Editor’s note: Chris Heivly co-founded MapQuest (which sold to AOL for $1.2 billion), was sole managing director of 77 Capital (a $25 million venture fund), and has been an executive at five software companies. Currently, he is one of two managing directors of The Startup Factory in Durham. A national writer and speaker about startups and startup communities, Heivly is also the founder of the Big Top Job Fair.

DURHAM – Every manager should strive to put their team in a flow state.

Have you ever been in that moment when everything seems to be going perfectly? You could be playing tennis and you know where the ball is going before your opponent actually hits it. Or you are working on that next article for INC and the words just seem to pour out of the keyboard.

Most of you know that as being in a “flow state”. Writer and professor Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi pioneered the concept of flow states. I first came to the idea through he book, The Rise of Superman by Steven Kotler (thanks Scott Barstow). This book is a must read for those of you who want to understand both the psychology and biology and furthermore strive to put themselves in a flow state to achieve their goals.

Athletes used to call this being in the zone. Other may refer to being hyper-focused. There are also historical examples in Hindu, Taoism and Buddhism teachings.

Csikszentmihalya defines flow state as being completely present and fully immersed in a task. Sounds easy enough, right? If you can find a flow state individually – good for you. You know the power that emanates from being in the place.

But as a manager, I strive to find team flow state.

For tips on how to find your team’s flow state, see the full post at:


(C) Chris Heivly