it's designed to move rhythmically between the expenditure and the recovery of
energy. And so you need to, as you'll see when I get a little further into this description,
you need to learn to value intermittent renewal during the day in the same way that you currently,
I don't want to say in the same way that you currently value sleep because a lot of you
don't value sleep very much. But in the way you should be valuing sleep. Okay. So that's
physical energy. Then there is the quality of your energy. The quality of your energy,
that's how you feel because how you feel profoundly influences how well you perform, how well
you lead, how well you interact with others, there is a very specific set of emotions that
are associated with sustainable high performance, and I'm going to get to those and talk about
those in just a moment. So we've got quantity of energy, we've got quality of energy, and
then we've got focus of energy. So that's the mental dimension. Focus of energy is what
the Evan was obliquely referring to when he said that I didn't want you to be using your
computers and Blackberrys. The reason I actually didn't want you to is because it makes me
feel bad. It makes me feel like you don't care, like you don't love me, and I have a
high need. But the focus of your energy is, the work we do around this dimension and the
importance of it is that for thousands of years it has been understood that we do our
most effective work when we focus on one thing at a time. That's were the meditative traditions
came from. We have lost that. Google is responsible for a lot of that because of the number of
opportunities it gives us to interrupt our attention, but there are thousands of ways
now that we get our attention interrupted and it's at extraordinary cause to your productivity.
It's also at extraordinary cause to the depth of work that you do. You know that if you
go out and try to take a run for example, that the first two or three minutes or the
first five minutes, how do you feel? You don't feel very good, you're not warmed up, you're
not feeling like your muscles are warm, like you're loose, like you're in your rhythm.
Well the same thing is true mentally, if you try to begin a hard task for the first three
minutes, or five minutes, or eight minutes, or whatever it is for you, you're going to
be half there and half not there. You are slowly dropping down into a state of absorption.
If you interrupt yourself frequently then what you are doing is you're interfering with
that level of absorption, and on average, the average person stays on task in an organization
in an America today for eleven minutes. Eleven minutes on a task before they go on to another
task, but during those eleven minutes, they interrupt themselves with something, an average
of every three minutes. So you can see that we've got a big interference with our ability
to bring absorbed attention to the table which is part of the energy equation. And then finally,
there is the one that sounds as soft as in fact probably the most important which is
what we call the energy of the human spirit. The energy of the human spirit is the energy
derived from the sense, from the experience of purpose and from an alignment between what
you say is important in your life and how you actually live; and the better that alignment,
the more powerful the source of energy available to you. In fact, this energy drives, this
is the "Why," the others of the "Hows." This "Why" energy drives your behavior at all the
other level. So, it's an additional source of energy, emotionally, mentally, and physically
when you've got it in place. So four sources of energy, if you got all those four sources
of energy happening for you, if you've got that full reservoir of them, then you could
fire on all cylinders. How many of you got those nailed, those four? Let's find out.
You got a pencil, or you got something that you can write on? I'm going to take you through
a little energy audit; that's what we call, a little energy audit to give you a sense
of how you're doing in terms of these four dimensions of energy. How much energy do you
have available to you in each of these four dimensions? This little audit is designed
around what we have determined, and it's very strongly research-based. If you go on our
website, the energyproject.com, you will see a database for everything that I'm talking
about. So I'm not talking about these things because they occurred to me as good ideas.
