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What is the secret to high performance at work and in life?


People who are high performers at work and in life probably agree with Aristotle who said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” 

In that statement, we can see the value placed on repetition- doing excellent things over and over again until excellence becomes part of who we are. We can also glean that becoming an excellent person requires a lot of time and dedication. It is a journey. 

So what are these excellent things that set apart those who achieve success in their professional life,  personal life or both? 

Unlocking our full potential to become high performers

A study by a multinational consulting firm found that high performers are 400% more productive than average employees, and the more the job becomes challenging, the productivity gap further widens.

Another study supports this by concluding that top performers are four times more fruitful at work. 

Whether in life and in the workplace, it seems that being a high performer consists of various skills, traits and qualities. 

  • High performers are big on their “clear why.”

Whenever we begin something, oftentimes our intentions start vague. We think or feel they are important. Then we let our motivation push us to our goal. However, our motivation would likely fizzle out and we are not so keen on finishing what we started. We move on to the next “shiny” thing. 

What makes extraordinary people that way is their zest to search for their “why”, the clear reasons for their goals. Then regardless of their feelings, motivation level, they can choose to stay in the course and finish strong. 

So the next time we have a life or career goal, let’s search for our “deep why” and ask ourselves, “Why is this so important for me?” 

  • High performers are efficient. 

With so many things to focus on, what do we do first and do well? High performers are people who have practiced the art of prioritizing the most important tasks and giving their 100% to those activities that will yield the greatest results and bring them closer to their goals. 

Rather than spread ourselves too thin and produce a thin result, let’s make big efforts in the tasks that really matter. 

  • High performers adapt to change. 

Threats to our productivity and events that impact our plans are part of life. High performers are people who acknowledge the situation and make solutions to fit the unique problem. They are more open to creativity, and are flexible. Studies on grit have shown that high performers have developed toughness to keep them going despite difficulties. 

  • High performers develop emotional intelligence. 

Part of their emotional intelligence is their ability to communicate clearly and effectively. This includes facilitating sharing of ideas, receiving and providing feedback, and resolving conflict. 

They intentionally desire and learn theories on effective communication and strive to apply them in life and at work. 

When was the last time we were intentional in assessing our communication skills and in learning more about it? 

  • High performers continue to grow. 

Continuous learning is a mark of high performers. They put dedication, time and hard work to improve their resilience, ability to move out of their comfort zone by learning. High performers value a growth mindset more than a fixed mindset. 

With these habits, high performers are able to become consistent in their work ethic, in their expression of their life values, and in their harvest of success, both in their career and in their personal lives. 

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What is the secret to high performance at work and in life?
Brandon Resasco