Did you know you were born to perform beyond your wildest expectations? Performance Driven Thinking will serve as your personal coach to a life of personal and professional prosperity. This journey will take you to a feeling of embracing life in the winner’s circle. It will assist you in overcoming the simple challenges of everyday issues to existing at a level which will benefit those who choose to take it. The key to this journey will begin when you discover the desire to perform and will end up with you embracing the will to perform. Non-performance in your life is no longer an option. Your stage is set. You have had a lifetime to prepare.
Performance Driven Thinking will be your ticket to your personal and professional performance of a lifetime. What’s stopping you? You were born to perform.
|Publisher:||Morgan James Publishing|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
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Read an Excerpt
You Were Born to Perform
You have waited for months to see your favorite band. The tickets sold out quickly, but you were fortunate enough to land a couple. You grab your favorite partner and head out for a nice dinner before the show. After dropping just over fifty dollars for a great meal, including drinks, you head to the sold-out concert venue. You arrive in heavy traffic and find your seats. After the opening band plays, there is a brief intermission and the lights go out. You are psyched as you wait for the main act. The stage is set, the moment has arrived, and excitement fills the air. The long-awaited band takes the stage, the lights flash on — yet there is a noticeable silence. The band is just standing there, instruments in hand, completely still and silent. The crowd gets restless and begins to clap in sync. Where is the music? Why isn't the group performing? What's going on?
After a period of time, the band leaves the stage and the house lights come on. The announcer lets the crowd know that the band has decided not to play tonight. How could that happen?
It happens every day all over the world. Since the day you were born, the stage for you to perform has been set. It begins when we are infants and continues on throughout our lives. Our first steps are celebrated. Our first words are captured and applauded. Your first day of school is a milestone. The day you graduate from high school is recorded and remembered. But what makes these moments special is not just about that present achievement, as important as it is. It's the fact that this achievement marks the threshold of an even bigger opportunity. At each new juncture, you apply what you learn and take the next step. You didn't learn to walk to stop short of learning to run. You didn't learn to add to stop short of learning to multiply. The key moments in our lives are all about learning how to perform — and going on to perform on a bigger stage.
Your knowledge, skills, and abilities were no accidents. And your God-given talents were not intended to be wasted. If we look around our world today, we could all name individuals who could have made a huge difference in life if they would have performed to their abilities. People who had the talent and opportunity but just would not take the next step toward performance.
So why do some people take the stage in life, while others hesitate? That is the magic question that faces our entire society. Parents wonder why some children perform and others hold back. Educators are equally perplexed, spending countless hours (and dollars) trying to motivate performance in students. And despite the myriad of books and systems guaranteeing better performance and productivity, most businesses still struggle to find the right formula that works long term. While most of our programming and efforts in the past several years have focused on group or team performance, one central issue still remains. We cannot escape the fact that performance (or the lack thereof) is fundamentally an individual decision.
Look around and answer this question: if the people within your scope of influence fail to perform, whose fault is it? While you can encourage performance as a leader, you cannot perform for others. Just as you were born to perform, so were they. We are all born with some level of opportunity. Some were born with certain obstacles, but look at the countless people in our society who have overcome obstacles such as disease and birth defects to become champions. War-battered heroes have returned to our society and have become inspirational leaders. Cancer survivors have battled their disease and have pushed onward. Victims of crime and disorder in our society have started national efforts to fight for the rights of others who have faced injustice.
If our bodies were programmed to perform, everyone would automatically perform to the limit of their ability. But we know that's not the case. Some people wait for their ship to come in; others swim out to it. Some people wait for the right time; others say there is no time like today. Some people wait for the right circumstances; others create their own circumstances regardless of ability, heredity, or opportunity.
So again, what separates those who choose to perform and those who become idle in their efforts?
This question has perplexed both David and I (Bobby) throughout our years in leadership in both the public and private sectors.
I first noticed performance issues in the workplace when I began my career in law enforcement at the young age of 20. Since the third grade, I had wanted to be a police officer. I made it my goal to proudly wear the badge and gun in an effort to change society. I can recall working hard as a detective to clear cases. At the same time, other investigators displayed an attitude of coasting along when it came to their caseload. Obviously there was a significant difference in the performance of those who worked hard and those who just coasted along.
But the surprising aspect, which was consistent throughout all my years working in the police department and in local government, was that everyone received the same yearly raise whether they produced effort or not. Non-performers received the same incremental increase in pay as performers. This was my first introduction to what I learned later was a status-quo attitude toward performance and overall effort. As a person who is driven by performance, this both perplexed and disappointed me. We will reflect more on this issue in chapters 4 and 6, where we discuss workplace performance.