This is our gathering of the research. So, what I want you to do in each of these questions,
I'd like you to answer, I'd like you to just make a check mark on your paper if the answer
to the question is yes. That's all you have to do. And then at the end we'll add up the
"yes" answers. Bad news is this is one of those rare test where getting a "yes" doesn't
serve you well. Number one, I don't regularly get at least seven to eight hours of sleep,
and I often wake up feeling tired. Number two, I frequently skip breakfast or I settle
for something that isn't particularly healthy. Number three, I don't workout enough, meaning,
cardiovascular training at least three times a week and strength training at least once
a week. If you don't do both of those, you're a "yes." Number four, I don't take regular
breaks during the day to renew and recharge, and I often eat lunch at my desk if I ate
lunch at all. Number five, I frequently find myself feeling irritable, impatient, or anxious
at work especially when demand is high. Number six, I don't have enough time with my family
and loved ones, and when I'm with them I'm not always really with them. Number seven,
I take too little time in my life for the activities that I most deeply enjoy. Number
eight, I rarely stop to express my appreciation to others or to savor and celebrate my accomplishments
and blessings. If you don't do both of those things, you're a "yes." Number nine, I have
difficulty focusing on one thing at a time, and I'm easily distracted during the day,
especially by email. That's a "yes" for all of you. Number 10, I spend much of my time
reacting to immediate demands rather than focusing on activities with long-term value
and higher leverage. Number 11, I don't take enough time for reflections, strategizing,
or thinking creatively. Number 12, I work in the evenings and/or on the weekends and
I rarely take a vacation free of work, if I take a vacation at all. Number 13, I spend
too little time at work doing what I do best and enjoy most. Number 14, there are significant
gaps between what I say is important in my life and how I actually live; I say that my
girlfriend, significant other, wife, husband is important, but I don't spend much time
or energy on that. Number 15, my decisions at work are more influenced by external demands
than by a strong, clear sense of my own purpose. And finally, number 16, I don't invest enough
positive time and energy in making a positive difference to others in the world. Total them
up. Okay. All right. There's what? >> MALE: Cursing.
>> SCHWARTZ: Cursing. So, how many people have eight or more "yes" answers? Eight or
more "yes" answers. Look around, the good news is you've got company. The bad news is,
you've got company. Eight or more. How many people—you're going to hold it up or you're
12? How many people have 12 or more? How many people who have 12 or more? Okay. How many
people are happy about the number of "yes" answers? How many? Five. And by the way, five
is extraordinarily low. Five is extraordinarily low, but not of those five is something that
you are glad is a "yes," right? Right. So, here's the interesting thing. I don't want
to get into this too deeply because of the time limitations, but just at the most simple,
simple level. If you have eight "yes" answers, think of it as 50 percent of the potential
capacity available to you that is currently available to you. That's enormous. What is
this all about? Why does this happen? And I will submit to you that the reason this
happens is because we don't make capacity important, because we take capacity for granted.
We assume that if the demand goes up, our capacity will expand naturally to meet it.
But that's not the way it works, and it takes a toll not only at the level of productivity
but it takes a toll emotionally, it takes a tool spiritually, and it takes a toll physically.
So what really happens is that we go numbed to this reality. We tend to not notice this.
Once I put this up and you look at these answers and you say to yourself, "Oh, my god. These
are central things in life that are dead obvious that I should be doing and I don't do them."
You have a hundred stories you can tell me if I let give you the time about why you don't
do them. But the reality is it's not doing you any good not to do them and it's getting
in the way both in your professional and in your personal life. So once I raise it up
into consciousness which is step one, now you can say to yourself, "Okay. So what do
I do about this? What do I do about this because Tony..." And this is the story part that begins:
"I am working really long hours. I got a long commute. I got obligations with my family.
I've got other things I'd like to do. I can't do all these things, so get real." All right.
Well, I want to look at this because the real issue for you once you've got this up and
you're looking at it dead honest, and when you walk out of here, I hope you will. In
fact, anybody who would like me to send you the energy audit, I'd be happy to send it
through Evan and he will send it to anybody who wants it. So give me your card at the
end and I'll get you the energy audit so you can keep track of how you're doing as the
future unfolds before you. But what I want to look at now is I want to look at the consequence
of your having whatever level of capacity you have. And the way I want to look at it
in a very simple form based on the understanding that we have four different energy states
that we can find ourselves in in the course of the day. But only one of those energy states
serves us best. And those energy states are fed by each of these dimensions that we've
already been talking about by how much capacity you have in each of these four tanks. So I
want to look at the practical result of your having those relatively frightening scores
that most of you have. And this too can become a very simple way. I'd also be happy when
it's done to send you this slide. This too is something that you can keep as a barometer
or as a measure of how you're doing in the course of the day. So let's take a look at
it. We call this the energy quadrants, okay. Now, the vertical axis refers to the quantity
of your energy from low to high. Okay? And then the horizontal axis refers to the quality
of your energy from negative to positive. So, therefore, we end up having four quadrants,
four different kinds of energy. So let me ask you this, if I ask you, "How do you feel?
How do you feel when you're performing at your best?" I'd like you to just throw out
some adjectives at me. I'd like you to throw out some adjectives that define how you feel
when you're performing at your best. >> MALE: Aligned.
>> SCHWARTZ: Aligned. Happy. >> FEMALE: Satisfied.
