What goes on
In the business world, we see plenty of people who are clear on the desired results and the importance of getting them. We see some people who have thought a bit more about what kind of performance is needed to get the results. But we see very few people who then think in detail about how they’ll use their existing skill, experience, talent, strengths, and what they know works to deliver that performance. The world’s best do more than think about it. They systematically plan to make the most of what they’ve got to deliver the performance that’s required. It’s a different approach and it’s a different mindset. But it’s common sense. But like lots of good common sense stuff, it’s not that commonly applied. Certainly not in the world of work.
Dip into this kitbag if you want to maximise your approach to being more ready to deliver. Using some stuff in the What affects your performance might be handy here too.
Five performance truths
The brutal reality of high performance life – this is what you need to know
- Being ready involves knowing the demands you’re facing. Get clear first on what performance is required to deliver the result desired in the conditions you’re in. Which sort of rhymes.
- Readiness is about knowing what resources you’ve got to meet the demands. And then how you’ll use them. Know how you’ll maximise your assets to complete the task. Simple.
- Build additional readiness by adding to what’s already in place. If you haven’t got what’s needed to meet the demands, then get what you can – more knowledge, skill, energy, a different mindset.
- Think Pie! Your resource is your technical skill, tactical nous, physical energy, mental strength, emotional support and the environment. Good performers break down their readiness resource into these areas – what it’ll take and what’s required.
- Success is more likely if you’re one step ahead. Being ready for the long game. Think about what you’ve got coming up and what’s required. So you’re always building resource to be constantly ready.
Three things to do
- Start early and get super clear on the demands – what performance is needed to deliver on your goals in the conditions you’re in. Don’t skimp on this step.
- Create an ideal readiness pie – the stuff that you’d need to have in place to be 100% ready to deliver the performance required.
- Know what you’ve got in place already and how you could really make the most of that. And if there’s time – which there will be because you started early, remember – set about getting the other stuff you need to be as ready as you can.
Jim is a project manager who never used to feel ready. Which was a slight problem for a project manager. Anyway, although Jim was often very clear on the outcome needed and pretty clear on what was needed to get there on projects, he didn’t apply the same clear thinking to his own role or performance. So he wasn’t making the most of his abilities and frustratingly always felt like he could be doing things better. It was worse when he had to step up and lead something important, which was doubly annoying.
After a couple of coaching sessions with a coach from the Learning and Development team at work (who obviously had access to The Performance Room), Jim realised that he hadn’t been thinking and approaching his performance very cleverly. He started to see his own performance like a project he was managing, where he identified what was needed, what he was good at, what he needed to do to use his strengths fully and what other bits he needed to add to the mix. With a little bit of structure and discipline he got quite good at using this approach. He felt more ready and prepared which felt good and his confidence increased. But the even nicer bit was that he was performing better and better and in important situations he was really quite excellent. Others noticed, including some senior leaders and he was promoted to senior project manager. Good old Jim.