Guide The Two Most Unlikely

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The best seats on the plane, go to the most professional players. As I get on the plane I am ushered to sit on the top table. All alone. Normally two veterans would take this table. I am worried about this.

So he comes over and sits directly opposite me. There it was. This is why I got the table! I had a role that was bigger, being the guy that people can open up to, not just that I could score 9 points a game. The good part about being a basketball player before you are a psychologist is that the stories I get to tell tend to be a little bit more exciting!

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I think most leaders think great teams are made up of people who help optimise their job. If that is what you understand as a leader then you will never create the most dynamic type of team. When most people talk about leadership they only want the people who are the most productive. You should go further and look to the core skills that they have and they can deliver for you. Maybe there is more that a person has to offer than their exterior or their credentials? This works on a number of different levels. This works because additional jobs and additional roles are being filled on a team that would otherwise have been left unfulfilled.

Instead, I learned in the first few words of that conversation that he very clearly knew me. I learned that our team leader had taken the time and energy to look deeper and to see more of me. That in itself is a team-enhancing property. A week ago I was with a group of surgeons.

All of them work in the same room but have significant interpersonal difficulties. These people were all immensely talented individuals. John: Of course! That orientation is certainly towards creating a culture where people can best perform. John: Yes!

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One thing they all had in common was that they were very receptive for the needs of the team but also the individual player. My experience is that there is a different type of leader for every different type of person.

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We are fooled into thinking that leaders come in a couple of different categories and I, every once in a while, have a scan of what the current comments are on the topic. Most of the popular books on leadership talk about leadership types. Leadership is as individual as the person they lead. The best leaders are totally authentic to who they are. They are leading in a way that is true to their core.

Once, we had a Friday night game in Orlando and a Saturday afternoon game in Sacramento— those were always really grueling. Absolute silence. We all then headed to our rooms to get some sleep. Our rooms were adjacent and I could hear the phone in the room next to mine ringing. Afterwards, my phone rings.

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I had such a sense of relief that I fell asleep immediately and I woke up the next day and I just felt better. You know? I went to breakfast before talking through the tactics for the game. That was the thing! Nobody grumbled, sighed or said anything. I think this is a really fundamental thing…. Coloured scanning electron microscope SEM of a water bear Paramacrobiotus craterlaki in moss. David P Barash.

Brought to you by Curio , an Aeon partner. Edited by Sam Haselby. Life — each life — is special. Living things differ from the nonliving in many ways, such as metabolism, responsiveness to stimuli, and the capacity to reproduce. Living things also maintain internal conditions that are highly nonrandom and low in entropy. Unlike, say, crystals or salt solutions, life as we know it can exist only within generally narrow limits, with specified concentrations of nutrient molecules oxygen and carbon dioxide, as well as waste products.

Most organisms, moreover, can tolerate only a narrow range of acid-base balance pH , ambient pressure and temperature, osmotic concentration of various electrolytes, and so forth. In other words, individual lives are delicate, often painfully so. They require a demanding balance, one mostly achieved by homeostasis, an array of thermostatic control mechanisms that — like a thermostat in a house — increase something if it gets too low, and decrease it if it gets too high.

In his classic text The Wisdom of the Body , the American physiologist Walter Bradford Cannon detailed the ways that life maintains itself within a narrow range of parameters.

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Cannon showed how the viability of life depends on a pair of conflicting realities. The second is the contradictory fact that, by virtue of having the capacity to maintain such narrow internal horizons, despite variations in the external environment, life perseveres. Homeostasis makes organisms capable of colonising a range of different environments.

This would not be possible if their innards could reflect their immediate surroundings only.

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Turtles and snails carry their protective houses on their backs; living things have internal houses, maintained by homeostasis, and are obliged to maintain them within narrow limits. There are numerous ways, for example, for an archer to miss her mark, but only one way to hit it. A last-minute tremor, gust of wind, broken string, slightly twisted bow, inadequately feathered arrow or sudden cough: any of these can make the whole process go awry. By the same token, there are many ways for a biological system to fail — and thus, to sicken and die — but very little tolerance when it comes to maintaining the demanding conditions necessary for life.

Indeed, life can be defined as a concatenation of highly nonrandom, carefully circumscribed events that must all come together to succeed in keeping random, bad things such as death at bay. As someone first noted somewhere, there are many more ways to be dead than to be alive, which would suggest that living organisms are the poster children for fragility. Then there are extremophiles. Extremophiles tell us that everything we think we know about the fragility of life is wrong.

Life is indeed extraordinary, not to mention precious and deserving of reverence — but not in any sense miraculous. The Alvin scientists discovered organisms living in superheated water and largely metabolising hydrogen sulphide, which until then had been thought toxic and incompatible with life.

Interest in extremophiles has burgeoned in proportion as scientists have come to appreciate their abundance, as well as their novel physiology. There is a journal devoted to extremophiles, focusing on creatures that survive — even, thrive — in environments that are extremely hot, cold, highly acidic or alkaline, and so forth, circumstances that would be lethal for most living things. Not surprisingly, extremophiles tend to be relatively simple creatures, notably invertebrates and especially bacteria and archaea, although there is no bright line distinguishing , say, arctic hares, which thrive in very cold habitats, from their rabbit relatives whose habitats are more temperate.

But neither compares with those life forms whose existence excites the admiration and wonder of biologists. The Europeans who discovered this natural curiosity in were under the command of Sir Walter Raleigh, who used pitch from the lake to caulk his ship. Nor is the finding unique. In , microbiologists found abundant bacteria in a cold, dark lake of more traditional water , half a mile under the Antarctic ice. Comment required. Filed under new york mets. Share Selection. Mike Vaccaro. Zach Braziller. Sports Odds.

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