>> SCHWARTZ: Satisfied. Aligned. Happy. Fulfilled. >> FEMALE: Energized.
>> SCHWARTZ: Energized. >> MALE: Excited.
>> SCHWARTZ: Excited. >> FEMALE: Exuberant.
>> SCHWARTZ: Exuberant. Okay. Which quadrant do those go in?
>> FEMALE: High positive. >> SCHWARTZ: High positive. The upper-right
quadrant. There's absolutely no question that those are the adjectives that you feel. Those
are the feeling you have when you're performing at your best. This is a no-brainer. This is
a no-brainer. And no matter how many people we've asked this question to when we begun
our work 25 years ago with professional athletes, and we were told that, at that time, the prevailing
view in sport psychology was that what, a, athletes felt when they were performing at
their best included a mild amount of anxiety. So, we started asking people, you know. Is
that what you're feeling? You feel of mild anxiety, the answer was a 100 percent, no.
They answered just the way you answered. What we feel are positive emotions when we're performing
at our best. Maybe before you perform, you are feeling a little bit anxious in a performance
demand. But, if you're feeling anxious when you're actually performing, be guaranteed,
you're not going to perform at your best. So, there it is, that's--how many of you have
learned something that you didn't know by seeing that those are the emotions associated
with high performance, nobody, right? Nobody, that's no big surprise. Here's the surprise,
if you're not feeling this way, you can't perform at your best. Why is that a surprise?
Well, because I have to ask you this question. Is this the way you are feeling at work, energized,
focus, passionate, confident, exuberant, the vast majority at the time? Are there times
when you're not feeling this way at work? Is there anybody who sometimes doesn't feel
those emotions at work? So then, the question becomes, so when you're not feeling this way,
how are you feeling and what's the consequence, right? Because we need to know in the cost-benefit
ratio if you aren't fueling yourself with the right emotions, what's the cost, what's
the consequence, so I'm going to start here on the upper left because it's the only other
zone--energy zone that has energy in it. An absent energy or significant energy, absent
energy, I don't care whether it's negative or positive, you're not going to be very effective
in work. So, when you look at this, we call this the survival zone. Now it's interesting,
the only reason in any of these zones exist is because there is some circumstance or circumstances
in your life when it's appropriate to be in this zone, otherwise, from an evolutionary
perspective, it would be naturally selected out, wouldn't it? It only exists because there's
a value in it. In other words, there's a time in your life when it makes sense to be in
this zone, it serves you best to be in this zone, when is it?
>> FEMALE: When you're threatened. >> SCHWARTZ: When you're threatened. Here's
the problem. If there is a large mountain lion coming at you, being in the survival
zone is a good thing. The reason is because you will have a physiological shift from your
parasympathetic nervous system to your sympathetic nervous system from your prefrontal cortex
testing your limbic system. And what it will--the consequence of it is that you will be able
to move more quickly. Your limbic system picks up threat more quickly than your prefrontal
cortex does, so it's really good when your life is in danger. If there's a fire at the
back in the room right now, I don't want you to be asking yourself, "Let me see, how much
longer can I listen to this talk before that." What you want to do is you want the body to
say to you, "Get the hell out and get out," or take water and put it on the fire, fight
or flight, right? The problem of what you said is that survival is not necessarily always
a true threat to your life. So in other words, you can feel a sense of threat and you can
feel a sense of danger in your life, but it might not actually be a threat, but the same
physiological set of responses happens if you feel threat. What happens? Well, your
vision narrows; your heart rate increases; your muscles contract; and most important
in some sense, the blood rushes from your brain into your extremities. Therefore, the
blood is no longer in your brain. That's not a good thing, if you have to think. Is there
anybody here who spends any time during the day thinking? That's not a good thing. In
fact, it's not a metaphor I'm talking about, it's literal. The prefrontal cortex in true
fight or flight when adrenaline and noradrenaline and cortisol flood through your body shuts
down because you don't want it to be thinking. It will interfere with your action. The problem
is that when that happens, all sorts of other things happen too. So if what's happened is
your boss has yelled at you or your--maybe you've got a problem in your work that you
can't solve and your worried about meeting a deadline or you feel too much demand in
your life or you're negative because you're exhausted, any of those, the problem is that
it means that you're in not a position to do a number of things. When you're in the
upper left quadrant, here or some of the things, if we had time, I'd get you to tell me, but
you would know this, I promise you; but the first thing is you perform worse in upper
left. That's the first problem, because you don't think well, because you can't be imaginative,
because you aren't reflective, so you don't perform as well. The second thing that happens
is it's terrible for your health. Cortisol, the hormone cortisol is very important for
you in certain situations. When it circulates for very long in your body, it becomes a toxin,
a poison and it leads to virtually every, it has an impact on virtually every major
illness and disease we know. So to spend time in that zone is very costly to your health,
it's very costly to your performance. And because energy is contagious, it's very influential
to other people. For those of you in this room who have responsibility for other people
who are leaders, your energy is disproportionately contagious by virtue of your position. And
so you have a significant influence on other people. If you have any doubt that energy
is contagious, when we're finished with this talk, let's go down together and walk in to
the local Department of Motor Vehicles and see if your energy changes. Energy is very
powerful on your emotions. And so, if you think if you think of the impact of your energy,
it's not just that negative energy is affecting you, it's that it's affecting other people.
