PERFORMANCE IS COMMITMENT
From collaborators to executives, people’s high performance mindset is what drives top delivering organization, whether it’s a start-up or a multibillion $ corporation. For many businesses, the idea of increasing employee engagement seems like an elusive impossibility.
WHAT DRIVES PERFORMANCE ?
They, your managers, they will tell you, it is just about productivity and profitability, the 2 Ps that will make every stakeholder happy once and when achieved and delivered. They will tell you it is about engagement, innovation, and of course, because that matters a lot, quality of life within the enterprise. And on an HR perspective, of course, leadership, management and organizational/corporate culture matter when it comes to organizational outcomes.
Yes, but what is about when we think about people’s outlook on how they go about their work life as well as behavioral strengths that people call on to positively respond to tough work situations, challenges and difficult people. That’s the third and most fundamental P, that is performance, and is the engine that drives productivity and profitability.
I AM COMMITTED TO…
Performance has been defined as “the observable act of carrying out a process; striving for a goal.” There are two essential words in this definition.
- First, goal, which provides the incentive and direction for action.
- Second, process, which provides the movement toward the goal.
“I am COMMITTED to achieving the project by the end of the week”. We have the goal, we have the process. Performance is driven by commitment. That’s it and that’s the only thing.
All positive psychological capabilities that will ensure your performance, hence delivering productivity and profitability is what constitute the High Performance Mindset.
“YOU CAN WIN”… REALLY?
As excerpted from Shiv Kera in his best seller “You can win : A Step by Step Tool for Top Achievers“, and I guess, you all have seen these PowerPoint’s flooding the web in all blogs about leadership and management, there are different elements to High Performance Mindset.
We can talk about desire. The author claims that the motivation to succeed is coming from the burning desire to achieve a purpose. A burning desire is the starting point of all accomplishment. Just like a small fire cannot give much heat, a weak desire cannot produce great results. Shiv Kera then speaks aboutResponsibility, but I prefer the word Accountability. People with character accept responsibilities. They are accountable for what they should, no, for what they shall achieve. They make decisions and determine their own destiny in life. Accepting responsibilities, being accountable involves taking risks and again, being accountable, which is sometimes uncomfortable. Most people would rather stay in their comfort zone and live passive lives without accepting responsibilities. They are going through their life waiting for things to happen rather than making them happen. Responsible people don’t think that the world owes them a living. Success comes not from doing different things but doing thing differently!
Finally, you can really Work Hard, but is that enough to be a top performer? Is a Good job really a good job? Excellence is not something that you run into by accident. It takes a lot of preparation and character. Everyone likes to win but how many are willing to put in the effort? It takes sacrifice and self-discipline.
COMMIT AND PERSIST…
So why some, if not more, will not succeed. Why do they fail?
One of the main reason is the Lack of Persistence: Most people fail not because they lack knowledge or talent but because they quit. They abandon. They give up. Commitment means Persistence and determination. It is a commitment to finish what you start. Persistence comes from purpose. Life without purpose is just a drift in the ocean. You see your life, you don’t act for your life. A person who has no purpose will never persevere and will never be fulfilled. The total secret of success lies in one word, persistence and sticking to it as long as not delivered, whatever it takes. Persist in what must be done and resist what ought not to be done. When it looks like you can’t overcome problems, quitting, giving up seems to be the easiest way out.
For Prof. Michael Bernard, Developer of the High Performance Mindset Program, performance is just and only a matter of commitment. Today’s high performer has three paramount commitments or foundation purposes in life:
- Commitment to Success
- Commitment to Others
- Commitment to Self
Prof Bernard has noted that these three commitments do not always develop at the same time. For some people, the commitment to success emerges first while later in life, commitments to others and to self, become more important.
As explains Prof Bernard, it is also clear that top performers have a mindset to respond positively to tough situations and call on five well-developed behavioral strengths throughout every aspect of their work and life when needed:
Self-Management – in highly demanding situations and with difficult people. You will have to have well balanced control of your emotions and behaviors;
Confidence – prepared to attempt very difficult tasks without fear of failure or criticism by others in order to learn from experience and improve;
Persistence – complete highly frustrating and time-consuming work activities;
Organization – set long-term goals big, short-term goal realistic, and daily goals specific; need system for keeping track of information with effective time management and task analysis skills;
Getting Along – work supportively and collaboratively with others, ability to form relationships and to network, conflict resolution and to relate positively to difficult people.
UNREASONABLE GROWTH AND SPECTACULAR SUCCESS
Many individual business people and companies don’t set their performance mindset high enough. They tend to play it safe and, for example, strive for reasonable growth and satisfactory success. Instead, the best of the best, the “achievers”, they strive for unreasonable growth and spectacular success. Unreasonable growth means setting a standard that seems unlikely, perhaps to some even impossible, but for those who embrace it, unreasonable growth drives them far beyond what they could achieve if they were merely aiming for reasonable growth. One of my former President of Sales used to say “let’s target Planet Mars, and we will at least land on the Moon”.
Similarly, because spectacular success is also unlikely, business people and companies who are willing to take the risk of setting the bar that high are able to take their performance, productivity, and profitability to levels not imaginable with ordinary success.
Of course, what prevents business and companies from aiming for unreasonable growth and spectacular success is that the risk of failure is high. But those who accept that performance mindset despite the risks understand that they may not fully realize such lofty aspirations, but also know they will likely far exceed what they would have achieved had they played it safe. As the saying goes, and for sure, that’s what inspired Joe, my former president :”If you don’t reach for the stars, you won’t even reach the top of the mountain.”
Owner and principal consultant
Inspired form a paper from The High Performance Mindset at Work, The Bernard Group
Sources : Bernardgroup newsletter 2014, HBR Network blog, Jim Taylor : the Power of Prime, Shiv Kera : “You can win”