4 Things High Performers Do that Others Neglect
High performance isn’t an accident.
#1. Plan it:
I have a friend who transformed his body from jelly to steel. He doesn’t simply show up at the gym. He plans his workouts. He knows tomorrow is cardio day. He knows the day after tomorrow is biceps and back.
Plan your development.
If you don’t know what you’re working on, you’re beating the wind.
#2. Practice it:
You don’t get better by leading. You get better when you practice leadership behaviors.
If you aren’t practicing, you aren’t improving.
A golfer goes to the putting green to practice one thing – putting. To be specific, she might practice her grip, while she putts.
- How many ways could you begin a meeting?
- How many strategies could you try to fuel energy or create clarity?
Tip: Practice one behavior at a time.
(Read: Mastery by Robert Green.)
#3. Watch it:
Determine what you want to improve and watch experts do it.
I don’t sit backstage before or after I speak at conferences. I sit in the audience and watch speakers. I’m watching for style and technique, not content.
- How do they begin?
- What helps them connect?
- What types of stories do they tell?
Intentionally hone your skills in order to reach your potential. If not, you fall into unproductive habits that feel comfortable, but sabotage growth.
#4. Track it:
High performers don’t simply work hard. They track key behaviors and performance indicators.
Go to the gym and look for the person who’s carrying a small notebook. They know how many reps they’ve done. They know how far they went on the treadmill last week.
- How many affirmations did you give yesterday?
- How many times did you ask a follow-up question?
- What self-reflection questions are you asking at the end of the day?
Which of the above strategies are most useful to you? Why?
What might you add to the above list of strategies to develop your leadership?
A twist on an old saying from a great coach; “Practice doesn’t make perfect; perfect practice keeps you going toward perfection”
Nicely put. Thanks Russell.
When a runner, a bodybuilder or a golfer practice, they do so with an end in mind: to be a better runner, bodybuilder or golfer. Most leaders/managers will be told, often within the same day, that they need to get better at golf whilst not worrying about running/bodybuilding, a better runner whilst ignoring golf/muscle AND to get stronger whilst not wasting time on golf or running. Oh, and improve their swimming too, whilst not wasting time on non-bottom line serving golf, running or bodybuilding!
Love this, Mitch. As soon as I started reading, l knew it was essential.
Such direct simple advice
References too for more study
Isn’t the #3 also the #1? I think for you to provoke change and improve you need a certain part of motivation from others for you to believe you can do it. Thoughts?
Planning and tracking are two key elements for improvement. I recently have started being excruciatingly specific in my training while also documenting. I love the freedom to execute that it brings. Devise a plan, execute, and then reflect.
Great stuff, Dan!
A simple, yet potent formula for consistent and progressive improvement and success. Thank you for your insights Dan!