High Performance Secrets

High performance secrets — when put into practice — will push you towards the professional success you are looking for.  I have had the privilege over the past 30 years to get to know hundreds of high performers across the country, across many different industries.  They all have a few things in common…I like to call them high performance secrets.  Today I am sharing two of those with you.

#1 Desire to Exceed

This first secret for high performance is — an internal desire to exceed. 

Opposite of high-performers, under performers are relieved to relive rather than desiring to exceed. Being an under performer does not make someone a bad person, however being an under performer does result in wasted time, wasted opportunities, and worse still, wasted talent. Many under performers underperform due to their desire to live in the past and cling tightly to fleeting memories of former success and glory. They hold on to tasks they’ve accomplished, awards they’ve received, promotions they’ve earned — all great of course, but all in the past. The fact is our followers are less concerned about how the past used to be for us and far more concerned about how the future is going to be for them.

On the other hand, high performers will enjoy an occasional trip down memory lane, but they don’t pitch their tents and they don’t stake a claim there. Peak performers are constantly making new plans in order to realize and enjoy new successes.


Your Turn

Let’s focus on you for a moment.  Answer the following questions:

1 — As a general rule, do you tend to look backward longingly at career accomplishments, or forward expectantly to new career goals?

Do not be fooled when reflecting on this question, it’s not just a matter of semantics why your personal perspective here really matters.

2 — Do you tend to depend exclusively on your former knowledge, skills and understanding — how you’ve done it before — to overcome the challenges you face? Or, are you diligently studying, exploring and developing appropriate strategies for new challenges that are being experienced all the time?

Let’s face it, the world is not changing. It’s already changed and you must change, that is, as a leader. Remember the old adage, if only tool you have is a hammer, then probably every problem looks like a nail.

3 — Do you tend to ignore or resist messages like this thinking it’s meant for someone else? Or, does it start you thinking about a multitude of opportunities to be found around you?

I trust that if you’re not a peak performer now, that you’re sincerely desiring to exceed previous levels of performance and accomplishment. But watching and doing, well they’re two different things. It’s now time for you to do something. It’s time for you to go out and exceed. You can do it. I know you can.



#2 Crystalize Thinking into Goals

This second secret for high performance is — crystalize thinking into goals. 

Being crystal clear about your destination is absolutely critical to long-term high performance leadership success.

High performers control their thoughts.  We best control our thoughts when we direct those thoughts towards a concrete goal or action. Now, I don’t presume to know your thoughts or goals, but since you may regularly be reading these leadership blogs, I assume you have some desire to be a more effective leader. Therefore, I’ll suggest some things for you to think about, coupled with some possible goals for you to consider.

Suggestions for You

First, think about what you’re reading and its ultimate effect, if any, on your leadership readiness. A personal goal, for example, might be to read for at least 20 minutes a day. Simple enough. You could choose a book, newspaper or magazine articles, blogs, leadership websites, whatever.

Second, think about who you’re interacting with and what you’re learning from them. A personal goal might be to have lunch or even a telephone conversation monthly with a leader that you admire and can learn from. Just do it. Pick up the phone and call them. I’ll bet you’ll be amazed at their accessibility and willingness to share with you. But don’t forget you always pick up the check for the lunch. It’s okay to be a sponge, but it’s not okay to be a leech.

Finally, think about the last time you spent time just thinking. A personal goal might be to have a retreat at least once a year at the beach, on the farm, maybe even in your study. Remember, it’s not about the location, it’s about isolation that counts. Take time to think about who you are as a leader, what you’ve accomplished, and frankly, how much farther you have to go.


High Performance

Whether you have been a high performer for a while or you want to become a high performer — your success starts with a choice.  So today, choose to do one thing to increase your performance and get you closer to your goals.


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Phillip Van Hooser
Author: Phillip Van Hooser
Phillip Van Hooser, CSP, CPAE is committed to helping organizations transform their business outcomes by building engaged employee relationships. He is an award-winning keynote speaker and author on leadership, service and communication. His popular book, “Willie's Way: 6 Secrets for Wooing, Wowing and Winning Customers and Their Loyalty” recently hit #1 in Customer Relations on the Kindle store. Connect with Phil on LinkedIn and Facebook.

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