The Dynamic Path: Access the Secrets of Champions to Achieve Greatness Through Mental Toughness, Inspired Leadership and Personal Transformation


The best-selling business leader offers a fresh and compelling path to success based on extensive research and candid interviews with some of the greatest winners of our time.

In James Citrin's new paradigm-shifting book, he identifies the essential characteristics and disciplines that have led many of our outstanding athletes and other extraordinary performers to achieve equally significant accomplishments in their respective business ...
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The Dynamic Path: Access the Secrets of Champions to Achieve Greatness Through Mental Toughness, Inspired Leadership and Personal Transformation

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The best-selling business leader offers a fresh and compelling path to success based on extensive research and candid interviews with some of the greatest winners of our time.

In James Citrin's new paradigm-shifting book, he identifies the essential characteristics and disciplines that have led many of our outstanding athletes and other extraordinary performers to achieve equally significant accomplishments in their respective business careers. Citrin uses dozens of compelling interviews with personalities as varied and impressive as Colin Powell, Tony Hawk, Billie Jean King, Magic Johnson, Mia Hamm, and Buzz Aldrin, to name a few, to illustrate a new personal achievement program called the Dynamic Path-a plan that any businessperson can put to immediate use. Citrin identifies three stages on this path to greatness:

•the Champion-combine the work ethic of Tiger Woods with self-confi dence and mental toughness to reach the top

•the Great Leader-follow Bob Iger's revitalization of Disney as one of our best brands

•the Legacy-learn the ultimate lesson in good and lasting work from Lance Armstrong

With inspiring anecdotes, real-world business examples, and his trademark penetrating insight into what it takes to get ahead, Citrin once again provides a clear and concise roadmap for personal excellence.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Critin, columnist for Yahoo! Finance and senior director for Spencer Stuart, an executive recruitment and leadership consulting firm, guides readers toward reaching their ultimate potential along the path to professional and personal success. Exploring the qualities that create star performers in both business and sports, he examines what it takes to achieve greatness, the building block behavior that forms it and how these behaviors can be learned. His "Dynamic Path" leads from individual achievement through group leadership to leaving a collective legacy, inspired along the way by "Dynamic Moments," when change becomes essential. Critin recounts lively anecdotes about notable figures including Jeffrey Immelt, Terry Bradshaw, Howard Schultz, Colin Powell and others, distilling the principles of the "Path": grow or perish, build on experiences and accomplishments, focus on the success of others, play to your strengths and interests, and find a worthy and relevant cause. While Critin's stories sometimes overshadow the practical side of his lessons, there is much of value. (Sept.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781605298221
  • Publisher: Rodale Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/23/2013
  • Pages: 258
  • Sales rank: 1,349,264
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.54 (d)

Meet the Author

James M. Citrin
James M. Citrin is one of the world's leading executive search consultants and an expert on leadership and success. He is a senior director and member of the worldwide board of directors of Spencer Stuart. Citrin's previous books, including Lessons from the Top, The Five Patterns of Extraordinary Careers, and You're in Charge, Now What?, as well as his popular Yahoo! Finance column, "Leadership by Example," have cemented his place as one of the most original thinkers on leadership in the world today. He lives with his wife and three children in Connecticut.


James M. Citrin is one of the world's leading executive search consultants and an expert on leadership and success. He is a senior director and member of the Worldwide Board of Directors of Spencer Stuart. Since joining Spencer Stuart in January 1994, Citrin has completed more than 350 executive and board director search assignments.

Citrin's previous books are You're in Charge, Now What? (Crown Business 2005), The 5 Patterns of Extraordinary Careers (Crown Business 2003), Zoom: Navigating the Road to the Next Economy (Doubleday 2002), and Lessons from the Top: The Search for America's Best Business Leaders (Doubleday 1999). He has co produced and hosted special series based on the books for CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight (September 2003) and CNBC's Squawk Box (January 2005). Citrin has appeared on The Today Show, Good Morning America, and CBS's The Early Show and has been interviewed by all major national print, television, and radio outlets. In addition, he writes the popular bi-weekly column, Leadership by Example for Yahoo! Finance.

Prior to joining Spencer Stuart in 1994, Citrin was director of corporate planning at The Reader's Digest Association. Before that, he spent 5 years with McKinsey & Company in the United States and France, serving as a senior engagement manager. Earlier, he was an associate with Goldman, Sachs & Company, and spent 3 years as a financial analyst with Morgan Stanley.

