19 Tips to Become a High Performer
A Framework to Become the Best Version of Yourself
Do you want to become a true high performer, not only in your business but in your entire life? I mean, who does not want to impress his co-workers and friends?
A Harvard Business Review article from 2014 starts with the following statement:
A high performer can deliver 400% more productivity than the average performer. (via Herman Aguinis, Ernest O’Boyle Jr.)
The way I see high-performance — that is only a nuance.
What and Who Is a High Performer?
A high performer consistently exceeds expectations both in what and how they accomplish it.
That statement, which is not even part of any publication, is defining it pretty well.
You can be an over-achiever in terms of your goals. But if it takes you endless resources, this is not sustainable.
A high performer manages their resources like time and money carefully.
What Is the Benefit of Being a High Performer Anyway?
To me, it is achieving more value.
That can be a lot of things:
- Make more money with my businesses
- Learning new skills such as a new language
- Being healthy and there for a longer life
- Having time to focus on the things I have prioritised
Do not limit “high performer” to simply making more money or getting a promotion in your job. That is very one-dimensional.
I find it even irrational to not look at your entire life.
For example, it is proven that healthier people achieve better results. But you will have to take care of your fitness and health 24/7, literally speaking.
A high performer will usually try to eliminate coincidence. That requires more than just a few random tactics.
It requires systems and habits that shape your entire behaviour.
Instead of being busy, become focused. Instead of doing things over and over again, aim for something new.
Doing what everybody else is doing will get you results no different to 99,9% of all people.
Tips to Achieve a High Performer Status
1. Set Yourself Big Goals
A lot of people are simply busy, especially workaholics. Many people have to-do lists, only very few people tend to have clear goals. I am talking about big goals. They allow you to focus on those things that matter.
You cannot succeed in anything if you do not know where you are supposed to go. Big goals guide you, give you an orientation and a clear framework where to put your energy.
2. Leave Your Comfort Zone
Do not expect remarkable things to happen if you are always doing the same things the same way because “you know how to do ‘em.” A high performer always seeks to improve, try new things and achieve more.
Leave your comfort zone — and expect to fail. Then learn from your mistakes and try even better the next time. You cannot seriously grow within your comfort zone — so get out!
3. Consistency Is the Key — Not Miracles
Everybody wants to be an overnight hero, but in 99,9% of the case, that overnight miracle was long in the making. Doing things over and over again will make you great — not trying for one week and then letting it go.
Ask Michael Jordan.
Whatever you do — be consistent and focus on minor, single hits and forget about home runs. Because if you do that, they will follow.
4. Always Focus on One Thing
Never multi-task and avoid distractions, especially in the times of social media and 24/7 availability. If you focus on one thing, nothing else should matter.
Are you reading a book or writing a report? Are you practising your golf swing? It all can be done in one day — but do not think about a report due soon while reading something else.
I am not suggesting avoiding social media at all (who does?) but limit it and prevent time and energy crawlers like that when you need to focus on your important stuff.
5. Create a Mental Framework
These days it is all about tech, connectivity, and the latest trends.
It is like a thunderstorm of information and influences. Many people are stressed, distracted and some even break.
Make sure you have a mental framework that is positive and stable. Ignore what you cannot change; focus on what you can. Make sure you have breaks to recover, do “useless” stuff to re-charge and stay sane.
6. Embrace an Open Mind and Curiosity
Never think you know everything. Many people and situations will cross your path that can change a lot and bring you new opportunities.
Sometimes all it takes is a little curiosity.
Ask questions, listen to answers and think about what that might mean for you and your situation.
Many people run busy through life without ever looking left or right. High performers act differently!
7. Be Self-Aware and Accept Feedback
You are not that important. And not alone. Sometimes you need to know when to shut up and step back.
If you manage to do this, you will be far ahead of most people. Heck, sometimes you are even wrong. If somebody critics you, take it up and think about it.
Maybe that somebody is right.
Admitting mistakes is challenging and can not only make you better in the end. It can also make you more extraordinary in the eyes of others.
