Book Talk: The Art of Doing at SXSW, a Forbes Review

Reading at SXSW 2013
Camille Sweeney (yes, in cowboy boots!) reads from “The Art of Doing” at SXSW Interactive on Sat March 9 Austin Convention Center Ballroom G
Forbes’s Meghan Casserly reports from SXSW: “Super-Achievers Call ‘Community’ The Real Secret Of Success”
South By Southwest has become something of a Mecca for super-achievers, or more accurately, would-be super-achievers hoping to change the world one idea at a time. So it was unsurprising to find an Austin ballroom packed with more than 300 conference attendees on a humid Saturday morning to hear Camille Sweeney, a co-author of the new book “The Art Of Doing” share her findings on the common qualities of more than 36 of the world’s highest achieving humans.

“Superachievers are more than just people who excel at what they do,” she told the crowd. “They are the people who turn what they do into an art form.” With her partner Josh Gosfield, Sweeney set out to catalogue the defining qualities and philosophies shared by a wide-ranging cast of this personality types, from tennis players to rock stars to actors to architects and tycoons.

The most common theme was a surprising one. Instead of perseverance, the refrain sung over and over again by this driven set was an unshakable sense of community.

“Despite the persistent stereotype of the lone achiever, these super-achievers all believe and thrive in a strong and far-reaching community.” Guy Kawasaki, one of the luminaries interviewed for the book, calls it his ecosystem, meaning people whose success is intertwined with his own. “You can apply this theory to a rock band or a muffin shop or a billion dollar startup,” Sweeney says. A community of colleagues, employees and even competitors just might be the most critical component to not just achieving—but superachieving.

The session was short Saturday morning. Sweeney read for just under 20 minutes, ultimately rattling off the other defining characteristics her superachievers share. The book is available now on Amazon, but for anyone hungry for immediate information they are as follows:

  • Community
  • Dedication
  • Intelligent Persistence
  • Evolving
  • Listening
  • Telling a Story
  • Testing
  • Managing Emotions
  • Patience
  • Happiness

Forbes Slideshow here: The Most Common Practices Of SuperAchievers

Find full Forbes story here.

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