Friday, November 20, 2015

The natural voice...

As I go back through Josh Waitzkin's book The Art of Learning, which I had originally read several years ago, I'm paying special attention to things that might be applicable to business and investing; ideas that may lead one to achieve peak performance, and things that may lead one to failure. As I came across the excerpt below, it made me think that there may be some insight into why certain partnerships and groups of people can work incredibly well together, and why some are likely to end in failure. I haven't read Michael Eisner's book yet, Working Together: Why Great Partnerships Succeed, but I know Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger are included in it, so I may need to look into it.

After reading the excerpt below, it made me think that one of the reasons they may have succeeded so well together is that their relationship is structured in a way that allows them to both learn and pursue their interests in their own way; with Buffett spending more time with Berkshire businesses and managers and Munger spending more time pursuing worldly wisdom. Their pursuits and the way they spend their time have plenty of overlap, but the details are more personalized to each of them. And the knowledge they've gained and the progress they've made individually come together in a way that leads to a smarter and more objective way to make decisions over time. In essence, they have structured their environments in a way where they can pursue what they are passionate about, and that allows them to stay interested and keep on tap dancing to work every day. 

From The Art of Learning:
A key component of high-level learning is cultivating a resilient awareness that is the older, conscious embodiment of a child’s playful obliviousness. My chess career ended with me teetering on a string above leaping flames, and in time, through a different medium, I rediscovered a relationship to ambition and art that has allowed me the freedom to create like a child under world championship pressure. This journey, from child back to child again, is at the very core of my understanding of success.  
I believe that one of the most critical factors in the transition to becoming a conscious high performer is the degree to which your relationship to your pursuit stays in harmony with your unique disposition. There will inevitably be times when we need to try new ideas, release our current knowledge to take in new information—but it is critical to integrate this new information in a manner that does not violate who we are. By taking away our natural voice, we leave ourselves without a center of gravity to balance us as we navigate the countless obstacles along our way.