8. Always Grow, and Always Grow Faster
Never stop growing and educating yourself! This is not only about relevant skills on the job. Mentally or experience-wise is another one.
High performers constantly think about where they can learn from their past and perform better if they made mistakes.
It is another habit, and the more you are focused on growing, the faster you will adapt yourself. Curiosity is a great thing and can help you to become better in different areas.
9. Educate Yourself by Reading
Reading is most probably one of the cheapest forms of education. Have you ever thought about buying a book you are interested in? Just buy it. Whatever the price is, just one great idea or insight is worth it.
The range of options is sheer endless, and just reserving a few hours each week for reading can do miracles.
There is a reason why many successful people read a lot.
10. Get Your Morning Routine under Control
Whether or not you get up at 5 am or maybe at 8 am, make sure you get high-quality sleep, and you know what to do with your time once you wake up. Sometimes it matters more when than how we do things.
No worries, you do not get into yoga, meditation, journaling, or any other of those random tactics.
11. Improve your Productivity
Sure, we all want to get more things done, preferably in less time. However, many simply run after the latest productivity app or other fancy promises. But do you set yourself up for success?
High performers have no hidden or magic gene that lets them get things done. They have a system that works and the right mindset.
The good news is, it is not rocket science to follow them.
12. Make your Fitness and Health a Priority
It is a well-proven fact that great fitness and health significantly affect your success. Yet, most of us have an excuse why we do not make it a priority.
Cook for yourself? Too much effort. Do any sports? Not enough time. Get regular medical check-ups? Waste of time.
Come on, get into the 21st century, please. Some years down the line, you will be happy you started the latest today.
13. Work on Your Emotional Intelligence
The world is getting more advanced, technical, digital, and automated every day. But that does not mean these are the only vital skills.
Sooner or later, your emotional intelligence will make the difference between good and great. No matter what you do.
Your business school degree and all the other stuff will not be as significant as communicating with other people.
14. Connect and Interact with People
Interesting people are everywhere. Open up, be genuine and interested and start connecting with others. You will be amazed where this can lead you.
Surround yourself with positive people from which you can learn and benefit, but with giving them back.
Reduce negative and energy-consuming people as much as possible.
15 ways to stand out when interacting with people
It is easier than you think to leave a great impression.
15. Teach and Learn via Mentorship and Coaching
It is about time that mentorship and coaching become the standard, not the exception. You can benefit exponentially from somebody who is 20 years ahead of you.
If you want to learn golf, chances are you will take a coach. Why not in many other areas in your life — including your professional life?
16. Start Networking
Networking has quite a negative image, but it seems mainly for those who are not doing or not doing it right. It is not about some after-work event where everybody exchanges business cards, expecting you to buy something.
Networks are created constantly and over a longer time period. You and will never know when it pays off.
But it will, especially if you give your network something first.
17. Maximize Your Fit to Your Environment
In a changing world, your environment becomes even more critical.
Whether you are working from home, from an office, or on the road, make sure your environment is exactly what you need to perform at a high level.
Of course, you can work in every environment — but the right fit here can unleash substantial increases in your performance.
18. Work in a Team, Excel as a Leader
Very few people can perform great in a team and on their own. There is no doubt and you need to be a team player and understand when to hold back to let somebody else shine.
However, sometimes a high performer needs to make a decision and lead the team from there. That is why we need leaders and high performers.
The art is to understand when to do what.
19. Learn to Delegate and Outsource
High performers understand their value. Sometimes it is simply better to not do something but have it done by somebody else.
How many have a cleaning lady or order food for home? Exactly, there are many other tasks somebody in your team can and should handle.
Ever thought about getting a virtual assistant? Think about all the time you repeatedly spent on mundane and basic tasks. Then get rid of them.
Conclusion: High Performance Is Never Completed
These 19 tips hopefully gave you some new ideas on achieving the status of a high performer.
But it will never stop. I am sure everybody learns new ways and systems to improve.
The most important thing is to actively start working on this topic, understand it, and never stop.
Your performance will thank you — and others will do so too!
Previously published here