Peak Performance … The Rest of the Story! | The Zebra Blog

Peak Performance … The Rest of the Story!

My last two Zebra Reports have focused on peak performance, and the 27 attributes I’ve identified that help predict peak performance.

Remember, I believe that there are three areas of focus for peak performers:

  1. Attitude and mindset
  2. Action and implementation
  3. Systems and tools

Two weeks ago I covered the 14 predictors of peak performance relative to attitude and mindset … and last week I shared my thoughts on action and implementation, and the nine predictors of peak performance in that category.

Today I want to talk about the way peak performers use systems and tools.  And I will wrap up this series with a discussion about another important area of focus for peak performers.

The final piece of the peak performance puzzle includes the successful utilization of system and tools.

When it comes to systems and tools, peak performers:

  1. Invest in their success
  2. Are early adopters
  3. Have developed a unique message
  4. Create experiences for their fans and clients

Find a peak performer, and you’ve probably found someone who is willing to invest in their success.  Whether that involves paraphernalia and equipment, education and book learning, or coaching, it’s a good bet that the individual is on the way to peak performance.  The peak performer has a toolbox that is overflowing with the tools needed to achieve the goal.

Peak performers tend to be early adopters of new ideas and technologies – in fact, they are often the creators of those same new concepts.  With big-picture vision and a willingness to take risks, peak performers are often on the forefront … which often pays off in a competitive advantage.

Another trademark of peak performers is their unique message.  Peak performers learn quickly that they are not “just another”.  A peak performing cancer physician, for example, might market his practice with the tagline “The John Smith Group: We heal lives.” rather than the more mundane, “The John Smith Group: Oncologists”.  Or a peak performing teacher might think of themselves as “a guide to help shape and nurture future Nobel Prize winners”, rather than “an English teacher at the local high school”.  Rather than functionally describing a product or service, the unique message of the peak performer tantalizes with the promise of results.

In concert with having a unique message, peak performers are also skilled at creating experiences for fans and clients.  The peak performing real estate agent doesn’t simply open key boxes and let potential buyers into a home, he or she creates a relationship built on education, market knowledge, and integrity. Rather than simply writing a real estate contract, the agent provides analyses of neighborhoods with an eye toward the client’s “today” needs and goals, as well as estimates of future market appreciation based on past results.  The client experience is one of working with a trusted advisor, rather than a salesperson.

This Zebra Report series has covered the 27 proficiencies which peak performers have mastered, and which reside in their “toolkits”.  Not only are they available to peak performers in recurring or familiar situations, these same tools serve the peak performer well in unknown or unusual situations.

In looking at the range and scope of the proficiencies most would agree that the list is fairly daunting.  This is where expert external assistance can be invaluable.  Most individuals would agree that they would love to be a peak performer.  But they’ll also tell you they don’t know how to achieve that goal.

Obviously, an awareness of the 27 attributes required for peak performance is an important first step.  Unfortunately, awareness is not enough.  You may lack the objectivity required to analyze your performance, or you may be missing accountability or fresh ideas for tackling roadblocks.  If so, it’s time for a peak performance coach.

As I discussed above, one of the proficiencies shared by peak performers is their willingness to get help … and their understanding of the need to invest in their success.  Sometimes the investment is a physical one – new golf clubs for Tiger Woods, or a Stradivarius cello for Yo-Yo Ma.

Other times, the investment needs to be made in expertise.

Across the country, coaching is on the rise.  From athletic coaches for children who are younger and younger each year, to “life coaches” that help clients set and achieve personal goals … there’s a hunger in this nation for help on many levels.

A peak performance coach goes beyond what can be achieved by a life coach, helping clients learn – and then successfully apply – the skills and proficiencies needed for peak performance.

Generally speaking, clients who take advantage of peak performance coaching can expect to:

  1. Make optimum performance the norm, not the exception
  2. Consistently achieve planned results
  3. Surpass previous “highs”
  4. Gain an advantage over competitors
  5. Rebound more quickly from setbacks
  6. Compete with complete confidence
  7. Increase resiliency and “mental toughness”
  8. Eliminate or reduce stress in high-pressure situations
  9. Increase energies (mental, emotional, and physical)
  10. Heighten concentration and focus

Wondering if you are ready for peak performance?  Take my Peak Performance Preparedness Assessment!   Your answers to ten questions will help you determine how open you are to stepping on the path to peak performance.

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