Every day I am amazed at how little things make such a big difference. I really shouldn’t be that amazed because when you look at the difference between winning a deal or losing a deal, it’s very often little things. When you look at the difference between being blown away by a presentation and really feeling energized, or leaving feeling flat and under-impressed, it’s often just a few little things. At Tignum, we have the opportunity to work with some really high-performing executives to help them do some little things to be 5% better (or more).
When you look at sports, it’s very clear what a difference 5% makes. Look at the NBA playoffs going on right now; almost every game has been won or lost by a 5% margin or less. A hustle play here, a rebound there; a perfect pass here, a stolen pass there; a defensive stop here, a fast break there. These little differences are because one player was 5% faster, had 5% more energy, inspired his team to be 5% better, and ultimately had the stamina to play at his best 5% longer. This is the difference between winning and losing and, more important, we know this 5% difference when we see it. The same is true in golf, in tennis, in every sport. So why do people in business miss this?
Recently, we worked with a team who had to present a $700m deal to their research review committee. This was a deal that they had been working on for over 18 months. What difference do you think 5% can make when they do their research, when they vet the management team of the company they are looking to purchase, when they put together their projections and what-if arguments? Even more, what difference do you think 5% makes when during your presentation you are 5% more alert, 5% more engaged, 5% more mentally agile to answer the tough questions, 5% more confident in your arguments, and 5% more open to new ways of thinking? We work with teams that have to prepare and present their IPO. What difference do you think 5% makes when they get in front of analysts on the 27th day of their roadshow?
In two weeks, we have a team that will go to one of the biggest biotech international conferences in the world. Over 20,000 people will attend and over a period of 3 days some of the newest and most life-changing medical breakthroughs will be discussed, proposed, presented, and purchased. Small entrepreneurial companies will try to get the attention of bigger biotech firms and bigger biotech firms will try to convince small market changing companies and leaders to be interested in selling their wares to them. In this vast sea of introductions and exchanging of ideas, how big of a difference do you think being 5% better can make?
Too often in our busy lives we miss the opportunity to really prepare ourselves for our peak performances. We underestimate how big of a difference the strategic application of Mindset, Nutrition, Movement, and Recovery techniques can make. This isn’t about eating a healthy meal or hitting the gym either. In fact, if I had a dollar for every person I have seen who overdid it in the hotel gym, only to be plagued with muscle tightness, back pain, and fatigue at their 5pm meeting, I’d be retired. The fact is, our clients aren’t professional athletes; they are professional executives and, therefore, the things they need to be 5% better need to be precise, strategic, and personalized. This is a different way of thinking but when the stakes are high and the cost of failing is looming, wouldn’t you like to be just 5% better (or more)?
As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts. And while you’re at it, when you think of peak performances, what would the benefit be of being just 5% better when you walk in the door after a long day of work, or you head out for your next business trip?
By Scott Peltin
Founder & Chief Performance Officer