Six Peak Performance Principles

Peak performance is the end all and be all of all life endeavours.

May it be a career related venture, a family responsibility, academic involvement, or simply a recreational activity, for the most rewarding of outcomes, we all aim to perform at our best. Unfortunately, peak performance is not as simple in practice as it is in concept, hence the existing of leadership and management training.

Many factors hinder our ability to exhaust our fullest potentials. These factors include negative behaviours, propensity to procrastinate, ignorance toward key success theories, poor plotting of objectives, and aversion to change, among other things. In order to counter these roadblocks to peak performance, here are seven principles to guide us on our pursuit of optimum output delivery.

1. De-clutter
Most individuals have the tendency to hoard. From physical objects, from the past like old magazines, CDs, posters, books, to abstractions like ideas, insights, and long held feelings or emotions. There is an almost limitless supply of things we find hard to part with. This is one reason why many of us fail to function in a way that is fresh and dynamic. By de-cluttering both our physical and mental space, we give way to more novel and relevant supplies and resources that can help us deliver peak performance.

2. Generosity
Multitudes of statements seek to glorify generosity as a human attribute. One such statement is, "what we give away comes back to us tenfold". Some may consider this cliché, but then again, clichés, more often than not, are quite reliable. In the context of peak performance, generosity plays a major role. What and how much we contribute to our specific field or industry, as well as to our colleagues, reward us eventually. Take for instance an international trainer that provides free leadership and management resources! I am sure that you can think of one. Through pro bono stints, he or she is able to receive instant referrals.

3. Confidence
People's actions are closely linked to self-image. Confident individuals, recognise their strengths and uniqueness, and know that they do not deserve to be stuck in mediocrity. The opposite holds true for those, who, whether consciously or subconsciously, devalue their own worth. Indeed, confidence triggers peak performance.

4. Affirmation
One of the pitfalls in goal setting is stating goals and objectives in a manner that seems, or sounds far-fetched. When determining one's vision for the future, I recommended stating it as if it was already a reality, as opposed to a possibility. This act of positive conditioning or affirmation stimulates a person to do his or her best.

5. Visualisation
Peak performance is inspired, when we get to future pace, the beauty, or wonder of the rewards, or possibilities that await us once we consistently put our best foot forward. This is called visualisation and essential for developing leadership skills. By allowing ourselves to indulge in an enticing picture of a possible future, whatever that future might entail, we become more motivated in perfecting the present.

6. Contribution
In the end, it should not, always, be about us. Peak performance can be done not only to serve our personal purpose, but that of our colleagues and community. Peak performance is, at its core, an act of contributing something relevant to the world through our maximised output.

Nicholas Hill
The Hill Consultancy