Friday, May 27, 2016

Presentation to Uber

I gave a talk yesterday on "The Secret to Optimal Performance" to employees at Uber, the online transportation network company that has dramatically disrupted the taxi business. It's a cool company full of people who work very hard, and I talked with them about a typical mistake ambitous people in rapidly growing companies often make that can lead to burn-out: ignoring the importance of recovery.

Using the training techniques of endurance athletes as a framework, I offered a series of suggestions to build recovery into the work day. The same concept can be extended to a week, a month, a year and even over an entire career. The key is to treat recovery and hard work as two sides of the same coin, complementary features that, when harnessed effectively, can produce great accomplishments.

I also told them about Dan Berlin, my fellow co-founder of Team See Possibilities, the first blind person to run "rim to rim to rim" across the Grand Canyon and back nonstop, and the first blind person to ascend the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu nonstop (a trek that normally takes 4 days). I guided Dan in each of those feats, and I described the way we dealt with some of the problems we faced along the way. Dan's successes are a result of his mindset. Losing his sight in his mid-30s, he had every right to fall into despair and feel sorry for himself. But instead, he decided to treat blindness as an inconvenience rather than a disability, and he's gone on to accomplish feats that intimidate the strongest athletes. Dan is a role model for anyone interested in exploring the space between their perceived limits and their actual limits.

The ensuing discussion with the Uber employees was spirited and a lot of fun. I felt honored to be there and joked that being invited to speak at Uber gave me instant street cred with my teenage son and his friends.

Here are two photos of me with Andrew Dominitz, who invited me in to give the talk. Thanks Andrew!


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