Apr 18 2019| Values | Leadership
by Phil Eyre Founder
Through our work with leadership teams, we have the privilege of meeting and working with some exceptional people.
We recognise that, despite their differences, these high performers share common traits that anyone can apply to their own leadership.
High performers embrace opportunities and challenges.
A can-do attitude towards opportunities, blended with a hopeful mindset when problems arise, creates a powerful foundation for achieving success.
This is not the same as living in denial. In fact, we often observe a positive attitude, expressed in determination, effort and grit rather than exuberance or casual dismissiveness.
This is nothing new, yet it is quite difficult to achieve. Humans are wired for the easier option; it’s more efficient for our brains to take an easier path, especially if our basic needs are met.
We are also generally pre-disposed towards the negative. Fear is a powerful emotion and whilst it can help us avoid potential catastrophic danger, fear can cause us to limit ourselves unnecessarily.
High performers overcome these tendencies, applying their energy positively.
High performing leaders refuse to assume that what’s worked in the past will work again in the future.
They apply rigour and critical thinking to new challenges, learning from prior solutions but not blindly following the same ideas.
They continually seek new perspectives, actively inviting ideas from outside of their usual circle, including from their sharpest critics. “Every criticism has some germ of truth, something we can learn from”, one leader told us.
They actively challenge comforting beliefs, “our customers can wear the increased cost, they won’t mind”; “our people are loyal and will live with this change”, seeking credible evidence that points to the facts of the situation.
By constantly avoiding complacency, these leaders have honed their avoidance skills. They can see problems coming and take pre-emptive action.
High performers recognise that consistent effort creates the greatest success; they always show up and bring their best to every situation.
The most successful people are energised by the journey towards a goal far more than achieving the goal itself.
In The Passion Paradox, Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness put it like this: “Go big or go home often results in you going home.”
It is in taking consistent steps forward that real success is achieved.
It’s easy to discuss ideas, identify opportunities and decide what actions to take without implementing them - high performing leaders take action.
We observe these behaviours:
High performing leaders resist the temptation to discuss endlessly.
High performers are highly self-aware.
Three classic traits are:
High performers are equally aware of frustration and irritation building up; they recognise the triggers and either remove them or embrace them as each situation requires.
They plan out their day with this awareness in mind, knowing which situations will tap into their natural strengths and which will be more stretching.
They also have a wealth of tactics to deploy as required, for example; taking a 10 minute walk before a difficult meeting, blocking out their calendar, eating well or scheduling similar meetings together.
High performers recognise how home and work life integrate.
For some, this includes understanding how regular stresses at home affect their working day. For others, it’s recognising the potential for excess negativity around key work dates, such as quarter-end or reporting dates, and how these impact on non-work relationships.
Emotional intelligence - high self-awareness and the ability to adapt to each situation is a key hallmark of high performers.
Our expertise is in enhancing leadership effectiveness and skill. To find out how contact Phil Eyre firstname.lastname@example.org today.