Early in my PhD programme at UCLA, I was one of 13 students in a class led by Bob Tannenbaum. He had come up with the term ’sensitivity training,’ had published the most widely distributed article to appear in Harvard Business Review and was a full-time professor. He was an important person in our department.
In Tannenbaum’s class, we were encouraged to discuss anything we wanted. I began by talking about people in Los Angeles. For three weeks, I talked about how ’screwed up’ people in Los Angeles were.
“They wear those $78 sequined blue jeans and drive gold Rolls Royces; they are plastic and materialistic; all they care about is impressing others; and they really do not understand what is deep and important in life.”
One day after listening to me, Tannenbaum looked at me and asked:
“Marshall, who are you talking to?”
“I’m speaking to the group,” I answered.
“Who in the group are you talking to?”
“Well, I’m talking to everybody.”
“I don’t know if you realise this,” Tannenbaum said, “but each time you’ve spoken, you’ve looked at only one person. You’ve addressed your comments toward only one person. And you seem interested in the opinion of only one person. Who is that person?”
“Let me think about it,” I replied. Then, after careful consideration, I said, “You?”
He said, “That’s right, me. There are 12 other people in this room. Why don’t you seem interested in any of them?”
Now that I’d dug myself a hole, I decided to dig deeper.
I said, “You know, Dr Tannenbaum, I think you can understand the true significance of what I’m saying. I think you can truly understand how screwed up it is to try to run around and impress people all the time. I believe you have a deep understanding of what is really important in life.”
Tannenbaum said, “Is there any chance that for the last three weeks all you’ve been trying to do is impress me?”
I was amazed at Tannenbaum’s obvious lack of insight.
“Not at all!” I declared. “I don’t think you’ve understood one thing I’ve said. I’ve been explaining to you how screwed up it is to try to impress other people. I think you’ve totally missed my point, and I ’m a little disappointed in your lack of understanding.”
“No, I think I understand,” he said.
After six months, it finally dawned on me that the person with the issue wasn’t him. The person with the issue was me.
The other perspective
Two of the lessons I began to understand from this experience were that it’s much easier to see our problems in others than it is to see them in ourselves, and even though we may be able to deny our problems to ourselves, they may be very obvious to those observing us.
There’s almost always a discrepancy between the self we think we are and the self the rest of the world sees. The lesson I learnt – and work to help others understand – is that the rest of the world has a more accurate perspective than we do.
If we can stop, listen and think about what others see in us, we have a great opportunity. We can compare the self that we want to be with the self we are presenting. We can then begin to make real changes.
I’ve told this story probably 300 times, and I’ve thought about it more frequently than I’ve told it. Often when I become self-righteous, preachy or angry about some perceived injustice, I realise that the issue is not with the other person or people. It’s usually me.
Today, I help executives develop a profile of leadership behaviour. Then I provide them with feedback, which allows them to compare their behaviour – as perceived by others – with their desired behaviour.
I try to help them deal with this feedback in a positive way, and to become a good role model for the desired leadership behaviour.
The Anatomy Of Peak Performance
Besides paying lip service to “positive thinking” what is the reality behind hard work and the remuneration for it?
“The quality of your life is dependent upon the quality of the questions that you ask”
– Tony Robbins
Positive thinking clichés
We all have heard repetitive clichés emanating from the mouths of our parents, teachers, friends and family such as:
- “Just work hard and you shall be rewarded”
- “What you sow you shall reap”
- “Think positively and all will be better”
- “Do not worry tomorrow will be a better day”
Yet most family members and friends will complain that they work hard but that, in their minds, they are overworked and under paid. Besides paying lip service to “positive thinking” what is the reality behind hard work and the remuneration for it?
