Recommendations for Elevating Your Performance

My coaching clients are typically individuals looking for someone with candor who will tell them what they need to hear, not what they want to hear, as they’ve heard through word of mouth that that’s my style.

Over many years of experience, I have often recognized specific behavior patterns among these individuals, and with that in mind, I offer the following recommendations for elevating your performance.

First, start from the right place.

  1. Have the right infrastructure to support your endeavor. Is your significant other supportive of what you’re trying to do? If not, you are fighting an uphill battle. If you don’t have a supportive partner, it is going to be difficult for you to tackle all that is demanded of you as you take your performance to the next level.
  2. Make sure your goal is congruent with your DNA. I recently wrote in “Are You in the Right Seat on Your Own Bus” about a client whose behavior consistently undermined her progress, despite her best intentions. When I see that happen with my mentees, I’m convinced somebody has talked them into a course of action. It is not coming from their own passion or core strengths. Example: a client wants to do more professional speaking. It is an incredibly different world from his Fortune 50 corporate experience. It’s not congruent with his DNA: He’s never had to sell his own services. He is going to genuinely struggle with selling speaking engagements if he pursues this path.
  3. Prioritize your strategic relationships. One of my mentees told me, “I come from the IT industry but I’m thinking of working in other industries.” I advised him to leverage his IT relationships as a springboard. “Prove your ideas, let people get to know you, like you, and trust you, before you move on to other industries,” I told him. Your existing relationships are your position of strength. Start there.

Next, give yourself all the advantages you can.

  1. Succinctly articulate the challenge or opportunity you address. Where you uncover true challenges or opportunities, you will find a market ready to invest resources of money, time, and effort. What upside potential will they gain from listening to you, reading your work, following your efforts?
  2. Apply professional, polished persistence. You don’t want to be a pest — that’s a fine line you must never cross — but there is nothing wrong with professional, polished persistence. A mentee tells me: “I emailed that person three times, and he never got back to me.” I reply: “How do you know he got your email?” Pro-active behavior elevates individuals above the noise.
  3. Exert unparalleled discipline at self-improvement. You cannot help others if you are not well-read, well-traveled, well-versed in the leading edge of your field. What are you reading? What conferences are you attending? How are you growing? There’s a reason airline safety instructions tell us to “put on your own oxygen mask before helping other passengers.” If you want to help other people, you must have something to give.

Finally, master the behaviors of outstanding performers.

  1. Be decisive. There is enormous value in agility. I’m working with one mentee who has been updating his website for the last year. Conversation after conversation, I ask, “What’s the status?” “Well, we changed a few things.” “Can I go somewhere and see it?” “No, it’s still on a development server.” Perfect is the enemy of progress. Move! Your decisions are not impacting whether the next NASA rover will land on Mars or not. If you make a mistake, you learn from it, but you learn nothing and achieve nothing if you never move.
  2. Take responsibility. Blaming others is not going to improve your condition. It doesn’t matter why something didn’t happen; you have to own the result. Then make it happen.
  3. Be bold! In a market where too many consultants look the same and act the same, it is very difficult to be perceived as NOT the same. In an effort not to offend anyone, we end up like the descriptions on — all equally attractive, and utterly indistinguishable one from the next. I really do believe that when at some point we look back on our lives, we will most regret the things we DIDN’T do, not the things we did. To take satisfaction, take risks — in what you write, what you speak on, what you believe in and are passionate about.

As straightforward as these recommendations may sound, they are still not common practice. Each is much easier said than done. Even so, this is what it takes to elevate yourself above the noise. This is the mission-critical behavior required to accelerate your personal and professional success.

Nour Takeaways

  1. Make sure you have the right supports in place, choose a goal that is congruent with your DNA, and leverage the strategic relationships you currently have.
  2. Be able to clearly articulate the upside potential of your work, persistent in following through, and diligent about ongoing self-improvement.
  3. Be decisive, responsible, and BOLD!


David Nour has spent the past two decades advising executives on building business relationships. In the process, he has developed Relationship Economics® — the art and science of becoming more intentional and strategic in the relationships one chooses to invest in. In a global economy that is becoming increasingly disconnected, The Nour Group, Inc. has worked with clients such as Hilton, ThyssenKrupp, Disney, KPMG and over 100 other marquee organizations. David Nour is a strategic relationship keynote speaker, consultant, and advisor that helps these companies drive profitable growth through unique returns on their strategic relationships. Nour has pioneered the phenomenon that relationships are the greatest off balance sheet asset any organizations possess, large and small, public and private. He is the author of nine books translated into eight languages, including the best-selling Relationship Economics — Revised (Wiley), ConnectAbility (McGraw-Hill), The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Raising Capital (Praeger), Return on Impact (ASAE), and the 2017 forthcoming CO-CREATE (St. Martin’s Press), an essential guide showing C-level leaders how to optimize relationships, create market gravity, and greatly increase revenue. Contact David Nour to learn more, subscribe to the Blog, sign up for the Rendezvous Newsletter or request his speaking schedule availability for your organizations next event.

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