The 110 Percent Solution

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Mark McCormack manages athletes. He admires their abilities and discipline. He thinks that the best athletes really know how to be successful, just as McCormack has been in his sports celebrity management business.

In the first part of his book, McCormack advises prospective winners in business to work very hard all the time. The only problem is that, sometimes, harried winners become too exhausted to remember their clients’ names. So, McCormack advocates occasional office catnaps to maintain peak performance. He neglects to mention that this option is only open to people who have an office with a door.

McCormack’s book is peppered with testimonials from top sports professionals. It is obvious from their stories that they give 110 percent to the achievement of their goals. It is also clear that most of them suffer form some kind of obsessive neurosis. They are sports nerds, with nothing in their life as important as winning the next competition.

McCormack seems to suggest that obsession is useful in business as well. This advice contradicts the post-1980’s attitude of many psychologists, who assert that mental health and happiness lie in slowing down and stepping off the achievement treadmill.

In its second half, THE 110 PERCENT SOLUTION does offer some useful tips on business negotiation. And, although this book seems out of step with the spirit of the 1990’s, its frantic motivational message will probably be useful to people in sales, who need encouragement to cope with the rejection inherent in their jobs.