Tony Schwartz is President and CEO of The Energy Project, a company that helps individuals and organizations perform better and more sustainably.
Tony spent the first part of his career working as a journalist. Hungry for a deeper sense of significance following the success of his book Trump: The Art of the Deal, Tony embarked on a four-year search for meaning, which culminated in his book What Really Matters: Searching For Wisdom in America, published in 1996. During his quest, he met and worked with psychologists, philosophers, mystics, healers, artists and scientists who seemed to have a compelling perspective about the nature of wisdom.
Eager to test and translate his insights into the real world, Tony partnered with Jim Loehr, president of the Human Performance Institute, who had developed a highly effective program for managing physical energy, based on his work with elite athletes.
After working together for four years and coauthoring the #1 bestselling The Power of Full Engagement, Tony left HPI to found the Energy Project in 2003. His goal was to build a program that addressed each of our four key energy needs: sustainability (physical), security (emotional), self-expression (mental), and significance (spiritual).
Tony's most recent book, The Way We're Working Isn't Working: The Four Forgotten Needs that Energize Great Performance, was published in May 2010 and became an immediate New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller.
Tony is a frequent contributor to the Harvard Business Review and one of HBR.org's most popular bloggers. He also blogs regularly on the Huffington Post and on Oprah.com. He has delivered keynotes to audiences around the world and has worked with leaders at dozens of organizations including Google, Sony, Ford, Pfizer and Ernst and Young, as well as the Los Angeles Police Department, the Cleveland Clinic and the National Security Agency.
He lives in New York City with his wife, Deborah, a psychoanalyst. They have two grown daughters, Kate, a director, and Emily, who works at The Energy Project.
When I sat down to write this blog, it was the most important thing on my agenda. Even so, I did just about everything I could think of to avoid the task. Facing a blank page, I figured I would just check my email first, or update my Facebook or Twitter, or check the morning headlines in The New York Times , or read the comments readers left overnight on earlier posts I'd done.
Something insidious has happened. The same device most of us use to get our primary work accomplished--a computer, a smartphone, an iPad, or some combination of the above--is also now the repository of endless distractions and every imaginable source of immediate gratification.
It's nearly impossible now to ignore the siren call of Google and YouTube, books and blogs, TV shows and movies, music and video games, email and texting, newspapers and magazines, and countless web sites and apps--always just a few clicks or keystrokes away as we settle in to work.
We're free to indulge our every whim, no matter how trivial, and that's exactly what we do.
The social critic Linda Stone calls this fractured form...