The Workplace Athlete Study Group


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During the pandemic, WPI Business School Assistant Dean and Adjunct Teaching Professor Brent French founded The Workplace Athlete Study Group (WASG). WASG is based on the idea that professionals are athletes striving to deliver sustained high performance under strenuous conditions. 

WASG combines three Big Ideas to prepare members for an uncertain/challenging future:

  1. Jim Loehr, EdD’s premise from the famous Harvard Business Review article The Making of a Corporate Athlete (2001).
  2. Surgeon and MacArthur Award recipient Atul Gawande’s assertion that “coaching may be the most effective intervention designed for human performance”. (The New Yorker, 2011)
  3. People learn deeper and faster in a mutually supportive group setting.

    Members have performed distinction in WPI’s graduate-level OBC 505 Teaming and Organization for Innovation course and demonstrated a strong willingness to work on their weaknesses (growth mindset, from Stanford University’s Carol Dweck, 2007). A previous history in sports/athletics is not a requirement, just the desire to perform on-the-job at the highest level of their potential. 

The Workplace Athlete Study Group

Members of the WPI Business School community meet biweekly to discuss post-pandemic leadership practices, peak professional and academic performance, and their most complex challenges in a forum that provides developmental peer feedback and inspiration.

Todd Woodrick joined our 2024 kickoff session to share his experiences as a private equity investor and founding member of the women-led Acansa Investment Management Group.

Current WASG members Chris Romano, Andrew Neamtu, Patrick Hagearty, Amitai Erfanian, and Federico Galbiati were joined by former member Elizabeth Viveiros to discuss goal setting and risks, team selection, and building learning networks. Session feedback was off-the-charts, PERFECT way to start the new year.