And you've had that experience. You've had the opposite experience of what I'm talking
about at the Department of Motor Vehicles. You're going to a store or you show up on
a line in an airport and somebody is in a great mood and has got a smile on their face
and is relaxed and is exuberant and saying, "Hi, how you're doing today? You look beautiful.
I bet you're going to have a great trip." Does have an affect on you? Huge, it's unbelievable
of what the impact of that is. That's what a great salesman is. A great salesman is a
person who is great at generating the energy that makes people want to buy. It's about
energy. Okay, so we've got all these costs with the survival zone, and the most significant
energy cost is what of being in a survival zone. What's the cost of being in a survival
zone from an energy perspective? It drains it faster. It's like a gas guzzling car. And
if you spend too much time in the high negative zone, you end up in this zone. How many of
you come to work feeling that way pretty often? No, you don't, because it's not acceptable.
Rachel, put your hand down. It's not acceptable to be in that zone, is it? So if you were
in that zone and you weren't Rachel, you wouldn't admit it, right, because it's not culturally
acceptable. To be in the upper left zone is culturally acceptable to some extent. It's
okay to be anxious. It's okay to be frustrated. Though it shouldn't be, it is. But this zone
is unacceptable. The reason is because this zone is the worst place from which to perform,
okay? All right, so, we've got these three zones. We know the best zone. We know the
two negative zones. The other zone, what do you think we'd call the other zone?
>> FEMALE: Maintenance. >> SCHWARTZ: Maintenance is one word. Resting
is one word, any other words? Because we got to come up with a name for it, otherwise,
it won't be parallel. We need four names here. I need some help. Okay, it's the recovery
zone, right? Now, if I were to ask you, "Where is it that you spend most of your time at
work? Where is it then you spend most of your at work when you're not in a performance zone?"
How many people would say, "Oh, I spend my time in the recovery zone. I'm just chilled
out, relaxed, kicked back?" How many people would say it's the survival zone? How many
people would say it's the--a burn out zone? Okay, we've got 8 answers and a hundred people
in the room. How many people refuse to answer? The answer in most of your case is by, simply
by elimination, it's going to be that upper left zone. It's going to be somewhere in that
upper left zone when you're not in upper right. I'm not suggesting for a moment that you're
not spending significant amounts of time in upper right, I hope you are, but I also know
that the likelihood is in the face of all the things you face that you have to deal
that you're not spending all of your time there and there are probably a significant
amount of times you're not. Now, that means... >> Well, are we in the right most...?
>> SCHWARTZ: Where are you right now? Well, everybody here is way up in the high positive
because you're listening to this. I don't know where you are right now but I'm hoping
against all hope that you are here with me in upper right. I know I'm there and I'm the
person who's the--I'm the person who's generating the most energy. So, it would be hard for
you to be depressed with me running around like a chicken with my head cutoff trying
to entertain you. So the recovery zone is not a place where you spend much time, is
it? Because the recovery zone from your perspective is the sign that you are a slacker, that's
where people go to slack. When are you supposed to be in the recovery zone? Vacation, no,
never, never. That's the modern world, never. Who goes on vacation? How many people here
went on a vacation in the last year and didn't answer email during the vacation? Well that's
pretty good so--but that's only 6 percent of the room and that's probably about accurate,
right? Okay. So the recovery zone gets no respect. The recovery zone gets no respect
and the biggest--the biggest insight in some ways that I'm going to be able to share with
you today is an insight that has to do with shifting the locus or the movement that characterizes
your day in terms of energy states. So right now what we know is--right now what we know
is that in the course of the day, depending on what happens, you end up being pulled reactively
into this zone by certain events. I'm I--were we on that page together? Okay. So all day
long depending on how well or badly the day goes, you have some movement between these
two zones that it gets overwhelming, you end up down in this zone. This zone is off limits.
