“Watch your thoughts for they become words. Watch your words for they become actions. Watch your actions for they become…habits. Watch your habits, for they become your character. And watch your character, for it becomes your destiny! What we think we become.” – Margaret Thatcher Strong leadership is very important in such a challenging environment as business and selling. Strong leadership is what gets things done effectively and efficiently. In business, what you need are strong leaders who can sustain high performance each day, each week, each month and each year. Are you a strong leader who can sustain high performance and not burn-out? In this article we shall talk about 7 key high-performance habits that are the key habits to develop to strong leaders who sustain high performance over long periods of time. This is based on a 20-year study by High Performance Institute (ref: Brendon Burchard) through interviews of CEO’s, celebrities, high-level entrepreneurs such as Richard Branson to entertainers such as Oprah and Usher, professionals in dozens of industries, to on-line surveys through 1.6 million people from 195 countries. Do you want to know the 7 key habits that these top performers developed to succeed? If you are an entrepreneur or executive in your corporation aspiring for progress not perfectionism, action oriented to contribute and humble enough to look for blind-spots in your leadership, then read on. I evaluated myself on these 7-key high-performance habits and realized that I had all of them but with varying consistency. Some habits were very strong and others although present just okay. If that habit was stronger, I would have done more. But, even without the full charge, I achieved doubling sales of a FMCG company to USD 1 billion in 3.5-years in a huge and complex organization of 7,000 employees, 5 Vice-President’s, 5 Regional Manager’s, over 100 line-managers, and 400 supervisors. What if you had developed the FULL-CHARGE of these 7-High Performance Habits? Perhaps you will be the next Richard Branson or Oprah? Lack of Strong Leaders Have a look at your company that you manage or work for and what do you see? Do you have strong leaders? You probably encountered these problems about managers or leaders. I have experienced all of these:
1. Great technical skills but very poor on communication. He was a great technician then got promoted. Next thing the staff start to complain to you they are confused on the goals and priorities of the company. The new promote is irritable, bossy and sensitive to criticism. He/she prefers to do all things by himself and all decisions by himself.
2. Lack of courage to make decisions. You have a manager who is risk averse and every decision is delegated up to you. He/she is stuck on the status quo and does not want to innovate or take risk. He/she often says: “Why should we change? The present system has been successful all these years.” It is a now a struggle for you to get change because of this person.
3. Low motivation and uninspiring. This manager’s attention and passion seem to be somewhere else and will only do the bare minimum for the work. They are unclear in their direction in life.
4. Lack of accountability and responsibility. He/she can be a master communicator but of finding excuses for poor performance or low productivity. Often this manager is poor in strategic planning. Focus is on activities rather than results. Classic line: “I did what you told me to do.”
5. Critical and negative. You see this type often. They are critical and doomsayers. They zap the energy in the room with one comment. Their favorite line: “That won’t work. We do not have the capability and resources. We will lose a lot of money. It’s too risky.”
6. Low energy and often sick. This manager sometimes falls asleep during meetings and often takes sick-leaves or long vacations. After lunch is a very low productive time for him and he normally spends this time in chatting. What if you had a system to develop strong leaders? You get leaders with these characteristics: • Positive: Their aura is of optimism all the time and they inspire the whole team to go beyond and stretch to what is possible. They love challenges and are more confident they will achieve the goal despite adversity.
• Clear-Direction: They are clear about what they want of their life for their career, work and family life. They are more successful than their peers, yet they are less stressed due this clarity. They are happy and admired for what they do as they work passionately regardless of the traditional rewards.
• Strong Drive to finish things and persists. They see things that are necessary and must happen. • Highly productive: They have mastered to focus on what is important. What are the results desired and activities needed to achieve those results.
• Great communicators: They can communicate plans, vision of the future and influence and inspire others towards that vision.
• High Energy. They are healthier than their peers and can bring a high energy to the situation and work at hand. They can quickly rebound from adversity and set-backs and be on the move again finding new solutions to the problem.
