Mike James Ross

About my book - Intention: The Surprising Psychology of High Performers

We’re stuck. Stuck to the couch. Stuck scrolling. Stuck at work. Stuck in worn-out paths of habitual action. Stuck in patterns and echo chambers of thought. Stuck in carefully curated lives where we’ve traded our agency for endless comforts that wrap us in existential ennui.

This book is a practical guide to unsticking yourself and infusing purpose into your life in a deliberate and evidence-based way. Through a combination of inspiring stories about unlikely high performers and evidence from the bleeding edge of behavioral science, philosophy, leadership theory, and psychology, INTENTION presents you with a toolkit for learning five very trainable skills to help you realize your potential and live at your best.

"Intention is an expression of our identity, and to live without it is to lose ourselves"

About me

I am the CHRO of Simons, a leading North American retailer, where I help ~5,000 employees thrive. Prior to Simons, I was a consultant at McKinsey, focused on transforming Fortune 100 companies into better workplaces. I then founded a coaching and leadership development firm that worked with global organizations such as Google and Cirque du Soleil. In my past lives, I've also been a finance lawyer, a private equity investor, and ran a peace negotiations project in the Middle East. I live in Québec City with my wife and twin 10 year olds. 

More information about the book

Society is more productive than ever, yet as individuals we have never felt so powerless and unengaged, living in a state of languish–neither mentally healthy nor mentally ill, just in a generalized ‘blah-ness'. 

How did we get here? How is it possible that in an era that has blessed us with longer life expectancy–as well as unprecedented comfort and security–we find ourselves grappling with escalating depression, anxiety, and suicide rates? Why is it that the same modern technology and tools that have made us almost godlike compared to our ancestors leave many of us feeling powerless? How is it that workplaces that have never cared so much about fostering purpose and meaning feel more meaningless than ever? And why is it that more people than ever express a sense of disengagement or loss of interest and motivation than ever?

As pervasive as it seems, not everyone is trapped in the gravity of languishing. The ones that have broken free aren’t necessarily the richest or the most traditionally successful. 

What sets them apart from the rest of us is their ability to act with intention. These aren’t just CEOs and top athletes; they’re students, stay-at-home parents, minimum-wage workers and artists. Despite the limits of their circumstance, these individuals harness the power of intention and – in some cases – are able to radiate that feeling of intention to others.

Reading this book will give you the tools you need to build your intentionality muscle, and help you overcome the languishing of modern life. This isn’t a set of rules for how we should live. It’s a call to action to choose to live the way we were meant to - and in doing so, realize our potential as high performers while enjoying the satisfactions of an intentional life.

"Despite the pace and gravity of modern existence, many of us have a better opportunity for a truly rewarding life than ever before. We are in an era defined by options, giving us the freedom and responsibility to choose ourselves."

What expert reviewers are saying about the book

Tony Robbins, #1 NY Times Bestselling author, entrepreneur and philanthropist

Dr. Marshall Goldsmith, Thinkers50 #1 Executive Coach and New York Times bestselling author of The Earned Life, Triggers, and What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

Nir Eyal, bestselling author of Indistractable and Hooked

Jeff Goins, bestselling author of The Art of Work

Gay Hendricks, Ph.D., author of The Big Leap

Adam Alter, New York Times bestselling author of Irresistible and Anatomy of a Breakthrough, Professor of Marketing and Psychology at NYU's Stern School of Business