Who are the 400% Superheroes and What Makes Them Tick?
The average leaders' effectiveness can be trumped by up to 400% by high-performance leaders. These high performers are what we call 400% superheroes, they are the force multipliers in your organisation responsible for lifting the performance of your multi-disciplinary teams.
400% seems a big number right? How do they do it?
They nurture these key aspects of their life that set them apart and get results. If you have ever wondered what high performers do to find purpose, maximise results, and get to the top, here is how they do it.
The “Get It Done” mindset
High-performance leaders align their mindset with growth and results. They are always looking for opportunities to develop, expand their skillset and acquire more knowledge. Before taking on a task, high performers will reflect and ask how and what they can learn from the task they are about to plan and execute.
As well as a desire to learn and progress, 400% superheroes know that growth can't be achieved in a vacuum. Growth requires teamwork, external support, and knowledge held by others and not yet attained by themselves. Only when their mindset is fixed on success and their resources are not only internal but external, can they perform at their maximum potential.
Planning is more important than the plan
Top performers plan to ensure that their reach is far, and their results set them apart. High performing leaders are purposeful, they choose and plan projects that matter. Working on a project with meaning gives the individual motivation and a higher level of satisfaction when the task is complete. It also pushes the performer to expand their skillset, creating a more knowledgeable and productive individual.
Body and soul
As well as planning for meaning, they know the criticality of balancing work and health. It is a common belief that working long hours equals productivity. Yet, it is proven that working long hours can kill productivity. High performers know that exercise is an important aspect of keeping productivity alive and at its peak. Exercise is proven to increase energy and concentration, reduce fatigue, lower stress, and improve mental health. Planning to balance work and health, are crucial to keeping productivity at its highest. High performers know that working long hours doesn’t mean maximised efficiency.
High-performance leaders send and receive
Communication is essential for success and without communication, productivity cannot thrive. An important quality of high performing team members is knowing their needs and wants and communicating them effectively. When an individual’s needs and wants aren’t being met or heard, their satisfaction levels are low, their productivity rates decline, they don’t feel valued in their work. This often leads them to leave their job quicker in search of meaning. High-performance leaders keep communication channels open and manage expectations for their teams
High-performance leaders implicitly understand that communication is not only sending information, it's ensuring the team receives and understands the meaning behind the message. They know when to talk, and when to listen, prioritising the latter to ensure they understand the challenges at the coal face, applying their superpowers to critical thinking processes to help lead the team through these challenges.
Know when to say no
Another important aspect of communication is boundaries. High performing leaders know who and what to say no to. Communicating boundaries ensure that all parties know each other’s expectations and respect them. Top performers set boundaries around time, intellect, physical space, and emotions. People who set boundaries achieve outstanding results as their expectations are clear and they have created an environment in which they feel comfortable.
A 400% superhero's focus is razor-sharp, it cuts through distraction and drives them toward success. When executing a task, highly productive people know their reward and let that drive their focus. If there is no bonus, compensation, recognition or reward, their motivation and feelings of purpose dwindle. Purpose drives focus and it is a natural aspect of human life to search for significance. John F. Kennedy once said, “Efforts and courage are not enough without meaning and direction”. Meaning is the momentum that focus thrives on and high performers are always searching for significance to ensure they are continually sharpening their blade of focus.
High-performance leaders embrace frank and fearless feedback
The final characteristic of a high performer is that they crave and chase feedback. They do this to improve their performance, find blind spots and gain confidence. High performers don’t let feedback go unactioned and they find value in correction and don't shy away from constructive criticism. Feedback creates growth and promotes change. As people reflect on feedback, they are seeing themselves from an outside perspective, which often highlights blind spots in many areas they usually can’t recognise.
Top performers also have a high level of self-awareness, in turn creating situational awareness for their team. They can debrief and analyse their work after the execution of a task and know who to go to and where to go to receive feedback to strengthen their reflection. “Without feedback, top performers [are] reduced to guessing about their results – that’s no way to get to the top” (Harpham, n.d.).
Become a superhero yourself, it's a learned skill
If your performance seems to be stagnant and getting results that make an impact are few and far between, look at a high performer and apply their characteristics, mindsets, and habits to yourself and watch your performance revolutionise your results.
Flex is our tool to turn you into a high performance leader –
High-Performance Leaders – References
Ahmed, A. (2020). What are the Benefits of Boundaries in the Workplace?. Chron. https://smallbusiness.chron.com/benefits-boundaries-workplace-10748.html
Briotix. (2020). Five Reasons Exercise Improves Productivity. Briotix Health. https://news.briotix.com/five-reasons-exercise-improves-productivity
De Bellefonds, C. (2017). 7 Red Flags You’re Working Too Much. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/working-too-much-health-effects
Harpham, B. (n.d.). 9 Characteristics of High Performers. Life Hack. https://www.lifehack.org/articles/work/9-characteristics-high-performers.html
John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. (n.d). Remarks Of Senator John F. Kennedy, Coliseum, Raleigh, North Carolina, September 17, 1960. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. https://www.jfklibrary.org/archives/other-resources/john-f-kennedy-speeches/raleigh-nc-19600917
Marsh, E. (2018). Why Feedback is Important in the Workplace. T-three. https://www.t-three.com/soak/insights/why-feedback-is-important
O’Boyle Jr, E., & Aguinis, H. (2012). The best and the rest: Revisiting the norm of normality of individual performance. Personnel Psychology, 65(1), 79-119. https://doi-org.dbgw.lis.curtin.edu.au/10.1111/j.1744-6570.2011.01239.x