CRS-with-About-CRSIn Performance Breakthrough Cathy Salit presents the revolutionary approach to learning and growing that she and her company Performance of a Lifetime have been using for twenty years to help American Express, Nike, Pfizer, the United States Olympic Committee, PwC, 3M, and Chanel, among a Who’s Who of other brand name clients.

Salit’s core idea is that all humans have an innate ability to perform, pretend, and improvise. It’s what helps us develop as children and continue developing as adults. You may not have been on a stage since you played a tree in third grade, but the reality is that you’re performing all the time. Performance Breakthrough shows how you can use ideas and techniques from theater and improvisation, along with the new science of performative psychology, to enhance your performance at work and “become who you are not yet.”

In his best-seller, To Sell is Human, Daniel Pink devotes almost an entire chapter to just one aspect of Salit’s work. Performance Breakthrough presents her full methodology to help you hone your listening, relationship and communication skills; recognize and act on opportunities; build healthy working relationships; and grow as a leader. No matter what the challenge, the combination of her case studies and practical exercises will help you realize your potential and deliver your own top performance.

A Hachette Books Hardcover, on sale now


  • I know from my own experience having Cathy Salit as a teacher that her lessons can be life-changing. This remarkable book will electrify your work and enliven your soul.”

    Daniel H. Pink

    author of To Sell is Human and Drive

    By viewing our identities and our jobs through the lens of improvisation and performance, Salit shows us how to find the courage to go beyond our self-imposed limits. With compelling stories and exercises that move us, she teaches it as she lives it.”

    Sheila Heen and Doug Stone

    best-selling authors of Difficult Conversations and Thanks for the Feedback

    PERFORMANCE BREAKTHROUGH is a refreshing and fascinating book about how to grow as a person and as a professional. Cathy Salit’s vivid storytelling, humor and wisdom combined with highly creative and practical coaching makes it a must read for anyone who’s looking to stretch, learn and become more of who they really are.”


    co-founder of Quiet Revolution and New York Times best-selling author of QUIET: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

    Performing on the athletic stage is something everyone understands. Cathy Salit surprises us all with her innovative approach and practice about performing everyday — off the field of play. PERFORMANCE BREAKTHROUGH shows us how to harness the power and techniques of performance into achieving our goals in all aspects of life, work and play. I'm a believer! You will be too, once you read her book.”

    Andrew Valmon

    2X Olympic gold medalist, United States head track & field coach, 2012 London Olympics

  • This is an exhilarating book. Cathy Salit shows how we can make ourselves more effective in our relationships with others not by adopting a set of slogans or rigid formulas but by activating the basic human capacity to learn through play, from the outside in, by performing the kind of person we wish to be. In the workplace or at home, hers is a liberating approach that will both simplify and enrich your life.”

    Mary Catherine Bateson

    Cultural anthropologist, best-selling author of Composing a Life

    Cathy Salit’s PERFORMANCE BREAKTHROUGH breathes life into the tired buzzwords taking over business, education and social science writing. Here’s a book without hype! Bravo! Salit has managed to share not merely her extraordinary successful workplace practice but its underpinnings as well, in the theoretical “breakthrough” of performance as a new ontology. Bravo redux!”

    Lois Holzman

    Vygotskian scholar, co-author, The End of Knowing

    What a delightfully captivating performance! Salit invites us all to be more than we are, to open new vistas for relating with others, and to develop our skills for creative improvisation. And what’s more, she provides us with the practical tools for achieving these ends. Given the current context of rapid organizational change, Salit’s wisdom is essential.”

    Kenneth J. Gergen

    author of The Saturated Self and Relational Being: Beyond Self and Community

    Cathy Salit has written a marvelous book which opens up our ordinary experiences — in business and in daily life — to dimensions of interactive growth through improvising, creating, connecting with other people. She has developed powerful practices that give people access to the relational, collaborative character of everything we do. And she teaches us how to see business as a natural life activity.”

    Stephen Nachmanovitch

    Author of Free Play

  • Every CEO — indeed every leader — should read and apply PERFORMANCE BREAKTHROUGH to their business. I will personally be handing out copies of this elegant, powerful book to every leader I know. Wow!”

    Phil Terry

    Founder and CEO, Collaborative Gain

    PERFORMANCE BREAKTHROUGH is an instruction manual for anyone interested in performing the person they are becoming. Its application is very broad…I can’t think of a business, enterprise or life situation where the fundamentals of performance as outlined in this book cannot be applied. This is a book that I often refer to and re-read, and recommend to everyone."

    Sharon Krumm, PhD, RN

    Director of nursing/administrator, The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at The Johns Hopkins Hospital

    What a brave new contribution to leadership thinking! Cathy has a rare ability to completely shift people’s view of themselves and their teams. Her work is transformative, and this book captures more than twenty years of experience in a way that is witty, often heart-wrenching and always practical — teaching us to explore our human potential by seeing through the lens of a director on the 'stage of life.'”

    Tom Andrews

    President, SYPartners

    In a book as energizing as she is, Cathy Salit captures her unique method of learning by connecting what, for many of us, are the exotic concepts of theater with the familiarity of everyday work life. She shows us how to step out of our comfort zones, and 'perform' each scene in the office — and life — in new and exceptional ways.”

    Linda Tepedino

    Human resources and leadership consultant (former POAL client and VP of human resources at Consumer Reports)

  • There is still a wealth of untapped potential in humanity and in human potential, in how we can grow personally and grow together, in what we can become. PERFORMANCE BREAKTHROUGH gives us tools to do that, and to grow in new directions."

    Dylan Schleicher

    Managing Editor of ChangeThis

    Read full review

    PERFORMANCE BREAKTHROUGH should be required reading for anyone who wants to further develop their ability to be creative in how they speak to clients, customers and the public at large."

    Tor Myhren

    Vice president of marketing communications, Apple


    Performance of a Lifetime has been a key strategic learning partner in our work with Fortune 500 clients for more than a decade. I’m glad to see that Cathy and her team have found a way to package the important concepts, techniques, and creative messages they teach into a compelling read. The book contains unique, timely and valuable material for leaders navigating these turbulent times.” 

    Mike Canning

    CEO, Duke Corporate Education

    Salit and her powerful performance methodology provide just the kind of new thinking and new tools to empower managers to create the kind of creative, inclusive and innovative environment we need to be successful. I personally want everyone with whom I ever work to read Cathy Salit’s book and to practice what she preaches."

    Herve Jean Baptiste

    Former Senior VP, Global Markets, Technology and Operations, Bank of America


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