What is a high-performing human?
Do you define this in terms of Career? Financial success? Contribution? Personal achievement? Sports? Knowledge or expertise? Spiritual attainment? Work-rate? Family?
I couldn’t find a definition, so I looked up high performance teams:
[teams that are] highly focused on their goals and that achieve superior business results. High-performance teams outperform all other similar teams and they outperform expectations given their composition.
For individual humans, I believe it’s different. It must include a sustainability clause, for one thing. What good is the fastest sprinter in the world, if they can only run fast once? Highest performance comes on the back of sustained effort, training, skills development, a sense of purpose, motivation and discipline. Did I mention mindset?
For a human, if the cost of high performance is systemic failure – physical or mental health and wellbeing – then for me, that’s not really high-performing.
I prefer not to look on humans as single-use organisms.
So what happens when we re-interpret the assets of high-performance teams for high-performance humans?
8 keys to human high-performance
Personal Manifesto (Team charter)
Define how you want to BE in the world. Include personal dreams, values, attributes and aspirations and WHY they matter so much to you. This is how to stay true to what’s important to you, in everything you do, and how to motivate yourself to achieve greatly.
Self-Management (Complementary skills)
Discipline, constraint, focus on strengths and personal development, overcoming personal weaknesses, managing failure and sustaining motivation.
Personal Growth Mindset (Team growth)
Willingness to learn, grow and change, including letting go of old perceptions and habits. Challenging yourself to be vulnerable enough to become more than your past self.
Goals-based (Performance growth)
Firm commitment to a goal, making a plan, taking massive action and measuring results. Sticking to it, no matter what. Not being afraid to fail. Setting a new, bigger goal each time a goal is met. Expanding what’s possible.
Build self-trust, which is essential to resilience, performance, happiness and integration with others. Self-acceptance – never people-pleasing or pretending to be different. Speaking up and acknowledging the struggle of life as a growing human.
Telling the truth about ourselves, to ourselves and to others. Recognising personal strengths, weaknesses, likes and dislikes. Meditation and self-reflection, acceptance of reality, just as it is.
Energy Renewal (Team bonding)
Acknowledging and nurturing the full living organism, which includes joy, creativity, activity, rest, connection, play, spirit and adventure.
Noticing and valuing every win, private or public. Celebrating every goal met, every positive interaction with the world, every skill developed, every fear transcended and every honouring of the self.
What does high-performing mean to you?
Have you achieved what you want to in this life?
Are you still heading in the right direction?
Have you stayed true to your values and aspirations?
Or are you stuck or lost?