In addition to the workplace, I also noticed performance issues in the area of organized athletics. For over thirty years I have had the honor and enjoyment of being involved in the world of sports as a high school official, prep school coach, and Little League coach. As a top-level high school basketball official, I had the opportunity to be involved in a number of games where it was evident that players were giving their very best effort in pursuing their goals of winning the contest. But surprisingly, I can also recall a number of games where players appeared to be simply going through motions of participating, acting as if losing was no big deal.
As a coach at the youth sports and prep-school level, I have coached players with little ability, as well as those with excellent athletic skills. I have always been amazed at the varying degrees of attitude toward performance among both talented and less-talented athletes alike. At times it seemed that a number of players with natural God-given talents did not possess that so-called "killer instinct," while many who struggled with their abilities possessed a truly performance-driven attitude and superior work ethic.
Suffice to say, I have been perplexed about this question of why some individuals are driven to perform while others appear to be going along for the ride. But all of my thoughts and questions in this area came to a head during my oldest daughter's high school basketball game several years ago. During the second half of the game, an errant pass between players was heading out of bounds when my daughter, Jolie, dove after the loose ball to save it for her team. After she made the play that every dad and coach would marvel at, I was approached by one of the most successful men I knew, also attending the game, who posed an interesting question. He asked, "What causes a kid to do that?" I looked at this gentleman with a puzzled look and responded, "I'm not sure I can answer that."
As her dad, of course, I wanted to take credit for her sudden outburst of amazing performance. But I quickly realized that what Jolie displayed was an individual quality and not something I could just give her. She was driven to go after the ball while others stood and watched the play. You see, others could have put forth the same effort, but something made her want it more. At that moment, I realized that there had to be a specific thought process that defines our inner initiative, or the lack thereof. It has to be more than instinct; it has to be more than heredity.
That was when David Hancock and I began our conversations about what really drives performance. David is an entrepreneur and founder of Morgan James Publishing, as well as my friend, colleague, and business coach, so I had already noticed he had certain qualities that seemed to result in consistent performance and success. For example, I had noticed that he invested heavily in his employees who showed a natural drive to perform, because helping them succeed helped his business succeed. Being the inquisitive guy I am, I asked him many more questions about why he made the kinds of decisions he did, which began a deeper discussion about performance in general.
Together David and I began to examine the characteristics of individuals who perform at the highest level despite massive obstacles, and to seek workable solutions for those who, for some reason or another, simply don't step up to the stage.
We realized that almost everyone has the desire to perform and may even know that they were born to perform. But that's not enough. There has to be a conscious decision to perform. Even the best-trained athletes have to have the thought that translates to the will to perform. How many times have you heard the statement "They just didn't show up tonight" when describing a team that suffered a huge loss? Does this mean that they were not physically present? Of course not. They were there in body, but not in thought. They did not leave behind their ability to perform; they left behind their will to perform. Sports stars, musicians, great actors, and other successful people do not perform by accident. Inevitably they have the stamina of thought and will to push through the tough process that eventually will lead them to peak performance on the world's biggest stages, whatever their fields may be. It comes down to their ability to know what they want and to have the mental strength to go for it.
So we realized that performance didn't depend solely on the desire to succeed, and it didn't solely depend on the effort or will to succeed. The two needed to be connected through a particular thought process. We have defined this process as Performance-Driven Thinking, and we think it could change your life!
Here is our definition of Performance-Driven Thinking:
The thought process that connects the desire to perform with the will to perform a specific task or goal.
DESIRE: To long or hope for something you want.
WILL: To decide, attempt, or bring desire to action.
This definition is based not merely on research but on reality. You can't begin to perform until you make a conscious decision to do so. But our purpose in writing this book goes beyond simply defining Performance-Driven Thinking. It truly is our desire to bring it out in you! We don't want you to waste another day without stepping up to the plate. We don't want you to continue to go through life wondering what could have been if you had only taken that next step. No matter how big or small, your next step could be the one that changes your life.
If we want to raise the level of performance in our people and ourselves, we need more than simply coaching or encouragement. We need to understand what is missing in our thinking so we can plug in what is needed. That's exactly what you will learn in this book.
Because David and I come at Performance-Driven Thinking from different perspectives, we thought it best to address it separately from our own unique vantage points. In the main text of each chapter, I will cover PerformanceDriven Thinking from a more practical, on-the-ground perspective, based on my years of experience as a coach and public servant in the police force. In the sidebars, David will cover Performance-Driven Thinking from a visionary and business strategy perspective, based on his years as a successful entrepreneur and business owner. Taken together, we believe you'll get a fuller picture of what Performance-Driven Thinking is all about, no matter what context you find yourself in — and how to start using it in your own life, beginning now.