The purpose of hard work
“Whatsoever your deepest driving desire is, so shall your thoughts be, as your thoughts are, so shall your deeds be, and your deeds shall echo in all eternity” – Upanishads
“As a man thinketh so is he.” – Proverbs
The only real reason for hard work is to build perseverance and “strengthen your spine” because it is very hard to give up on a cause if you have sincerely put in a lot of hard work. However take the time to consider that when you really love what you do and you live your purpose, long hours do not feel so long and hard work can even be energising as opposed to making you tired all the time. When you are driven by purpose and love what you do there is less stress involved within your efforts and better performance will result.
Of the upmost importance is the quality of the work that you put in versus the amount of hours spent doing your work. A razor sharp focus on the activities that serves your business purpose and vision which in turn increases profits is a requirement of smart work.
The Pareto principle applies here:
On average team members spend only 20% of their time on the activities that really serves the business purpose and vision and brings in the desired business results and 80% on activities that does not fully support business results or only to a very small degree. Smart and quality work is therefore ensuring a razor sharp focus and spending 80% of your time on the 20% of the activities that really drives business results.
“The quality of your life is dependant on the quality of the questions that you ask”
– Tony Robbins
How do I identify the twenty percent of the activities that bring in the profits and serves our collective purpose? Now, that is already a better quality question than for example: “Why am I so tired? Why am I so de-motivated? When you ask high quality questions you are already starting to train your brain to come up with better quality answers that will lead up to better quality actions, that is if the reader is brave enough to venture outside of the self-imposed boundaries of his or her own comfort zone.
The following table clearly highlights the difference between high and low quality questions. High quality questions that is answered and acted upon consistently leads to peak performance and lowered stress levels.
Low quality questions often leads to excuses that are void of solution driven thinking and increased stress levels:
|High quality question. (Peak performers should ask)||Low quality question. (That generally leads to poor performance)|
|What creative solutions can we come up with in order to generate more leads from our marketing campaigns?||Why is it so difficult to get leads?|
|Which accurate metric system can we put in place in order to measure all activities that will reveal which ones drive the most profit?||Why am I so overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done?|
|What type of candidate with which type of characteristics do we need to serve our collective purpose?||Why is it so hard to find the right person?|
|How can we align all our processes and systems and remove waste (waste of time and waste of effort) to deliver better results?||I am so tired and demotivated, why is this not working?|
The three pillars of peak performance in business and any area of life
1. A laser focus on Purpose
Being purpose driven and doing what you love is a key factor in producing the desired results and delivering a great performance consistently. Then people start acting out of own accord and no longer have to be asked to do their work.
2. People skills
Sincerely care for people. Study and learn until you know how to speak to different personality types and respect different world views in order to get the best out of each individual. Inspire people to want to do what they sincerely love instead of constantly telling them what to do. Ask high quality questions to your team members to help them to train their brains to come up with high quality answers and solutions. Study human behaviour to understand your clients better and improve upon your people skills in order to enhance your customers’ experience of your product and service.
3. Technical skills
A high level of product knowledge, sales skills, and knowledge of all business processes and systems is of course a requirement of sustainable success. Technical skills only however becomes a potent driver of sought after business results when combined with highly developed people skills.
A peak performance equation
Carefully selecting from the key points of this article the following “peak performance” equation is created:
Being Purpose driven x Asking high quality questions x taking immediate action (no procrastination) x developing to a high level of people skills x developing to a high level of technical skill x Removal of waste (Time wasters and a waste of effort) = Peak performance.
**** Multiplication is used within this equation to portray the fact that all elements within this equation is necessary to create a peak performance environment. Therefore if one element equates to zero the answer is zero, and will not lead to a peak performance environment.
21 Inspiring Quotes About Success, Persistence And What It Means To Be An Entrepreneur
Leaders of companies big and small share the mindset it takes to achieve your dreams in the face of all obstacles.
True, being an entrepreneur can be exhausting, lonely, frustrating and terrifying. But it’s worth every drop of blood, sweat and tears when you are pursuing your passion, turning your dream into a reality.