• Courage. They make great decisions and are fully responsible for it. Often, they challenge the status quo and innovate for a better solution. They lead change and they don’t only develop skill; they develop people to be enabled to do all these changes. How would you feel if you had leaders like this? How about if you were able to assess you own capability as a leader? Traditional Habits for Success These are the traditional habits that we hear growing up on the keys for success:
• Work hard
• Be Passionate
• Focus on Your Strengths
• Practice a lot
• Persist • Be grateful These are all great characteristics and habits to develop, however, these are not the key habits that ensures a successful leader. Look around you. Many people work hard, passionate, focus on their strengths, practice and persists but they are still at the bottom of the rung. So, there must be a set of habits that work better for success.
These are the 7 key high-performance habits that high-level entrepreneurs, CEO’s, celebrities and top performing people. As I discuss them, I will point (Neuro Linguistic Programming) NLP techniques you can use so you can install these habits faster.
1. Positivity Habit
During seminars I ask the question: “Have you failed at something in your life?” Everyone will raise their hand. Next, I will ask: “Why did you fail?” These are the answers:
“I was lazy and did not do my best.”
“I blamed others and made excuses, whereas I really was not doing the things I needed to do.”
“I failed to see the resources and help right in-front of me.”
“I was overly anxious and worried. I felt I could not do it right in the beginning.”
There is a common thread on their answers. Their state of mind was negative, and the person failed to switch to a positive state of mind so that they can be more resourceful to find solutions.
A positive state of mind is the most powerful habit as it fuels the rest of our day. (March 2017 article shows an NLP technique on “How to Default Your Mind to be Always Positive.”)
2. Ever Clear Habit
Clarity in your life is key in terms of the following areas: (These are key questions to ask.)
Self : What three words describe my best self?
Social : Three words that could define how I want to treat other people are?
Skills : What five skills I’m I trying to develop most in my life right now?
Service : Three simple ways I can add value to those around me this week?
Feelings : The main feelings I want to cultivate in my life, relationships, and work this week? Purpose : Something I can do or create that would bring me more meaning in life is?
(December 2017 Article show an NLP technique of How to Gain Clarity for Your Purpose.)
3. Raise Necessity Habit
If we have a goal or project, we need to raise the necessity to achieve it. What is our big why?
Necessity is raised by internal and external forces. Internal forces such as our personal standards of excellence and obsessions with a topic/process. External forces due to a social duty, obligation or purpose or real deadlines. We can raise our necessity by affirming the “big why” with these questions:
• Who are the people who need me to do this? What are the reasons for each person?
• I know I am in the “flow of doing things” when I think, feel or behave in this manner.
• The things that throw me off the flow are …. And I deal with them by ….
• The things I would like to become extraordinary in doing are …. And the reasons are …
• The most positive people in my life who I should hang out with more are ….
The habit is to reflect constantly on the internal and external forces that make the goal necessary.
4. Focus on Productivity Habit
Sometimes we fall into the trap of activities. We become busy as it satisfies our need to tell ourselves we worked hard and did a good today. But, hard work itself and activities can produce nothing. If you spent the whole day responding to useless email, then there is no output. Clarity on what matters most in terms of results is important.
As I help companies in business, I constantly tell myself. “My output is to increase their sales. PERIOD!” If I do not contribute to increase their sales no matter how much systems, processes and activities I made then I did not add value.”
1. What is the OUTPUTS or RESULTS that matter most in each role you have? For example, if you are an author? Your results are best-selling books that inspire. If you are a trainer / public speaker? Inspiring and seeing others achieve more is your output not the training
2. Identify the five (5) core activities or big steps that is needed to achieve your goal.
High productivity is achieved by modelling others who were successful in the goal or project we are about to do. Often their key steps to success can be broken down into 3-5 key strategies. By asking, we can get those strategies right. In our seminar we train the NLP modelling process to elicit the mindset and strategies of great people.
5. Outstanding Influence Habit
Leadership is influencing. This is how things gets done effectively and efficiently. We need to learn how to gain rapport, trust and attention fast with people or it will be difficult to influence them. NLP enables us to gain rapport with anyone in 3-minutes. We get their trust and attention because the process allows us to communicate to their subconscious and make them feel we are close friends. (See March 2018 article on How to Make Your Customer’s Feel You are a Close Friend). What if you can learn this? How valuable will that for you in your business, your personal relationships or your day-to-day activities?
