High performers are people who maintain their success and well-being over a long period of time. Many people believe that if they work hard, practice consistently, and focus on the things they’re good at, they’ll become one of these high performers. However, while these are wonderful practices, they don’t lead to high performance.
High performance is consistent and continued success and growth at a high level. It requires that you build effective habits, adapt to your environment, and align your priorities. There are six high-performance habits (the HP6) that will help achieve your goals in a healthy and sustainable way.
They’re deliberate habits, or habits that you actively choose to do and constantly revisit to improve your performance. They’re often challenging and require your full attention. This book explains why each of these habits is important, the dangers of not developing them, and ways to implement them in your daily life. The six high-performance habits are:
To become a high performer, you need clarity, or the ability to identify who you are and what you want. Clarity isn’t something that emerges on its own. It requires reflection and experimentation as you search for the values that matter to you and the goals that will define your journey. People with high levels of clarity tend to be more motivated, confident, and productive.
There are two ways to gain and maintain clarity in your life: Identify the feelings you’re seeking and determine what’s significant.
Emotions and feelings are different. Emotions are an instinctive response to a trigger. In contrast, feelings are your interpretation of any emotion. You can’t choose your emotions, but you can choose your feelings. For example, if an employee is late for the fourth time in a row, your immediate emotion may be anger. However, if you take a moment to make yourself feel calm, you’ll come into the situation more level-headed.
When something happens, take a moment to think, “What feeling am I bringing into this situation, and what feeling do I want to receive from this situation?” This lets you control how you handle your emotional responses. When negative emotions come to the surface, try to channel that energy into a positive feeling, using your body’s natural responses to deal with a high-intensity situation.
While high performers can tackle almost any task thrown their way, not every challenge is worth the effort. High performers spend their time investing in purposeful things and avoid the trials that don’t hold any meaning for them. For example, if you’re passionate about fitness, training for a marathon would be worth your time. While other challenges such as learning to cook or building a computer may be interesting, they aren’t meaningful in your life and, therefore, shouldn’t be your focus.
To be a high performer, you need to tend to your health and well-being because good health builds happiness, focus, and energy. Your health includes your mental, emotional, and physical well-being.
To develop healthier habits, master transitions and treat your body better.
People tend to carry tension without knowing it. To ensure that you don’t allow your frustrations to impact the rest of your day, learn to master transitions. A transition is the moment between two tasks or interactions. For example, if you’re responding to emails, then begin working on a project, you have a moment of transition between the two tasks.
If you feel frustrated or stressed after a task, use these transitional moments to do the following:
When you take care of your body, your emotional and mental health improve alongside your physical health. Eating healthy, working out regularly, and sleeping well give you energy, create mental clarity, and release chemicals in your brain that help with emotional management.
Improve your physical well-being by developing the following habits:
Drive is the force that motivates you to do your best work. It helps you stay on-track through even the most difficult challenges. Driven people know their motivations, are obsessed with their field of interest, feel a sense of duty to others, and hold themselves to deadlines.
Finding your drive requires active exploration and internal affirmation. Drive is hard to obtain and easy to lose. Use the following practices to maintain the internal and external forces necessary to create drive: Remind yourself of the “why” and surround yourself with the best.
Constantly remind yourself why you do what you do. Don’t just think it—say it. Verbalizing helps you solidify and affirm what...
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High performers are people who maintain their success and well-being over a long period of time. They usually:
Many people believe that if they work hard, practice consistently, and focus on the things they’re good at, they’ll become one of these high performers. However, while these are wonderful practices, they don’t lead to high performance. If these aren’t the keys to excellence, what gives successful people to their competitive edge? Developing high-performance habits.
Before adopting the high-performance habits, you must first understand the definition of “high performance.” High performance is consistent and continued success and growth at a high level. The following are aspects of “high performance”:
As you’ll see, to become a high performer, you need clarity about who you are and what you want. Clarity isn’t something that emerges on its own. It requires reflection and experimentation as you search for the values that matter to you and the goals that will define your journey.
There are two levels of clarity—identity and future:
|With Clarity||Without Clarity|
|Self-Esteem||People with high levels of clarity tend to have high self-esteem because they understand their values and know what...|
To become a high performer, visualize and anticipate the feelings you want to feel. This will help you generate positive feelings when negative emotions arise. Remember: Emotions are reactionary feelings, while feelings are how you interpret an emotion.
Describe something that happened this week to which you had a strong emotional reaction. For instance, a driver pulled in front of you or your spouse blamed you for something unfairly. What was your emotion?
Discover the most important things in your life and invest your time accordingly. Working on the things that mean something to you will boost your performance.
List and describe the 3-5 most meaningful activities in your life. How much time do you spend on them?
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To be a high performer, you need to tend to your health and well-being because good health builds happiness, focus, and energy. There are three elements to your health:
|Good Health||Poor Health|
|Mental||People with good mental health are able to stay focused on their work over a long period of time. They know when they need to take breaks, and how to pace themselves. This gives them the mental stamina to work effectively without burning out. ...|
Mastering transitions allows you to stay calm in the face of crisis and keep focused on your work, helping you perform more effectively.
