For some reason, as we travel around the world working with our executive clients, one common theme we keep hearing is, “this is one of the toughest first quarters I ever remember”. They usually preface this statement with how Q4 of last year was also insanely challenging and busy. This doesn’t surprise us because we have seen this trend building. The size of teams has gotten smaller, the need for agility has grown significantly, the pressure from shareholders to grow and improve the P&L is rough, and most leaders are suffering from the acceleration trap. The current intensity is the new norm.
One way to avoid falling into this pattern of insanity by neglect is to create a personal Sustainable High Performance plan for yourself for your most rough busy days, weeks, and months. This way your brain knows that it has another choice other than panic and neglect. This way you don’t default to luck when you really need to optimize your performance, and you make the choice to design your behaviors to help you create Sustainable High Performance (both at work and away from work).
What does shock us is the neglect these executives often have with the strategies they know will improve their Sustainable High Performance. We can understand (even if we don’t agree with) the thought that you will “postpone” your health at this critical moment because you have to get your work done and at this moment you aren’t actually sick. After all, it is a human trait that we have to prioritize, and health is a “down the road” worry. This means in a challenging period you have to focus on the near-term challenges so you are willing to roll the dice on the long-term consequences.
In a period of time when you need high performance more than ever, and you have strategies that will directly impact your next performance, it seems like an exercise of insanity to neglect your own Sustainable High Performance strategies. If you aren’t diligently doing the things you know to increase your energy and resilience, to enhance your mental agility and brain performance, and to maximize your impact in everything you are doing - why are you at work? This would be the equivalent of a pilot saying things are too busy so he skipped the pre-flight check (which, by the way, includes making sure you have fuel for the flight). It would be like a firefighter running into a burning building without doing a size-up and forming a strategical plan. This would be like Rory McIlroy saying that this game was too important so he skipped his warm-up and the development of his personal game plan.
Our passion is helping people become Sustainable High Performers in the chaos of today’s business world. This is why this insanity just makes us insane :). As always, I’d love to hear what you think.
By Jogi Rippel
CEO // Founder