A 1981 Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Vassar College with a BA in economics, Citrin has served as a member of the Vassar Board of Trustees since 1999. He earned an MBA from the Harvard Business School, graduating with distinction in 1986. Thanks to The Dynamic Path, Citrin was honored to receive an invitation from the United States Olympic Committee to become an Adjunct Professor at their newly created Olympic University, a groundbreaking program of leadership development based on the principles of the Olympic Movement. He lives in Connecticut with his wife, Gail, and their three children, Teddy, Oliver, and Lily.
Author biography courtesy of Rodale Press, Incorporated

Good To Know

I did not read a book for pleasure until my freshman year in college and as a consequence I was a terrible writer - very immature. However, my English professor at Vassar College, William Gifford, who is a living legend in having taught numerous award winning writers, did not throw me out on my ear. He was encouraging and helpful in his feedback to my early papers, even if they could have been ripped to shreds by the red pen. I really fell in love with writing my junior year when I was in Professor Gifford's expository writing seminar, where each of the 20 students would write a paper on a particular very specific topic, e.g., 'an interaction,' or 'twenty years from now.' On that particular paper, I wrote a story about how as Director of Admissions for Vassar College I was agonizing over two extraordinary finalist candidates, given how prominent Vassar had become as a school in the intervening 20 years. There was a certain degree of foreshadowing to that paper - as I became a trustee of Vassar in 1999 and have for 14 years now, been a professional recruiter!
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    1. Hometown:
      New Canaan, Connecticut USA
    1. Education:
      Vassar College, A.B. 1981 in Economics, Harvard Business School, MBA 1986
    2. Website:

Table of Contents

Prologue     ix
Introduction: The Cloak Room     1
A Touch of Immortality: The Dynamic Path Explained     19
Dynamic Moment I: Deciding to Become a Champion     37
The Body of a Champion     61
The Mind of a Champion     79
Dynamic Moment II: The Perilous Perch     101
The Making of a Great Leader     123
Dynamic Moment III: Finding a Calling     161
Lessons in Legacy Building     179
Conclusion: Living the Dynamic Life     199
Discipline, Dynamics, and Manned Flight: Intellectual Exploration of Dynamics     209
Notes     221
Acknowledgments     229
About the Author     233
Index     235
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The Cloak Room

By 11 o’clock one night, only a few senators remained in the Democratic cloak room. One was writing notes in his folio. Another was pacing back and forth in contemplation. A couple of others were listening attentively to a senior senator pull from his seemingly endless stable of jokes. Another senator—all 6 feet 5 inches of him—stood by the window taking in the whole scene. The anxiousness that he had felt for the previous 4 months as a freshman senator left him at that moment, replaced by a growing sensation of calm. “You know,” he thought to himself, “this really isn’t a whole lot different from the Knicks’ locker room.”

His former career as a professional basketball player had given him a wealth of experience from which to draw upon in the US Senate. “It turned out that how I conducted myself in the interpersonal dynamics of the Senate was the same as when I was on the Knicks,” Bill Bradley told me some 27 years after that night in the cloak room.

When Bill Bradley began playing basketball in fourth grade in his hometown of Crystal City, Missouri, he did it alone. Bradley’s father, a devoted bank manager whose greatest thrill in life was never foreclosing on a customer’s home throughout the Great Depression, “didn’t even know what basketball was,” Bradley says. “He didn’t see a basketball game until I was in the seventh grade.”

As a teenager, Bradley spent hours upon hours alone in the gym shooting. And shooting. And shooting. He loved the sound of the basketball hitting the polished wooden floor and echoing off of the empty stands. He became addicted to the swish of the ball sailing through the net and the feel of his fingertips in just the right places on the seam of the leather ball. The repetition of dribbling and shooting became a kind of ritual for Bradley. He stayed out on that floor day after day, week after week, year after year. Before he allowed himself to leave the gym each day, he had to make 25 consecutive shots from five different spots around the floor. “Sometimes I would get to 23 and miss the 24th and have to start all over,” he said.

Bradley’s work ethic was stoked by a comment that he remembers to this day. After his first year in high school, “Easy” Ed McCauley, a former pro basketball player for the Boston Celtics and a local basketball icon in Crystal City, shared words that made a deep impression on the young Bill: “If you’re not practicing, just remember—someone somewhere is practicing, and when you two meet, given roughly equal ability, he will win.”

While Bradley insists that practice makes perfect, he acknowledges that there are some natural gifts that helped make him a basketball star; his height and extraordinary peripheral vision are two. But as Bradley says it, “there is no greater myth in basketball than the ‘natural athlete.’” Natural ability, as we will see over and over in this book, can take you only so far.