In an ongoing series called Real Entrepreneurs, we pick the brains of founders and leaders about what it is like to have every decision big and small rest on their shoulders and have compiled their thoughts on what it takes to succeed on the long, sometimes crazy journey of an entrepreneur.
The Mindset Strategy From The “Rock Star” Coach Can Turn Your Beliefs Into Results
William Badenhorst, a Director of Global Strengths shares his mindset secret to ongoing entrepreneurial success.
William Badenhorst, a Director of Global Strengths, is a coach to the coaches. His “Rock Star” attitude along with the deep driving desire to help others find their true selves formed the fabric of a highly interesting and entertaining interview.
The rolling thunder of his voice brought forth quote after quote, quip after quip and wisdom after wisdom. As a “peak performance coach” to professional athletes, celebrities, entrepreneurs and corporate career orientated individuals, William believes that knowing who you truly are as an individual is the catalyst for lasting growth and useful change in business and in life in general.
His intense eyes and energetic hand gestures emphasized one of his core beliefs and that is that we all are nothing but our very own beliefs.
“Everyone is focused on Results”
Everyone is always focusing on the outcome – the results they want. But what creates results? Let’s do some reverse engineering. In order to achieve RESULTS we need to take ACTION. And in order to take ACTION we need to make a DECISION. To make a DECISION, we need to think about it – THOUGHTS.
The interesting thing about humans is that we do not create our thoughts, we can only control them. So what does create your thoughts? Your BELIEFS creates your THOUGHTS. So ultimately your BELIEFS creates your RESULTS.
“You don’t attract what you want, you attract what you are.”
It is our very own limiting beliefs, such as for example that “I am not good enough” and “I am not deserving” and “I’m not worthy ” that creates barriers to our own success in entrepreneurial ventures and in our lives. In order to reach our limitless potential we must find and remove the self-created barriers that hold us back.
Although he loves the interaction and benefits of social media he is quick to point out that it also has created a fantasy of who and what we should be. He advises to not to adopt such fantasy as your desired reality but to instead be who you really are as an individual and goes on to quote the famous Greek philosopher Socrates:
“Know thyself, Be thyself and Love thyself”
You always end up falling back on your beliefs -whether they are empowering or disempowering. The challenge with that is that a large number of your beliefs are unconscious especially when you have not put in the work to find out what your belief system truly is.
Through his vast experience as a coach he realized that a large number of people veer away from self-awareness as they are afraid of being judged for whom they truly are.
The conversation naturally evolved into the exploration of the true meaning of the concept of faith and William’s mind grasped at a Quote from the apostle Paul:
“Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”
He went on to explain that faith is evidence of true-self which creates certainty which in turn is equal to confidence. Confidence brings a certain state where everything flows. He calls it “Peak State”. He further advises to search for evidence of who you really are and gain belief in yourself.
Advice to young entrepreneurs
William’s thoughts on self-development for entrepreneurs are to get a Coach. If you are already in business and don’t have a Coach – get one! Begin with taking extreme ownership and responsibility of everything in your life. And when you do that you win.
Stop blaming everything and everyone around you. Stop complaining about circumstances. You are in control and it is up to you to make it happen. There are no un-resourceful people, there are only un-resourceful states. Go where you are celebrated not tolerated and love yourself unconditionally. Remove the very unrealistic expectations of what and who you should be and authentically be yourself. Believe in yourself and go all in on YOU!
Become the best form of yourself because as an entrepreneur you are the business. Play to your strengths and manage your weaknesses. You do not need a title to lead, have massive self-belief and others will follow.
Have an attitude of constant learning:
“If you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room”
And then yet another quote rolled off his tongue that put me in a self-reflective mood:
“A person that shines from within does not need a spotlight”
William Badenhorst, the father, the coach, the entrepreneur and key note speaker left the author and the reader with a question of mesmerising depth:
“What if you woke up this morning with only the things that you were grateful for last night?”
Gratitude is everything!
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