Topic: Life Lessons from the Baseball Field
Michael Porter: I think sports was a really defining part of my upbringing. Certainly until I went away to Princeton and even after that, sports was always my ticket to engaging and making friends, and getting established in all these new communities. I always had that. A couple of days out on the baseball field and I would make friends and I would be accepted.
You also develop this discipline and this sense that you're competing, and that you have to prepare, and that you have to practice, and train, and rehearse and so forth. And I think that mindset kind of carried over into my work. Of course my work isn't about sports, although it's fundamentally about competition.
In fact, one of the books that I've got on my long term list of writings is a book about why we see certain nations and regions excelling in particular sports. And so the international competitiveness of sports is, I think, a fascinating parallel to many of the same issues that I study in my work on economic development.Recorded on: June 11, 2007