The Building Blocks for a Year of Deep Performance
A new year often feels like a blank canvas, a chance to reinvent how things were done last year, to work out what you did that was useful and what you did that only created more challenges. It really is a fresh slate. For some reason, humans struggle to create new habits mid-week or mid-year – “I’ll start on Monday, I couldn’t possibly begin working out more on a Thursday!” We really thrive when we create new habits at the beginning of a new year or a new week. So, I want to lay out the simplicities of the deep-performance building blocks now at the beginning of the year and show you how you can implement them to revolutionise what success looks like for you and your business this year!
Deep Performance is an Extra Step, but it Takes You the Extra Mile
Achieving a state of deep performance should be the ultimate goal of all organisations. There are so many examples of organisations that have found incredible success using deep performance building blocks. Think of Microsoft, Apple, Google, and Amazon – these are all organisations that created a solid foundation of purpose, the GID mindset, situational awareness, and reflection, to create some of the holy grails of business. Purpose-driven, aligned and sustainable, deep-performing organisations ‘think’ expansively, and ‘do’ with unwavering focus and explosive energy.
This way of thinking and acting creates ‘situational awareness’, which is how we make sense of our environment and the world around us, finding and harnessing new and powerful opportunities while having the capacity to keep it rolling when the wheels fall off. You may be wondering how deep performance is different to high performance. Well, high performance is a two-pronged goal: to align our daily activities with our long-term purpose and to stay aligned to create long-term high-performance success. But deep performance takes an extra step, which ends up thrusting us a mile ahead.
Deep performance asks us to reflect daily. It sounds simple, but if you leave it too long to reflect on what you’re doing, by the time you pause and look back, you’ve missed hundreds of opportunities to change tact and forge a better course ahead. By asking yourself daily, “what did I do today that worked and what did I do that didn’t work?” or “am I closer to tomorrow’s goal because of what I did today?” Simple questions like these will put you miles ahead of those who aren’t reflecting often.
The Four Building Blocks of Deep Performance
There are four building blocks in the foundation of deep performance: purpose, the GID (get it done) mindset, situational awareness, and reflection. Let’s start with purpose. Ultimately, it is your why, it is the one big goal you have that keeps your heart and mind in the game. Everyone has to feel like they have a bigger purpose to actually get them out of bed in the morning, we do what we do all day every day because of purpose.
Then comes the Get It Done mindset, AKA ‘GID'. The GID mindset is all about finding one thing a day that will inch you closer to your goal, and then doing it! Too often we fill our plates to the absolute maximum, feeling as if we’re getting so much done because we have a lot on, but really, we’re not doing anything at all that is taking us where we want to be. Then, there is situational awareness (SA). SA is like a bubble of clarity. Sometimes it is big, and other times it’s small. The smaller the bubble, the less clarity you have, and the less capacity to deal with the curveballs that life throws at us every day. The bigger the bubble, the more clarity and the more capacity to juggle!
Teams that achieve deep performance daily, are teams that individually and collectively work to create giant bubbles to increase their clarity and capacity! And finally, reflection, also known as debriefing. The best reflection cycle looks like comparing where you wanted to be, to where you ended up, then finding out the reason for the result that you got, and then working out what actions you need to take next time to ensure you end up at your intended destination!
New Year, New Business Model
Okay, that title sounds drastic. I’m not suggesting that you wipe your entire business model and implement only these four ingredients as your business model. But I am suggesting that you begin to integrate the four ingredients of deep performance into the way you currently run your business. The good thing about these four building blocks is that they can be implemented into your business to underpin what you already do as a business.
Start with purpose, and brainstorm how you can create avenues to ensure that your team’s purpose aligns with the task they are tackling. Ensure that your team is also driven by the organisation's ‘why’. Teams that are aligned with the bigger why of the business are able to carry out tasks and roll with the punches while keeping the ultimate goal in their vision. Next, adopt a GID mindset. Don’t forget that what begins at the top of a business, flows right down to the bottom. If you, as leaders adopt the GID Mindset, your people will follow.
Continue to grow your clarity bubble! Deep performance hinges on one’s capacity to keep the ultimate purpose in mind while making informed yet quick decisions in the face of change and challenge. Some people are naturally very high-capacity people, but situational awareness can be grown and encouraged. And finally, and most importantly I would argue reflection and debriefing. Debriefing should not be limited to military operations and fighter pilots, EVERY business should be reflecting and putting deliberate actions in place to make it further next time.
Now is a Perfect Time!
2023 has just begun! We are all feeling (hopefully) a new sense of anticipation and motivation for the year ahead. We are standing at the feet of a blank canvas, full of opportunity and challenge, it is up to you how you will paint this year. But can I say, a year brimming with deep performance is just about the best way one can paint the year! Take little steps, one thing at a time, to begin your journey to deep performance, there’s no rush. But the sooner you begin implementing the deep performance building blocks, the sooner you will start to see success in your business!