018: Playing To Win with Dr. Mark Guadagnoli -


018: Playing To Win with Dr. Mark Guadagnoli

March 7, 2018

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Hey there, I'm James Silvas. Host of the Be That 1% Podcast and Peak Performance Coach. 

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Welcome to the Be That 1% Podcast Experience!

We are beyond excited for this episode today for many reasons. First, we’re excited to have Dr. Mark Guadagnoli on today because of his expertise and vast knowledge within neuroscience and human performance and second, is because he is the professor we studied under while in college and he’s the one who ultimately inspired James’s passion for neuroscience and personal development. He’s been a mentor of James’s for many years and we am honored to have him on the show!


School of Medicine, Intersession, white board, collaboration, faculty


Dr. Mark Guadagnoli is a professor of Neuroscience and Neurology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas School of Medicine.  He also serves and the Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Director of learning and Performance for the School, and President of Triad Consulting, Inc.  Additionally, Dr. Guadagnoli has lectured at several universities including Harvard University, MIT, UCLA, UNLV, and USC.  He has been featured in several publication including The New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, GolfDigest, and appeared on programs such as, the History Channel and CBS Sports.


In addition to his university work, Dr. Guadagnoli has had an active consulting practice for nearly 20 years.  He has worked in the area of corporate optimization with companies such as Zappos.com, where he developed their corporate university (Zappos University), developed and ran executive off sites, and worked on performance optimizations with their executive team.  Dr. Guadagnoli has also worked with companies such as Audi, DaVita Healthcare Partners, as well as research and consulting for Bose, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Google, Sony, and Panasonic.


Topics of Discussion

  • Stress Resistance Learning
  • Optimal Level of Challenge
  • Do You Want To Look Good Now or Be Great Later?
  • Experience the ‘practice’ the right way
  • Unlearn what you’ve learned
  • Question what you value
  • How to get out of your own way
  • Prepare for everything, expect nothing
  • Are you playing to win or playing not to loose?
  • Challenge Point Framework
  • Developing Zappos Culture with Tony Hsieh
  • Progress is about mastering little fears
  • Flow = your challenge matches your abilities
  • Fears are mainly psychological
  • Everything comes down to your values and goals
  • Cooperative vs. Competitive Communication
  • Good, Better, How
  • You Get What You Look For


Time Stamped Show Notes

(6:30) Start of episode and introduction

(7:42) Challenge Point Theory overview “Goldilocks Principle”

(9:20) Model scales to the individual

(10:00) Short term struggles for long term gain

(11:43) Discipline techniques for success

(14:00) Borrowing information vs. Owning information

(14:25) Unlearning What You’ve Learned

(16:10) Have a beginners mind and question their value.

(18:20) Aligning life with your values

(20:40) “Prepare for everything, expect nothing.”

(21:00) Overview of Dr. Guadagnoli’s Books

  • Human Learning; Biology, Brain, and Neuroscience
  • Practice to Learn, Play to Win

(22:00) Playing to win or playing not to loose

(23:45) Human nature is designed for protection not for greatness

(24:45) Progress is about little tiny successes.

(25:35) Where don’t I want to go vs. Where Do I Want to go?

(28:35) Bully yourself to do it – Eminem

(29:00) Match your choices to your values

(30:00) Flow and testing fear

(31:55) Matching Behaviors To Goals

  • Made To Stick by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
  • Pre-Suasion by Robert Cialdini

(34:00) Filters

(36:00) Cooperative & Competitive Communication

(40:45) Look Good Now or Be Great Later

(41:20) Good, Better, How (Where’s our growth opportunity

(45:15) If you want to know where you’ll be in 5 years, listen to how you talk to yourself now

(46:15) Getting 1% better

(46:44) Self Talk and Dialogue

(49:45) Jealousy and Human Nature can override us if we don’t learn how to override it.

(51:10) Science behind Affirmation

(55:00) Jost Law – If two memories are competing the older one will take over.

(56:25) Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl

(58:10) What Be That 1% means to him

(1:00:12) Why it’s hard for people to step into their own 1%

(1:01:40) Dr. Guadagnoli in 10 Years from now



Books Mentioned

  • Pre-Suasion by Robert Cialdini
  • Made To Stick by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
  • Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl
  • Play To Win by Dr. Mark Guadagnoli
  • Human Learning; Biology, Brain, and Neuroscience by Dr. Mark Guadagnoli






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