Dropping the Armor

My friend W plays in a bare-bones tennis league called T2 where pairings and arrangements are handled by email, and matches take place on weekday evenings at venues of the participants’ choosing. This is in contrast to ALTA, a venerable Atlanta institution where competition is complemented by a social component that involves food, drink and post-match bonhomie.

Last week, W and his partner had a match that was so important to them that they went out the night before and practiced. But they still lost, 6-3, 6-4, and at the men’s group meeting two days later he was still stewing about it.

"They were in their 30s," he said, disgusted. "They were all over the court, and the ball came back with heat on it."

W is a powerful guy with a flat belly who lifts weights, hikes and plays golf as well as tennis. He used to think he was pretty agile, he said, but at 60 he had to admit that he can’t quite do the things he used to do. And despite his grin, you knew it bugged him.

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Passion in a dark room

My men’s group gathered at a house on Lake Hartwell for golf, boating, eating and levity last weekend, while I was two hours south in Atlanta with a commitment to keep. 

I had an appointment Saturday morning as co-producer and on-camera host of a taping session with Dr. Jagdish Sheth, professor marketing and strategy at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School. It was the ninth in a series of archival tapes to record the thoughts, ideas, insights and observations of one of the most fertile minds in the world of business.

Dr. Sheth has written or co-written dozens of books, been on the boards of Fortune 500 companies and advises the governments of China and India as they re-tool their industries and become powerful players in the global economy.

He is on the road so much it’s a wonder he has time to teach, not to mention maintain a business called In-Core and a newly minted India, China and America Institute. He also endows a speaker series at Emory which recently brought director Mira Nair to the campus.

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