Should Leaders expect peak performance 24/7?
Cases of executive burnout, rustout, mental health issues and even suicide are on the rise, but remain largely hidden. It’s about time companies become significantly more pro-active in priming leaders for sustainable high performance. If analysts are starting to taking a closer look, shouldn’t the HR director be curious?
In fact, maybe human resources should be called human performance. After all, HR is about supporting people to maximise their productivity, impact and effectiveness. The HR director is a member of a pivotal triangle (CEO/FD/HRD), which ensures that critical business plans are delivered on time, in full. To that end, he/she is increasingly the high performance facilitator, provider and coach as well as everything else.
This is about the crucial preparation of key people who must deliver and who need energy, clarity and a never-ending ability to revive, re-energise and recover, not feel constantly overwhelmed and drained. We take no chances on testing and preparing business hardware and assets because we understand how to engineer them. So why do we avoid the challenge of engineering sustainable high performance in our most important, most exposed people?
I also found an interesting article by Adrian Moorhouse commenting on Rory McIlroy when he lost a four shot lead in the Masters Tournament and came 15th. This gives a more personal perspective on performance.
He goes on to look at four core skills that underpin performance:
- Handling pressure – this is about finding ways of keeping any symptoms of stress under control. As well as relaxation techniques, visualisation, getting enough sleep, exercising and eating properly developing - your mental toughness is also important.
This is identifying and accepting what is within your control and what isn’t and directing your energy and effort into what you can control.
- Self-belief – it is crucial that you believe in your skills and abilities. This enables you to bounce back more easily when things go wrong. Continuing to develop these skills by setting yourself stretching goals and opportunities to practice will make sure they are fine tuned.
- Motivation – Extrinsic motivation such as pay and reward is unquestionably a source of motivation for many but internal motivation which gives a sense of inherent satisfaction leads to more enjoyment, less pressure and consequently is easier to remain motivated.
- Focus – Focus on the positive. Do not dwell on past failures but acknowledge all your successes. Negative thoughts hinder performance. Mentally touch performers have developed the art to focus on past achievements and personal strengths and immediately put any instances of less that excellent performance behind them.
If you would like to read the full article on leaders sustaining performance please click below.