Have you heard someone or been a part of a team where the conversation leads to these words? ‘We want a ‘high performance’ team or we need ‘high performance leaders’. I get the necessity for this when it comes to training for a gold medal. Being your best is not as good as being the best. But let’s get real here – is this concept helping us or hindering us when it comes to kick ass cultures?
Often when we are diagnosing whether we have what it takes to be the market leader, produce outstanding financial results or disrupt with an amazing new product or service it’s easy for people to make success conditional. We will get to where we want to be;
- When others pull their weight above and beyond I will do the same
- When ‘that person’ gets held to account on their behaviours I will step up
- When my leader starts leading I will put in my discretionary effort. And so on.
We make the performance of our teams, people and business conditional. When we do this we don’t need to play our part. It’s always dependent on someone else changing first, or the business making a different decision. It’s outsourcing your performance outside yourself. Yeah nah. Not gonna work.
That’s like asking someone else to go to the hairdresser for you. We have to do the work – someone else can’t do it for you. We can’t do the learning or the change on behalf of someone else. We must work to understand what’s going on around us, our reaction to it. Understand how we can learn from it and then rewire to be better. It starts with how we respond in situations with people we work with, have relationships with, and those we struggle to be with. We can learn from people we know deeply and even those we’ve just met or even never will. Every person and circumstance provides an opportunity to learn and grow, yet we push these learning opportunities away.
We can learn about ourselves through our everyday interactions. Did you judge the Uber driver when you hopped in the car, or before they were even there? Did you find yourself being short? Did you treat them as a human, or a service? Every interaction is an opportunity to learn.
What about how you are with your family? Now that’s a trigger for many and sometimes it feels like there is no learning to be had. But these interactions can be unopened gifts; a bit like gold. Gold is hard to find – you have to search for special places in the earth and the sea to source it. But when you do find it, it’s very valuable. Finding the gift in your experiences with others can feel like that too. The gold is hard to find, but super-valuable when you do.
We throw food out when it is past its use-by date; why don’t we do the same for our unhealthy thinking patterns and behaviours that don’t serve us?
Making peace with who you are – with all your lumps and bumps, highs and lows and strengths and weaknesses – is being flawsome. Hiding from these things by replacing them with unhealthy habits only slows you down, and ultimately your quest for joy and happiness will fail.
It’s not about high performance.
Flawsome is about high acceptance.
Irrespective of whether you meet a goal or not.
We also can’t expect the world, and all the people in it, to bend to our way of doing life, or to work around us so we can get what we need. Not only is this an impossible expectation, but at its core it is very self-focused; it is saying that my way is the way and you all need to change for me.
I get it though. If only others spoke less so we could get a word in. Or maybe they could contribute more and do their bit. If only they could speak with kindness or be less emotional. Whatever it may be that you need others to do more or less of, expecting this is still a form of control.You’re saying,‘When you change, I can be more or better and life will be easier’. But the other person must do all the work; it’s a transfer of responsibility and a form of blame. Ouch, right?
We can’t expect others to change for us to be at peace. You can’t make others see you as important. You can’t do someone else’s learning for them. This is not your role.
If you like this, you’ll love Flawsome: The journey to being whole is learning to be holey. You can get your hands on a copy here.