High Performance Habits

Summary Written by Jill Donahue
“Study high performers and you will see that they have systems built into their days that drive their success.”

- High Performance Habits, page xiv

The Big Idea

6 High Performance Habits

"We can all achieve and enjoy long-term success. It just takes the right habits."- High Performance Habits, back jacket

These six habits and three practices to strengthen each habit have been proven to help you achieve an extraordinary level of performance. It is our option, Brendon says, to wake up each day and choose to practice these habits or not. What are they?

  1. Seek Clarity
  2. Envision the future four—self, social, skills, service
  3. Determine the feeling you’re after
  4. Define what’s meaningful
  5. Generate Energy
  6. Release tension, set intention
  7. Bring the joy
  8. Optimize health
  9. Raise necessity
  10. Know who needs your A game
  11. Affirm the why
  12. Level up your squad
  13. Increase productivity
  14. Increase the outputs that matter
  15. Chart your five moves
  16. Get insanely good at key skills (progressive mastery)
  17. Develop influence
  18. Teach people how to think
  19. Challenge people to grow
  20. Role model the way
  21. Demonstrate courage
  22. Honor the struggle
  23. Share your truth and ambitions
  24. Find someone to fight for

Of course, it’s not enough to just know what the habits are. You need continual reminders and practice with feedback. Before every meeting, every phone call, and before you start a new project, revisit these habits. You can also assess yourself using Burchard’s High Performance Indicator test.

Insight #1

Telltale Signs Of A High Performer

"If you leave your growth to randomness, you’ll always live in a land of mediocrity."- High Performance Habits, page 74

If you were to look in someone’s agenda, what telltale sign would you see that would indicate it belongs to a high performer? It turns out that executives who score higher on the high performance habits tend to have more blocks of time scheduled for learning than their peers with lower scores. They have a high internal curiosity and drive to build a deep competence in their field of interest.

They’ve built a curriculum for themselves in that primary field of interest and are actively engaged in learning. So, ask yourself “What three skills are you currently working to develop so you’ll be more successful next year?”

The loud and clear message is that no matter your current level of performance, you must clarify your primary field of interest and the skills you will need to master for your next level of success. This must be a priority.

More telltale signs of high achievers? Here is a baker’s dozen:

  1. They spend more time doing things that they find meaningful and this makes them happy
  2. They give more thought to “What do those I serve want?” instead of “What do I want?”
  3. They think “How can I serve in unique ways?” instead of “Why don’t people see my unique strengths?”
  4. They don’t wait for joy to land on them, they bring the joy!
  5. They reflect regularly on all they are grateful for
  6. They seek to insert appreciation, surprise, wonder and challenge into their day
  7. They are optimistic and believe their actions will be rewarded
  8. They think about how they want to feel and work to generate those feelings.
  9. They prioritize proper sleep, nutrition, exercise, energy breaks
  10. They set goals and monitor progress
  11. They are happier and have less stress
  12. They feel that they are making a difference and being rewarded for it
  13. Their identify and enjoyment in life are tied to growth

There are plenty more. Can you picture yourself or someone you admire in the list above? Do you see any areas you could improve?

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Insight #2

Develop Your Influence

"Influence is strongly correlated with feeling like you’re making a difference."- High Performance Habits, page 220

High performers have influence in part due to their giving mindset. They enter situations looking for ways to help others.

I work with pharmaceutical sales people helping them learn how to be more engaging and create better patient outcomes. The top performers don’t need to be taught this—they are already doing it. Their number one focus is on how to help the physician help the patient. They don’t sell. They serve. And they have influence.

They aren’t “asking for the business,” they are asking the doctors what they are paying attention to, how they approach xyz, what would happen if…, what if you thought of it this way, etc.—all with a focus on helping improve patient outcomes. And as a result, they are doing meaningful work that makes a difference. They are more engaged and more engaging!

We could go through life and in the end say “I never knew how to be a high performer.” But now that Burchard has done the research for us, and laid it out so succinctly, what will be your excuse? You might as well pick up a copy and read it again and again as you practice and improve all the way to your best life!

Read the book

Get High Performance Habits on Amazon.

Brendon Burchard

BRENDON BURCHARD is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of “The Millionaire Messenger” and the #1 Amazon.com bestseller “Life’s Golden Ticket.” He is also founder of High Performance Academy, the legendary personal development program for achievers, and Experts Academy, the world’s most comprehensive marketing training program for aspiring authors, speakers, coaches, and online thought leaders. For these works, Brendon has become the highest paid trainer in the world on the topics of both motivation and marketing.

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