6. Renew Energy Habit
The ability to perform and produce continuously will depend also on physical and psychological state. If our energy levels are constantly low, then we will not be able to produce quality work over a long period of time. Similarly, if we have excess baggage and self-sabotaging behaviors then this will also limit our performance.
There are many NLP techniques that help us overcome laziness to exercise or eating the wrong food and removing self-sabotage. I have written several articles on these: May 2017 How to Hack Your Mind to Exercise Regularly, Oct 2017 Quickly Breakthrough Self-Sabotage, Jan 2018 How to Detoxify Your Emotional Baggage.)
7. Master Courage Habit Mastering courage to do that things that is right when it will adversely affect you is a big challenge. Making decisions sometime requires judgement and not all aspects are within your control and therefore has risk. Innovating and breaking new ground with new products or new technologies and processes are filled with unknowns. This requires a leader to develop courage, responsibility and accountability for whatever results will happen.
We master courage by honoring the struggle and uncertainty. By persisting even with unknown results and trusting our capability to adapt and adjust in the situation. We master courage by being true to who we are and our values even in adversity. We master courage when we fight for something or someone. We master courage by acknowledging the things we need to change personally; although difficult but will result in better results over-all.
How are you in terms of these 7 key high-performance habits. Which areas do you need to improve?
NLP Accelerates Your High-Performance Habits
NLP TECNOLOGY was validated by US Research & Recognition Project (US Senate Funded Research for Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD) Veteran of War, 2015 - 2016 by Dr. Frank Bourke, PHD). http://www.researchandrecognition.org/research.html Tested under strict scientific standards, the success rate was 88 – 97% of the veterans (N 160) with measured loss of their PTSD Diagnosis and complete elimination of their PTSD nightmares, flashbacks and directly related emotional symptoms after completing the program. An experiment was done by Robert Dilts, NLP Master Trainer, to an otherwise mediocre group of students in section “D”. Their spelling scores were always below 70’s as compared to the section “A” students whose scores were always in the 90’s. The mediocre group were taught an NLP Pattern for spelling. Instead of using the phonetic way, the NLP pattern of visualizing the words and spelling it backwards and feeling good about it was taught. Immediately after, the test results of these section “D” achieved 90’s score.
NLP will therefore work to help anyone install the high-performance habits quickly instead of taking months and sometimes years to create a habit that sticks. If techniques you can use so you can install these habits faster.
Learn more from Jojo Apolo in our upcoming Performance Leadership Workshop on 27 Feb to 01 March and 8-10 October in Singapore or 01-03 July in KL, Malaysia. While, we are running Leapfrog Your Business & Yourself Seminar on March 7-9 and June 7-9 in Manila, Philippines or November 1-3 in Jakarta, Indonesia. Both courses include NLP Basic Practitioners Certification Course.
About the Author Jojo Apolo. Asia’s Revenue Breakthrough Leader. Author. Public Speaker. NLP Master Trainer. His passion is to help people and businesses get what they want by teaching Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). He managed major FMCG companies in Indonesia and start-ups in the brink to become profitable. He developed the New Breakthrough Selling Advantage for Sales Professionals using NLP that has resulted in doubling a business from USD 500 million to USD 1 billion in 3 years. He established a 500,000 direct outlet coverage via 300 distribution networks with real-time sales & stock systems. He pioneered the use of IPAD’s for salesmen, use creative “Quantum Sales” games and established same-day delivery service guarantees for pharma products. He has given numerous seminars on sales, personal & spiritual development in Southeast Asia. He is a certified Master Practitioner and Trainer of NLP from the National Federation of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, USA and the American Union of NLP, USA, Certified NLP Practitioner Trainer of NLP Academy, UK under John Grinder co-creator of NLP. He spearheads the REFORM program for Drug Rehabilitation across the Philippines in cooperation with the Department of Health and numerous religious organizations. He is the author of the book “Be Free from Painful Memories and Traumas in 30 minutes, 7-Step New Breakthrough Selling Advantage, i-Thrive: 7 Keys to a Fruitful Life and co-author with Dr. Romy Paredes of Awaken the Doctor in You.