Think of a tense situation you experienced in the past week. How did that tension impact the rest of your day and your ability to perform?
Improving your physical health also boosts your mental and emotional health.
If you were to start getting into the best shape of your life, what are 1-2 nutritional habits you could begin practicing immediately?
Drive is the force that motivates you to perform at your pest. It helps you stay on track through even the most difficult challenges. Drive comes from two types of forces: internal and external.
Internal forces are the feelings, values, and goals that drive you. They create the feeling of satisfaction when you’ve accomplished a goal, and the feeling of frustration when you sense you’re underperforming. They come from your internal desire to better yourself and gain mastery within your field. These forces are divided into two categories: identity and obsession.
Identity refers to the need to hold yourself to a high standard of excellence. High performers tie their identity to their performance, constantly self-monitoring and looking for opportunities to improve their work. When they achieve success, they feel validation and pride. However, when they underperform, they recognize their failings and commit to stronger performance moving forward.
Note: This doesn’t mean that high performers allow their frustrations...
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To increase your drive, determine who needs your energy the most in any given moment.
Think about two or three things you were planning to do today and who they will benefit.
Surrounding yourself with the best people boosts your confidence and pushes you to excel.
Who are the 3 people who are the most positive influences on your life? How has their influence raised your performance?
Many people claim there aren’t enough hours in the day to get their work done and focus on their personal life. However, for most people, their problem isn’t time. It’s inefficiency. Increased efficiency helps you focus on the important things in your life and maintain your work-life balance. This increases your performance by helping you achieve the goals you care about, lowering your stress levels, and giving you time to relax. There are three factors that impact your efficiency:
|With Efficiency||Without Efficiency|
|Work-Life Balance||Efficient people have a strong work-life balance. They use their work time wisely and spend their personal time focusing on things they want to.|
Work towards your goals by planning the five major moves or steps necessary to achieve them. This will boost your efficiency by creating clear actionables for you to work towards.
What is your most important long-term goal?
To excel, you must master the most essential skills in your field.
List the 3-5 most important skills in your field. Why are they important?
To become a high performer, you need a group of people around you who are willing to support and invest in you. The best way to achieve this is by generating influence. Influence is your ability to mold other people’s perspectives and behaviors. This habit mostly applies to leaders and work-related relationships but can also be applied in personal situations.
Trust and respect are key components of influence. They allow you to form strong relationships that you can use to further your goals, build a network of support, and defuse tense situations. Here are a few ways you can use influence:
People often make the excuse that they can’t gain influence because they’re not “a people person.” However, influence is not tied to personality traits such as introversion or extroversion. Anyone can become influential if they put energy into developing their relationships. Influence is also not explicitly tied to effort in the workplace. You can give your all in your work, but, if you don’t...
As a leader, when you show your employees how to think, you gain their trust and help them approach their work from a new perspective. This helps boost the performance of your team as a whole.
Think of a specific employee whose thinking you want to shape. How do you want them to think about themselves?
As a leader, challenging the people around you motivates them to meet and exceed expectations. If you’re practicing what you preach, raising the bar for other people also forces you to raise the bar for yourself.
Think of a specific employee you want to challenge. List 2-3 ways you could challenge their character. Think about holding them to values such as trustworthiness, self-control, and honesty.
High performers are courageous. Courage is the willingness to take purposeful action in service of a worthy and sincere goal despite fear, danger, or adversity. These actions don’t have to be bold to be effective. Any step toward overcoming fear or embracing the uncertain is a courageous act. Courage doesn’t include actions that harm other people or encourage needless risk.
There are four primary types of courage:
Even if they don’t know the ultimate outcome, high performers have a tendency towards action over discussion. While they’ll strategize and plan when necessary, they don’t get lost in talking about doing something. This allows for quick decision-making and decisive action, boosting your performance.
Embracing hardship gives you the strength to push through obstacles on your way to achieving your goals.
Think of a time you faced a difficult obstacle. Describe the hardship that you experienced.
Fighting for someone or something can provide you with the motivation and courage to achieve your goals.
Think of someone in your life who relies on you financially. What courageous action could you take towards achieving your goals to support this person?
When high performers fall from grace, it’s unexpected because of the high-level at which they’re accustomed to performing. To sustain your success, be aware of the three traps that often cause high performers to fail: feeling superior, being unsatisfied, and neglecting important things.
When you become a high performer, it’s easy to feel superior without realizing it. Because you’re at the top of your game, you may subconsciously look down on people who haven’t achieved as much as you have. People who feel superior believe:
While you may not actively show your superiority, these thoughts often lead to condescension and dismissal. People won’t want to work with you if you demean or ignore them. While your colleagues may put up with you for a while, you’ll eventually lose the support of the people around you regardless of how strong your ideas are.
Humility is the antidote to feelings of superiority. It keeps you from demeaning the people around you...