5 Performance Saboteurs You Can Solve Quickly

You go further when you drop the saboteur you carry on your back.

Dung pile.

Ignoring bad stuff doesn't help; neither does camping under a dung pile.

1. The saboteur of getting up late:

A frantic morning is the beginning of a distracted day.

“I wake up early so I can do nothing,” Leslie Harris.

“Business leaders need to take time to forget about time, and that helps them to be creative when they arrive at work,” Geir Berthelsen.


  • Eliminate distraction in the morning. No email or Internet for at least 15 minutes.
  • Adopt a liberating morning routine.

When your hair is on fire in the morning, you’re toast by end of day.

2. The saboteur of big dreams:

The distant future is a burden no leader can carry for long.

Brief visits to the distant future provide direction and meaning for daily decisions and actions. But living in the distant future makes you unuseful and frustrated today.


  • Determine how today’s opportunities and challenges are equipping you to reach your dream.
  • Write down long-term goals AND short-term actions. What do you need to do today to reach your long-term dream?

3. The saboteur of neglecting what’s working:

Your inner critic loves misery and rejects enjoyment.

Frustration is temporary fuel. Enjoyment is long-term energy.

Ignoring bad stuff doesn’t help; neither does camping under a dung pile.


Ask yourself and others, “What’s working?”

4. The saboteur of delay:

“Small deeds done are better than great deeds planned.” Peter Marshall


  • Do it. Get in the habit of finishing stuff. Perfectionism isn’t helpful.
  • Schedule it. (At least write it on a list.) If something needs to be done, it’s worth scheduling.
  • Eliminate it. If you have to-dos that are months old, cross them off your list.

5. The saboteur of thinking too much:

Thinking apart from action makes you stupid and discouraged.


  • Insight often comes WHILE working to solve a problem.
  • Find solutions AS you go.

Which of the above saboteurs do you frequently see in leaders/organizations?

What saboteurs would you add to the above list?