FINDING YOUR SWEET SPOT FOR PERFORMANCE
There are people out there who face fear, criticism and uncertainty every single day, all because they believe the world can be a better place. At PERSONNA, we’re privileged to be working with leaders who are constantly looking to reach their next level of performance, whether as an individual, a team, or an organisation. They dream about operating in that fabled "sweet spot" for performance - a place where performance flows easily, and where new levels are achieved. Every day, they are under immense pressure to perform at the top of their game. But in the chase for perfection, sometimes they can be very, very close but still not quite in the perfect rhythm.
Many of us have experienced operating in that sweet spot for performance. We see things with clarity, spotting a new opportunity when it presents itself. We are filled with a sense of vitality and energy, even though the situation is physically and mentally challenging. And as we remain open to whatever presents itself, something new emerges from within and we realise we have attained new levels of performance. We grow through what we go through. We dream of operating from that “perfect” zone, and we try to get there every day. So how do we do this? Is it even possible?
The sweet spot for performance is not something external. It’s internal. Hitting that sweet spot for performance depends on the quality of your presence to the opportunity that is emerging in front of you. How open and present are you to the situation that is emerging moment by moment in front of you? We can deepen our presence by cultivating these three instruments of inner knowing:
1. Open Mind
This relates to our intellectual capacity which allows us to see the situation with fresh eyes and make sense of the raw data all around us. And we’re not just talking about big data. It’s also deep data. Things change, disruption happens, as they should. With change comes the need for adaptation, for fresh thinking and sometimes a total reboot. With an open mind, you don’t just see the current situation in terms of where things are going wrong and wanting things to "go back to normal”. You also notice the future that is wanting to emerge. And by paying attention to it, you begin to connect with it. This new insight helps us prioritise what’s important - and what’s not. It becomes your raison d’être. Your ikigai. A reason for being. A lot of the bullsh*t just falls away. Because very few things matters. Think big and act big, and you’ll only get smaller. Complexity is the villain. Instead, think small and act small, and you’ll get bigger. Pack your bags for the next level. There’s a bigger game to be won here. You got this.
Think big and act big, and you’ll only get smaller. Complexity is the villain. Instead, think small and act small, and you’ll get bigger.
2. Open Heart
This relates to our emotional intelligence and our innate capacity to connect with others as social beings. With an open heart, you confidently open yourself to the discomfort, fear, anxiety and anger. You also open yourself to receiving love, joy, laughter and compassion, and not be so serious all the time. You don’t just see the current situation in terms of what’s best for you. You also put yourself in the other person’s shoes and consider what’s best for everyone - the greater good. It’s those simple moments in our work life where we confidently open ourselves to accusations and being inconvenienced that can make all the difference in the world. If you are not actively empowering people, then you are probably unintentionally disempowering them. You’re not alone. It’s a team sport, and everyone has a part to play. Experience the joy of leading together.
If you are not actively empowering people, then you are probably unintentionally disempowering them.
3. Open Will
This relates to our capacity to set meaningful intentions and initiate action. With an open will, you are empowered to let go of old habits and old ways of thinking that no longer serve you, and let in the future possibilities that are emerging in front of you. Trust that you can handle the stress that comes with it. In our ability to think about something differently lies the power to make it different. What looks like a people problem is usually a situation problem where we are holding on to the past. As a leader, it’s your job to work each day to chart the right course, rally the team down the rabbit hole, and make corrections when you inevitably fail. You must not be afraid of it. You must accept it, just as you accept the weather.
What looks like a people problem is usually a situation problem where we are holding on to the past.
You are already at the top of your game. You might be thinking: “This is it. This is my max. If I take even one more step, I’m going to break down.” But when you are in that sweet spot for performance, the horizon opens up in front of you, and it dawns on you: Oh, I’m only just beginning. It is exhilarating to be at the top of your game and feeling like you’ve only now just learned how to lead. You realise that you are not aspiring to the calibre of performance that you are capable of. And that’s what’s incredible about life and challenging yourself. It’s a constant reinvention, constantly learning and growing, and it just gets better. You’re never done.
Every day we are presented with opportunities to help us grow and become better leaders. But they often come disguised as a problem, an annoyance, a difficult situation. Follow the footsteps of your mind. Be open to your heart's meanderings. They will quietly lead you to make your most important decisions, and the rest will fall into place. Once you have clarity of mind and vitality of heart, the action follows quite naturally. Willpower and discipline come naturally. You’re not pushing. Instead, you’re being pulled forward. You just have to let go and allow yourself to be moved. Act in an instant.
Achieving greatness is not easy. But easy is not the goal. Greatness is.
Open mind, open heart, open will: you’re fully present. You try to be here every day. Every day, you’re dancing at the edge of greatness. You become somewhat a connoisseur of opportunities. The sky is the limit. Achieving greatness is not easy. But easy is not the goal. Greatness is.
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PERSONNA is a leadership development company focused on the people side of transformation. We hold a simple belief that everyone is an extraordinary force for positive change, and our solutions should be as unique and agile as you and your business challenges.
We’re here to help people become better leaders, build highly-effective teams, and create a culture of trust & collaboration in their organisations. We provide leadership branding, leadership coaching and group experiences. If you are curious to learn more drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.