The Key to Unlocking Superior Performance

“Don't mistake activity with achievement” ― John Wooden

How is performance defined in your organisation? Let’s assume it’s clearly articulated and measured. Are you performing to the expected levels or do you need to improve?

When I was in corporate roles, almost every year the new budget would demand a reduction in costs and an increase in revenues. Essentially that necessitated we had to improve productivity to achieve the new KPI’s, qualify for over-performance bonuses etc.

Whether they’re underachieving or exceeding their KPI’s, it’s not a dissimilar situation many of my customers are currently experiencing.

Realising targets doesn’t happen by accident. While we need to work towards achieving them, the failing point for many is the key important activities don’t get enough attention due to the busyness of other urgent matters each day. Think of the number of unimportant meetings, emails and interruptions that waste time. It’s silly in a way how these detract us from performing better, but it happens.

Ultimately it gets down to having work practices that are scalable and sustainable in the way they support us. However, work practices is just part of the problem. If we assume our work practices are ok, it’s unlikely we’ll realise our targets unless we have the following 7 attributes:

  • Conviction – to believe (the first sale must be to yourself)

  • Courage – to act (talking without action is cheap)

  • Diligence – to be persistent (it might not happen overnight)

  • Self Discipline – to commit (focus mostly on the key priorities)

  • Knowledge – to learn (don’t be afraid if you don’t have all the answers)

  • Patience – to never give up (conviction alone isn’t enough)

  • Celebrate – to enjoy (the small wins along the journey)

Superior performance happens from the combination of how we work, what we focus on and our mindset. It’s not a matter of getting 1 or 2 of them right. Consistency doesn’t happen unless all 3 are in sync.

What do you need to do to get better results?