It's never even existed here at Google even though there's plenty of reason for it to,
you know, there are plenty of opportunities for you to live there. Very people are spending
a whole lot of time there. You laughed when I said it. Now, what I'm going to suggest
to you is a paradigm shift, a profound paradigm shift in how you think about performance because
what we learned is that the best movement for you to be making in the course of the
day is intermittently and intentionally between upper right and lower right, because we are
not designed as machines, we are rhythmic beings and we are designed--we need to intermittently
recover energy if want to sustain energy at the highest level. And that brings me to the
second principle that in order for us to sustain performance, we need to learn to balance the
expenditure of energy with the intermittent renewal of energy. That's a pretty radical
notion. Nobody is thinking that it really is performance, valuable for your performance
to build true renewal intermittently throughout the day. We learned it. I'll take your question
when we're done. We learned it from athletes. We learned it from athletes because we consistently
found that the greatest athletes understood something called work-rest ratios. They valued
the recovery of energy as much as they valued the expenditure of energy. They--that's what
interval training is all about. That's what periodization is all about. It's the recognition
that you need to, in order to be a great performer, train your capacity for recovery as systematically
as you train any skill that you have in your life. Recovery is performance specific. It
affects your ability to perform at a high-level and to perform at a level of high-quality.
Now, the current style in which most of us operate is this style. We go between flat
out and flat out. We've got two gears and we don't spend anytime in either one. We get
to this gear when we've gone flat out for so long that we simply collapse. What I'm
suggesting to you is that we want to build a very different movement into our lives not
only for the purposes of performing well but for the purposes of having a life. Now, here's
the counter-intuitive notion. Imagine the Indianapolis 500 for a moment and the drivers
who were driving and then I ask you this question, is the driver who wins that raise, the driver
who drives the fastest for the longest the most continuously? And the answer, since I
have gotten it immediately in time in short is no, no. The driver who wins is the driver
who drives the fastest for the longest when he's driving and recovers the most efficiently
when he's not. What is recovery? It's a pit stop. What do you in the pit stop? In the
pit stop, you refuel the tank; you do maintenance on the car. If you're effective at that, that's
a key ingredient and being able to be successful in the raise. The average amount of time changing
four tires in the pit and changing sometimes the windshield wipers, filling the gas, how
much time is that spent in the pit on average for a driver? Fifteen seconds is about right.
Because these people have trained recovery, the pit crews are in fabulous physical shape.
They are geniuses at ensuring effective recovery; the higher the demand in your life, the more
the need for renewal. If you are driving in a high-performance car, you've got to drive,
refuel and maintain that car more frequently. If you are a high-performance human being,
you need to refuel and maintain more quickly, I mean, more regularly. But here's the deal,
it's not the quantity of your recovery that matters, it's the quality of your recovery
that matters. It's how well you recover not how long you recover, just as it's not how
many hours you work, it's what you get done in the hours that you work. That's why we
want to train recovery. This is the way we're currently recovering, "I try to keep my coffee
buzz going till the Martini buzz kicks in." We use artificial stimulants to push us up.
We use artificial stimulants to pull us down. If you could take control of this, it would
give you a quality of energy and a quantity of energy that was very different. What we
want is the performance pulse. And that's grounded in this notion that we are oscillatory
beings in an oscillatory universe. Why do I say that? Because I like the way it sounds.
That's what it is. It means we have rhythms. What are the rhythms of our body? Which organs
are rhythmic in our body? Which bodily systems are rhythmic? The heart. Heart rate goes up
and down. A great measure of your heart health is what's called heart rate variability. The
ability to move flexibly up and down in heart rate depending on the demand, what else? Breath.
