High performance isn’t rocket science, it’s just common sense

I’ve had some similar conversations with many people lately about what high performance really is. The majority of the time, after getting into the nitty gritty of it all, the response I get most often is, “It’s pretty simple really, isn’t it?”. Yep, pretty simple. Yet not always easy to implement. And, unfortunately, in this fast paced, technology driven world we now live in, most of us believe there must be a magic pill, the “one big thing”, the secret sauce to creating sustainable high performance. And, to be honest, there is. You just need to work for it.

Throughout my career, I’ve heard all the buzzwords that business people like to jump onto – talking strategy, complex ideas, mapping out future paths etc. And while I’m sure this stuff is important and has its time and place, when it comes down to it we really just need to get s*&t done. Create good habits, challenge our limiting beliefs and get stuff done, right? Just take action. Once we do this and have the basics embedded, we can then start thinking about the strategy and complex ideas. The problem is, most of us don’t want to work on the basics because they aren’t sexy.

Let me give you an example

There was an athlete in my team last year who always boasted about being better than the rest of us. He spent his time doing the fun things that looked cool and focusing on only certain movements. While he was doing this, the rest of us focused on the basics… better known as the unsexy stuff. The core movements that can often seem boring, take longer than expected and don’t show any immediate benefits. However, when you get out on the competition floor, these basics are the only things that get you through. They are the difference between a good athlete and a great one.

Unfortunately for this boastful team member, his lack of focus on the basics bought him unstuck significantly when push came to shove. So much so, in the middle of a competition, with his five other team mates watching on, he crumbled and wasn’t able to produce the work he had promised the team he would deliver. All because he didn’t prioritise the basics.

What can we learn from this in business?

If you think about the high performing people in the world, often the most successful ones have these common traits – they practice the basics, create and embed good habits, plan, don’t sweat the small stuff and take action. These are all things I’m sure you’ve heard and been told to do many times in the past. I can hear you saying now, “Yeah, Kate we know. Just give us the magic pill already!”

We all go through periods of uncertainty, feeling unprepared, and unqualified. The magic pill, secret sauce, whatever it is you are looking for is this: what you have right now is enough. You can plan, delay, find excuses and revise all you want, but I assure you, what you have now is enough to start. In fact, you had everything you needed 12 months ago. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to start or grow a business, lose weight, write a book, or achieve any number of goals… who you are, what you have, and what you know right now is good enough to get going. And the sooner you start, the sooner you will make progress.

Take something you have been meaning to do, that thing you always put off because you don’t have time. Take it today and just focus on it for 10 minutes. We all have 1,440 minutes in each day – that’s never going to change. Just 10 minutes is 0.7% of your day, can you spare that? Sure you can. Start for just 10 mins and if it doesn’t feel good, stop. But if it does…..you just started on your next growth journey. And now that thought feels amazing!