Approach performance like the world’s best

Shift your approach to performance. Stop obsessing just about results and start putting your energy into what you need to do to get the results you want.

This tool will help you check in with how you think about, talk about and approach your performance.

Reading time: 4 minutes

What will it do?

This tool will help you check in with how you think about, talk about and approach your performance.

Use it twice a week for the first month as you’re starting to change. Then use it every couple of weeks over the next 6 months. Put the appointments in your diary now – 15 minutes should do it. Change won’t happen overnight (unless you’re very lucky), but with a bit of effort and commitment, it will happen.

Three steps to take

Get focused on the things that will make the most impact for you

1. Your current approach

Check in with your current approach to performance by filling in this simple checklist. Give yourself a rating for each of the 5 statements. Give yourself a 10 if this sounds exactly like you, and 1 if you violently disagree and it couldn’t be further from the truth.

Score (1-10)
I think far more about what I need to do to get the results I want than I do about the results themselves
I challenge others when they’re obsessing only about the results and not enough about performance
I totally understand my performance recipe – what I need to do to create great performance in my role
I am completely clear about the mindset, energy levels, environment and support I need to be the best version of myself
My performance is my choice. My mindset is that I’ve got total control over the performance I deliver every day

Now, scores on the doors time. If you’re at least 8 out of 10 on all of these that’s brilliant. Your performance mindset is where it needs to be and your job is to keep it there and make sure it’s consistent. If you score less than 8 on any of them, you’ve got a bit of work to do. If you’re below 5 on any of them, at least you’re in the right place to change that.

2. How can you up your game?

Here are 6 things that you could do to shift your approach. Choose 2 that you’re going to focus on this week/month.

    • Everytime your performance is discussed, talk about your performance as the things you’re doing to get results. Not the results
    • Challenge people when “performance” is used to mean “results”
    • Introduce “performance as the process” to as many people as possible in your team
    • Champion the proper use of “performance” in team meetings. You’ll be annoying but eventually your message will get through
    • Work on understanding your performance recipe – the mindset, energy, environment, support, technical expertise and tactical nous you need to deliver the results you want
    • Do the same stuff outside of work. Whether it’s kids’ homework, playing darts or watching a movie. Talk about performance as performance with family, friends and anyone who knows you

3. What you’ll be doing

With each of them, write down 2 really clear things you’ll be doing. Don’t skimp on the detail here. For example, if you’ve chosen to introduce the “performance as process” idea to your team, jot down what you’ll be doing, who you’re going to do it with, when you’re going to do it and how you’re going to do it. No detail, no plan. So get cracking!

Performance challenge 1: Performance challenge 2:
What I’ll be doing

Your plan

Get a plan Stan. The basics you need to have in your plan are set out below.

Plan basics

  1. What are you going to do? (This bit is easy – it’s the 3 things listed above. No 3 is particularly helpful here)

    My actions:

  2. When are you going to start? (You don’t have to be great to get going, but you better get going if you want to be great)

    My start date:

  3. How often will you be doing it? (Getting great has a lot to do with making things a habit)

    Check in dates:

Get serious

The difference between having a plan and making it work is about action. So get this in your diary now. Tell the people who need to know so that they can support you and won’t just think you’re being weird. Do it now.

Remember, it’s progress not perfection. You’re looking for gradual improvement, not for Rome to be built in a day.