Recently, at a conference in Zurich, while delivering a keynote titled, “Becoming a Sustainable High Performer in a Constantly Changing and Demanding Business World”, I was asked a couple of great questions. The first, from a slightly cynical leader was, “Isn’t this just a different label for squeezing more out of people?” The second, as equally as insightful was, “How can we talk about higher performance when a lot of leaders are already overwhelmed and struggle to be at their best?” These are great questions because they represent the common, first gut reaction when we are talking about Sustainable High Performance. They look at their watch, then they pull up their calendar on their phone, and then they start to experience that visceral emotional response of being overwhelmed. We have seen this so often that it is no surprise anymore.
While we have written many blogs over the past 3 years to address components of this (i.e., Overcoming Feeling Overwhelmed, Just Stay Positive - Really, Don’t Leave Your Pitstop to Chance, etc.), I want to focus this blog on answering these questions. The answer to the first question is yes. Of course we want to squeeze more out of people. Sustainable High Performance and the investment you make in the habits to create it, are all about helping you squeeze more excellence, more sustainability, more personal and professional impact, and more satisfaction out of everything you do. Even worse, our vast experience being on the forefront of this Sustainable High Performance movement tells us that if you don’t change something, and you continue to work like you are, you not only won’t have any more to give, you will take everything that the rest of your team has to give too.
The answer to the second question is that this is the perfect time to talk about high performance. The fact that you are struggling tells me that you need help. It tells me that your current Mindset is unable to produce the focus, mental agility, confidence, openness to learning, and resilience that you need. It also says that you probably aren’t paying much attention to your Nutrition, Movement, and Recovery so your brain fog may not even let you create the High Performance Mindset you need right now. When we started Tignum over 10 years ago, we made several critical assumptions. First, most executives have very little time for high performance strategies that require extra time. Second, most executives want to maximize the impact they make for the hard work they are putting in. Third, most executives want to gain a competitive advantage by learning what other high performers from all types of performance fields (scientifically proven) are doing to create excellence. This is why we love these types of questions when we present because our passion is creating and implementing the answers.
This year, when we started working with the Oakland Raiders coaching staff, Scott (our Chief Performance Officer) was blown away at the hours, energy, and commitment these coaches put into their profession. Understanding this as the starting point (similar to so many of our executives), our intention was to help them learn and apply the Sustainable High Performance strategies necessary to be better decision makers, better energizers, better problem solvers, better role models (of a Performance Mindset), and of course better fathers, mothers, husbands, and wives. Similarly, while we recognize that many of our clients may feel like they are floating (or sadly sinking), Sustainable High Performance is all about taking control of your life, designing your day, becoming aware of your next opportunity, and moving one step closer to being a swimmer. For this reason, not only is now the right time but you are running out of time if you keep doing things as you always have.
As always, I would love to hear what you think.
By Jogi Rippel
Chief Executive Officer