Not only did he dedicate himself to maximizing his abilities by practicing harder than anyone else, Bradley also loved the team aspect of the game. By the time he made it to Princeton, Bradley felt an overwhelming emotion about his team and a devotion to his teammates: “Something like blood kinship, but without its complications.” Bradley took almost perverse joy in “the improbable pass” that made his teammate the star. “It’s seeing the pass that leads to the pass that leads to the basket,” Bradley says. “When your teammate goes back door because the other guy is overplaying him and you drop a bounce pass perfectly in his hands, arriving at the exact place he needs to get the ball in order to finish the shot and he makes it, it’s a transcendent moment. You’re then taken someplace out of this world—at least for 5 seconds.”

Bradley has always been ambitious both for himself and for the teams and organizations of which he was a member. He was a master at setting concrete goals and pursuing them with focus, action plans, hard work, and dedication. One of the characteristics of Bradley’s goals and achievements, similar to most champions, is that they are like building blocks, one resting on top of the other. For example, he wanted his Crystal City High School team to win the Missouri state basketball championship (they did, helping him become a three-time all-American in the process). He wanted his beloved Princeton team to win the (National Collegiate Athletic Association) crown (mission almost accomplished; his senior year the team finished number 3 in the NCAA tournament, the best finish in the university’s history). Bradley set individual goals as well. He wanted to earn academic honors and become a Rhodes Scholar (he did, and went on to Oxford University’s Worcester College for his master’s degree). He wanted to earn a spot on the US Olympic team and help the team win a gold medal (not only did he make it, he was elected captain of the 1964 team that indeed won the gold). He wanted to make it into the NBA and be a part of a championship team (his career with the New York Knicks included two NBA championships and election into the Basketball Hall of Fame). He wanted to be elected to the US Senate (his three terms allowed him to serve for 18 years). Finally, he wanted to be elected president of the United States (well, even Bradley couldn’t accomplish that one). “The fact that I lost the nomination [in 2000] and therefore lost the chance to be president was a real blow for me,” Bradley confided. “But then I realized that it would be foolish to define myself only in terms of being president of the United States. That would be the ultimate form of letting your identity and success be defined from the outside.”

Laying the Groundwork

Not every talented athlete can make it to and succeed in the pros. And not every professional athlete, even the most ambitious, most popular, brightest, and hardest working one, can succeed to the degree of being elected to the US Senate. What made the difference for Bradley? For starters, early in his career he laid the groundwork for his long-term goal of a career in politics and public service. During the off-season, he traveled extensively in the United States and internationally, meeting with social activists, journalists, government officials, academics, and business professionals to expand his knowledge and develop important relationships. He also participated in basketball camps serving disadvantaged youths and taught at the Urban League in Harlem. Beyond New York, Bradley also worked as an assistant to the director of the Office of Economic Opportunity in Washington, D.C., developing a reputation for intelligence and teamwork in influential Democratic circles. In 1978, coupling his reputation as a “thinker” and team player with his popularity from the Knicks, Bradley was able to garner the votes needed to be elected to the US Senate.

With this goal achieved, he set a new one: becoming a highly respected senator known for wise international policies and getting legislation implemented. His attitude and approach were a direct carryover from basketball. Bradley recognized that the objectives were similar: to get people from disparate backgrounds to come together and to cooperate in achieving a common end. He conducted himself in the Senate as he had when he played on the Knicks. “We used to have a joke,” he said, “that how a Democrat succeeded in a Republican Senate was to have a good idea and let them steal it.” Bradley believes that the improbable pass and its equivalent in a workplace setting is just as rewarding off the court as it was on the court. “If you are truly interested in the success of your endeavor,” Bradley says, “then credit is something that you can easily trade away in order to achieve it.”

Success rarely falls from the sky and drops in your lap; you generally achieve it in each place you visit, and it grows in your travels along the way. More than 4 decades later, Bradley’s Princeton classmates look prescient in retrospect. In their “1965 Senior Class Poll,” a half-serious, half--kidding list of 81 different awards, ranging from “Biggest Socialite” and “Most Impeccably Dressed” to “Most Ambitious” and “Most Brilliant,” Bradley racked up a few honors that were to foretell his future. He was named “Most Popular,” “Best Athlete,” “Most Likely to Succeed,” and, best of all, “Princeton’s Greatest Asset.”

An all-American basketball player at Princeton University, Rhodes Scholar, member of the NBA champion team the New York Knicks, long-serving United States senator, and US presidential candidate in the 2000 Democratic primaries. What conceivable relevance could Bill Bradley’s career path possibly hold for you or me? Actually, much more than meets the eye.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2007

    Wrestling with a profound question

    Just finished this book. Its really good- surprised by the fact that I was a bit moved at the end. There's a profound question that the book is wrestling with- to help people make a life that matters. It is a longing that everyone has, and I think this theme will be a powerful message as the world is introduced to its concepts. Glad to have read it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted December 7, 2008

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