I run workshops for groups of people who work in medium and large organisations — be they leaders, high potentials, or a team or division.
And the question I most ask of my workshop participants is “what are the attributes of a peak performer?”
I explain that by ‘peak performance’ I mean ‘peak’; not just on time, on budget, and good enough to get the job done. I mean ‘peak’ as in performance that shapes the future and makes a difference today.
This is a fundamental question, that goes right to the heart of work, talent, and great people. And the list of attributes that participants throw up is pretty much the same every time = passionate, visionary, enthusiastic, creative, self-belief, no fear, driven, energetic, goal orientated, open minded, tenacious.
Now there are no right or wrong answers in this exercise. The point is that while we ‘automatically’ recognise and list the attributes that constitute ‘peak performance’, they fall way under the radar when it comes to CVs [your personal branding document] and job descriptions [your own little HR box].
The closest most CV’s come to telling who you really are is in the section headed “Hobbies & Interests” – and you write something like “poetry and rugby” in case you’re being screened and/or interviewed by a guy or a girl. The closest most job descriptions come to capturing the attributes required for peak performance is in the section headed “Duties & Responsibilities”. What a fail!
Imagine now, for a moment, you are looking to hire peak performers for your thriving creative business. The CVs have been submitted, and you’ve short-listed the candidates down to the top 5. One by one they arrive for their interview, and one candidate turns up stark naked.
So you pull out your ‘peak performance’ checklist and start ticking off the boxes = passionate [yes]; enthusiastic [yes]; creative [yes]; self-belief [absolutely]; no fear [for sure]; driven [yes]; energetic[yep]; goal orientated [yep]; open minded [for sure]; tenacious [oh yes].
“Congratulations sir [or madam], you have got the job.”
Now I am not suggesting you turn up naked for your next interview or day at the office. But what I am suggesting is that you DO need to turn up and stand for something if you’re the sort of person who wants to shape the future, make a difference today, and be 100% self-expressed along the way.
So what, over and above our day-to-day job description and function, do YOU bring to the party? Think of this as your own personal Brand You essence. Write it down [in 3 words or less], place it on a huge sign in your head, and be that person.