Your lungs and your heart, your muscles are meant to contract and then after the stress
is over to relax if they don't, you get back pain, and neck pain, and knee pain and all
those things that you come up with structural explanations for that have nothing to do with
anything except the fact that you are not creating the right rhythm in your life. You
said the right answer. Every system in the body pulses starting with the cells, every
system until somebody shows it's not through pulses, but we try to live linear lives. We
tried to live a life that goes in direct opposition the way the body is meant to function. What
we want to do is create an alignment with our own rhythms, not with the rhythms of the
computers you are using. They're designed to spend energy in a linear continuous way
but you are not. So, not only--it's not only true that--it's not only true that you have
a need to recover but you have a need to recover in a very particular way. The circadian rhythm
is this 24-hour rhythm and by the way it's another rhythm of day or night that exists
in the universe. At night you're meant to be asleep. In the day you're meant to be awake.
You're meant to move between the expenditure of energy and then the recovery of energy.
We all know about that even though we violated at great cost to ourselves. Because I can't
go into the fierce costs of not getting enough sleep in this talk, I invite you again to
go on our website where we put on the homepage, the 60 minutes piece about sleep that ran
two or three weeks ago. It that doesn't shock you into sleeping more, making sleep more
important, nothing I say will be able to do it. Having said that, it's also important
during the day. At night we've got a thing called the basic rest activity cycle which
means you sleep, you go from a light stage of sleep, rapid eye movement, down slowly
into a deep delta sleep over a period of 90 to a 120 minutes all through the night. If
you go through that cycle completely, you're getting a good period of sleep. If you get
woken up in the middle of it, it interrupts the quality of your sleep. Now, what's so
fascinating is that exist during the day too at a higher stake of physiological arousal?
In other words, every 90 to 120 minutes we move from a high state of physiological arousal
slowly down as you're moving right now into a physiological drop. At the end of 90 minutes,
120 minutes if it's a really high, if you're in a low demand situation, but in that 90
to 120 minute window, your body is screaming at you, give me a break. But you override
it. You override it with coffee; you override it with diet coke; you override it with most
of all cortisol, adrenalin, and noradrenalin with your body's own speed. You override it
by going into the upper left quadrant. You override it by forcing stimulants through
your body that are not serving you well. So what we really want to do to perform at our
best is to build a rhythmic relationship throughout the day where when you're working, I'm sorry,
when you're engaged, you're truly engaged; and when you're disengaged, you're truly disengaged
and you're not living in the gray zone in between. Because when it comes to recovery,
the more you train recovery, the better you get at it, so it's not a notion of 90 minutes
on and 90 minutes off, right? Fitness is defined as the speed of recovery. The fitter you are,
the faster you recover. The more you train yourself to recover, the better you get at
it, the quicker you will recover. We're talking about sustainable high performance. We're
talking about the ability to meet very high demand. These are the scientific well-researched
pieces of core evidence that suggest what it takes to show up everyday here with all
that you've got. I'm going to skip that slide. And I'm going to say to you that we want to
move between currently what's happening in our lives. If you wanted to take away a visual
image to remember, moving all day, as I said just a few moments ago, between this upper
right and upper left zone, reactively in the face of demand. One of the reasons we move
there is we ran out of energy. When you get more tired, you get more irritable, you get
more frustrated, you get more anxious. What you really want to do in your life is you
want to move to this intentional way of managing your energy so that every 90 to a 120 minutes,
what you're doing is you're renewing energy. This is the paradigm shift. Right now, you
live life, most of you, as if you're in a marathon. Meaning, there is a long race out
ahead, there is no end in sight and so either consciously or unconsciously you pace yourself.
You pace yourself by not fully engaging at any given time in almost anything because
if you try to push yourself as hard as you're capable of pushing yourself for an expanded
period of time, you drop like a stone. So instead of doing that, you find ways to cheat
on the engagement and expenditure of energy, sometimes aware that you're doing it, sometimes
not. I'm suggesting to you a really radical idea. Reinvent yourself as a sprinter. What
is a sprinter? A sprinter comes up to the line, gets down in the crouch, looks down
to the end of the race, a 100 yards, 200 yards, 400 yards and says, can I fully expand, can
I bring a hundred percent engagement to this race. And what is the sprinter answer? You
bet your life, why? Because there's an end line, because there's a finish line, because
they know that they could do it for a finite period of time, stop and recover. The same
is true for you if you make it so. You've lost the finish lines in your life. You've
lost the boundaries. You've lost the stopping points. You live in a state of perpetual and
I'm accusing you, I apologize for that, many of you do. Many of you do and we're all inclined
in this way because everything is pushing us in this way. So, we live in this state
in which we are never setting stopping points. And instead the very things that allow us
to be connected all the time make it virtually impossible to be disconnected ever; and you
know what I'm talking about. Here is the deal, how many people in the room would say that
based on what I've said so far, what I'm saying as a way of thinking about how you operate,
about how you perform makes fundamental sense to you? It makes sense. Okay, how many of
you based on what I've told you would say that you're going to walk out of this room
and starting today, based on what I've told you, you aren't going to fundamentally make
some changes in your life that are in accordance with everything I've said and please be honest?