Performance-Driven Thinking: The Goal Is the Journey
First of all, congratulations on even considering becoming a PerformanceDriven Thinker in a new, rapidly changing world. It's challenging, but you're in for a lot of fun. Work? Of course, lots of work, but fun too. Lots of fun, if you do it right.
The first thing you'll notice about being a Performance-Driven Thinker is that your goals will be different from the old-fashioned goals of a non-Performance-Driven Thinker. If you're an entrepreneur or a business owner, for example, a Performance-Driven Enterprise is flexible, innovative, unconventional, low in overhead costs, dependent, interactive, generous, enjoyable, and profitable. The goal of the enterprise is to stay that way.
Look at the entrepreneurs all around you. If you can't see many, it's because they are not Performance-Driven Thinkers. Instead they're buried in work, rarely coming up for the fresh air of free time. When you learn to truly perform, you become far more efficient and effective. In fact, the goals of Performance-Driven Thinkers allow them the freedom to pursue interests beyond work — while amassing an income beyond that of their workaholic ancestors.
You can always tell Performance-Driven Thinkers by their goals. They are not as money minded as the entrepreneurs who came before them. They seem to be happier with the work that they're doing and appear to care like crazy about satisfying the needs of their customers. You've never seen follow-up done the way these people do it. They stay in touch constantly with their customers. It's not as if they are working at their business, but rather demonstrating passion for their work. Their goal is to express that passion with excellence and transform it into profits.
Not surprisingly, Performance-Driven Thinkers achieve their goals on a daily basis. Their long-term goals are lofty. Those goals exist in the future. Their short-term goals are even loftier. Those exist in the present, for that is the domain of the Performance-Driven Thinker. That is where her goals are to be found in abundance.
Your ability to plan for the future and learn from the past will determine your level of comfort in the present, in the here and now. Being a Performance-Driven Thinker means realizing that these can be the good old days and that you don't have to wait for the joy that comes with success. It's there in front of you, in the present moment.
Wake up from the Old American Dream and realize that it has changed for the better — the New American Dream is more achievable, more enjoyable, and much healthier than the old one.
Although at this moment you may find the New American Dream unconventional, as all Performance-Driven endeavors are, you'll soon see that it will come to be the mainstream American Dream, because it is achievable and brings increased benefits. Most of us can dream it and then delight in making it come true.
Originally, the dream meant having enough food and protection from the weather. Cave dwellers dreamt of hunting enough game or gathering an abundance of nuts and berries. That dream has changed, replaced by the hope of earning enough money to feed a hungry family. The Industrial Revolution took care of that and eventually gave birth to the American Dream: a house, a job, and financial security.
Entrepreneurs of the twentieth century were motivated by a slightly different version of the American Dream. In place of a house, a job, and financial security, they sought fortune, security, expansion, and power. But that journey was characterized by workaholism, sacrifice, and greed.
The entrepreneur of the future will need to be a Performance-Driven Thinker — one who thrives on the non-traditional, does the unconventional if the conventional is nonsensical, and knows that working in the new millennium requires rethinking the nature of being a successful entrepreneur.
The performance goals of the twentieth-century entrepreneur were simple — securing a job, a family, a home. The goals of the Performance-Driven Thinker are considerably loftier than those of the past: attaining work that is satisfying, enough money to enjoy freedom from worry about it, health good enough to take for granted, a family or bonding with others in which you can give and receive love and support, fun that does not have to be pursued but exists in daily living, and the longevity to appreciate with wisdom that which you and those you love have achieved.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Performance-Driven Thinking"
Copyright © 2014 David L. Hancock + Bobby Kipper.
Excerpted by permission of Morgan James Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: You Were Born to Perform,
Chapter 2: When Everyone Gets a Trophy: Obstacles to Performance-Driven Thinking,
Chapter 3: Attitude: The Foundation of Performance-Driven Thinking,
Chapter 4: Performance-Driven Thinking in Your Personal Life,
Chapter 5: Performance-Driven Thinking in Business,
Chapter 6: Leading Performance-Driven Thinking,
Chapter 7: Dealing with Non-Performers,
Chapter 8: Believing in Small Wins,
Chapter 9: Sustaining Performance-Driven Thinking 95,
Chapter 10: Selecting Your Stage to Perform,
Chapter 11: The Moment of Truth: Are You a Performer or a Bystander?,
Conclusion: The Stage Is Set — Now Introducing You,
About the Authors,