Like so many things in life, Sustainable High Performance is often not black and white. In a demanding, complex, and often unpredictable world it more often is about applying the principles of Sustainable High Performance creatively and appreciating their nuances. It often is about learning how to successfully check in and check out.
Thinking back to my previous career in the fire service, when the bell rang I had to fully check in. Whether I was in charge of my crew as a Captain or running the entire incident as a Battalion Chief, I had to be fully focused, engaged, highly aware, and in my best problem-solving mode. The bell didn't always come at exactly the right time - between meals, after physical training, or during daytime hours. The bell rang when the customer decided (or the customer's tragedy decided) and I adjusted everything to bring my absolute best to solve that incident. But I did this in the safest, most professional, efficient, and effective way. This meant I didn't abandon my Tignum Mindset, Nutrition, Movement, and Recovery strategies; I just had to be more creative and often even more disciplined in how I applied them.
In business, and in our personal lives, we can't always control when the bell will ring. Sustainable High Performance strategies are designed to help you to be both prepared for this and to be your best even in the most non-ideal situations. This year, after a long and challenging year (in a great and exciting way) full of the normal travel and client demands, we had the opportunity to get the investment money we have been seeking to really expand our platforms and better serve our clients. The tough part was that it came just before our long-anticipated winter holiday break. While in a black and white world we could have checked out on vacation and come back the next year to begin the process, that would have been much more risky and put us way behind starting the new year. So what did we do?
Like so many of our clients, due to their business demands (both expected and unexpected), deployments, playing schedules, and even unexpected personal demands, we checked in. The key was that we didn't abandon our Sustainable High Performance beliefs and strategies; instead we leaned in to them. We compartmentalized our days so we could still get some downtime. We reminded ourselves about how hard we had worked and about our deep passion to help our clients in new and exciting ways. We squashed our inner drama and reframed our self-talk to stay focused on the critical things within our control that we needed to address. We supported each other so we could take quick checkout breaks. We laughed and joked even as we embraced the suck and we celebrated that Sustainable High Performance strategies had provided the foundation that was allowing us to crush this opportunity. Most important, we stayed highly aware of the cost (not financial) of this additional checkin and we scheduled some critical checkout time in the near future.
Sustainable High Performance is both an art and a science. It is full of nuances and individual variations. It requires checking out at times but it also means being ready and capable to check in when the unexpected demands require it.
As always, I would love to hear your thoughts.
By Scott Peltin
Founder/Chief Performance Officer