So, we're at two or three, okay? So why not? It's not my fault. Let me tell you that first.
It's not my fault. The reason that you're not going to is because we're creatures of
habit. Because what you did yesterday is what you're going to do today and do again tomorrow.
We are remarkably automatic creatures. We need to take this into account when we're
making change in our life. We need to recognize that our prefrontal cortex, our conscious
thinking is not the best way to make change. What we need to do instead is we need to co-op
the autonomic nervous system. We need to co-op the part of our physiology that gets things
done automatically by training our self through regular repetition to do the things so that
it shows up without our having to think about it. That's the final energy management principle.
To manage your energy more optimally, you have to build what we call positive rituals.
These are highly specific behaviors that become automatic over time. So what I'm suggesting
to you is that you think about, when you leave here today, you think about one of those answers
on that energy audit that upsets you, that makes you recognize it's incurring or creating
a really high cost in your life. And think about what could I do to ritualize a change
of behavior that would make it possible for me to get a "no" answer to that question I
have a "yes" answer too. So, if were something like working out for example, I want to give
you a very simple example, and you said to me, "Tony, I'm so inspired by what you said,
I realized that working out would not only be good for my physical energy but it would
be a great thing for my emotional and my energy and for my focus. I'm all with you. I'm going
to start doing it tomorrow and I'm going to do it three days a week from now on." What
are the odds you're going to succeed? Very low, why, it's not specific enough, it's not
precise enough. When are you going to do it? You're not going to do it if you don't set
a time because you've already got tons of things to do and you're going to default right
back into them under any kind of pressure. The only way you're going to do it is if you
take something out of your life that is currently in that slot by designating that time as surely
as you designate important meeting here at Google. So, if you now say to me, "Tony, I'm
going to work out Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 7:00 a.m. I'm going to wake up at 6:45. I've
got a gym down the street for me. I'm going to set out my clothes the night before in
order to do that. I'm going to do cardiovascular for 30 minutes on Mondays and Wednesday. I'm
going to do strength training for 30 minutes on Friday." Now, you're talking turkey. And
here's what happens, you know, it's a ritual when you've done it for long enough that when
you don't do it, it feels worse than it does to use the energy to do it. And any of you
who is--who are working out now, regularly, know what I'm talking about. That--it isn't
necessarily easy to work out and there are many times when you might not feel like working
out, but if you don't do it, you feel worse. That is what the ritual is about. I wish we
had the time to be able to, actually, build in this room some rituals but we will have
this workshop that will intermittently be offered at Google and you'll have the opportunity
to really come in and do this work if it interests you. For the moment, what I want to suggest
is that you take a shot at building a ritual, because you can have your first experience
without me and without much more description. Take in the next hour, because if you wait
more than an hour, your motivation is going to go down. So if you take it in the next
hour, and look for a way to define a ritual that's highly specific in time, highly specific
in the behavior itself, and that is doable; that is biting all something you could chew.
If you're not working out at all, for example, don't build in five workouts a week of 30
minutes of running. Walk, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for 15 minutes in the middle of
the day. That's also a recovery break. Here's the deal, it's about taking control of your
life. You think that your life is, you're at the mercy of a lot of other forces but
you have the capacity to seize it back. And that's what I want to leave you with the message
to do, to begin to seize it back because it belongs to you. Thank you very much. I would be happy to take a few questions.
>> WITTENBERG: We have time for a few questions, if anybody has something, come on up to the
mic. You're all too busy in time for your rituals?
>> SCHWARTZ: Yeah. >> WITTENBERG: Would you mind walking up to
the light? >> FEMALE: Could you give us some examples
of rituals? >> WITTENBERG: An example of a ritual.
>> SCHWARTZ: An example of a ritual, well, I gave you an example to physical ritual.
An example of an emotional ritual that we found is very powerful is what do you want
to do emotionally? What you do want to do emotionally is you want to drive as much positive
energy into your reservoir as you can because we default to negative emotions. It's the
way we're constructed biologically. So, the more, the more positive energy you have in
the system the better off you are. So what behaviors could influence your ability to
have more positive emotion at you're disposal particularly under the pressure? Well, an
example--a couple of examples we have are, writing a note of appreciation to someone
in your life who you think deserves a recognition they're not getting enough of turns out to
be something that as a remarkably, powerful effect on the other person but also on you.
And so, one ritual might be, to take once or twice a week where you write a note to
someone. A second emotional ritual might be to, to take it at the very end of the day
before you go to sleep or as you're about to leave, to take a little inventory, maybe
in a journal or a notebook of what's right in my life. What are three things that are
write in my life right now? Because it's a technology of injecting the right fuel into
your life. A mental ritual might be something like, doing the most important thing first
in the morning. Making the first 90 minutes of you day everyday or the first 60 minutes
an activity that is, from your perspective, the one that would provide or create the greatest
value over the course of the rest of the day, and making that the most important thing you
do, instead of, answering your email first and being in reactive mode, being at the mercy
of somebody else's agenda, making that the most important thing. Making it specific in
time, planning it the night before is what makes it possible to move from an intention
into a habit. >> MALE: Sir, I just wanted to see if you'd
share the example from your book about your work with the tennis players, about trying
to find the difference between the top few tennis players in the world...
>> SCHWARTZ: Yeah, I'll tell you this very, very quickly. It's the slide I skipped. God
bless you. You can't get away with anything at Google. What we discovered, when we really
discovered the power of renewal was when we were watching tennis players, trying to understand
what made the difference between the great players and the next set of players because
we were working with many of the top 200. And it was very hard to see from when they
were playing what the difference was. One day, we were watching--my former partner and
I--actually, my former partner was watching the top--he was watching two top players on
the same court and what he'd noticed was, a man named Jim Layer, what he noticed was
that between points, these two players were doing the exact same set of four sequenced
activities. Neither of them was aware that they were doing it themselves much less that
the other one was doing it. What they were accomplishing and what you were asking about
was renewal. What they were doing was they were systematically using the 20 to 30 seconds
between points to refuel their bodies. They were doing it by first, turning away from
the net so that they left the point behind them, switching the racket from the dominant
to the non-dominant hands so they allowed the arm to relax, starting to play with the
strings of the rackets so that they could keep their attention narrowly focused on the
task at hand, and walking in a way that we came to call the "peacock walk" which is to
walk like this. Because how you hold yourself influences how you feel. So if you feel better,
obviously, you are in a position to perform better. So, those four sequenced set of activities
led to heart rate drop when we started measuring it of somewhere around one heartbeat per second.
So, the great players were getting 20 to 30 heartbeats of recovery between every point
and the players who weren't doing this sequenced set of recovery activities were getting virtually
none. >> MALE: So, your points are very well-taken.
But somewhere along the line you made an assumption that I don't quite agree with. You're assuming
that we're oscillating between the high energy, between positive and negative feelings whereas
I think we're actually--I find myself oscillating between the high and low energy. So I'm going
to go to lunch afterwards, and after lunch, I'm going to have this post-lunch low and
I'm not going to feel negative feelings towards people. I'm just going to feel, sort of, tired
and wanting to sleep. >> SCHWARTZ: Yeah, and--you know, I can tell
you that if you learn to manage your energy more skillfully and build recovery periods
starting an hour and a half after you first get to work, and work intensely, and then,
consciously and intentionally recover effectively, the recovery will mean that you won't come
out of lunch with the afternoon law. How do I know that? I know that 'cause it doesn't
happen to me. I know that because I used to be dead tired in the afternoon. Now, you can't
overcome the core physiology so you are going to be more tired at 2:30 or 3:00 trying to
do a task than you would at 10:00, which is why you ought to be doing the high demand
kinds of activities, the really complex activities earlier in the day or pass that circadian
trough. But, I will promise you that you will get a much more even availability of energy
if you more regularly and intermittently build in periods of recovery.
>> WITTENBERG: So, that's all the time we have. Tony will be up here for questions after
and we're also going to go to lunch. So anybody who'd like to join Tony for lunch, please
come up here afterwards. And let's thank Tony so much for his time here.