The one quality that executives seek in both themselves and their employees is the ability to sustain high performance levels despite increasing pressure and rapid change. The source of this performance is difficult to find. What makes some people flourish under pressure while others fold has long been sought by management theorists. We only partially agree with their answers of rich material rewards, the right culture, and management by objectives.
We believe that most approaches to performance are problematic because they only deal with people’s cognitive capacity, rather than their whole selves. There is a growing body of evidence that suggests that emotional intelligence is a key factor in high performance. Some theorists have researched how a person’s spiritual values and sense of purpose can affect their performance. The role physical capacities play is often overlooked. We found that the best way to sustain high performance is to consider the person as a whole and integrate all of the different elements. This theory takes into account the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects of performance management. We call this hierarchy the performance pyramid . The different levels within the organization influence each other and if any one level is not effectively addressed it will have a negative impact on performance.
This approach is based on the work that Jim Loehr and his colleagues at LGE did with world-class athletes over the span of two decades. A few years ago, we started to create a more thorough version of these methods for business leaders who are experiencing unprecedented challenges at work. We realized that executives are like “corporate athletes” who need to train systematically and at different levels if they want to perform well over a long period of time. We’ve now used our model on thousands of executives. Improved work performance and enhanced health and happiness confirm the initial hypothesis. The following pages include a description of our approach.
Ideal Performance State
We have never focused on their primary skills in training athletes, such as how to hit a serve, swing a golf club, or shoot a basketball. We also don’t address fundamental business skills like public speaking, negotiating, or analyzing financial statements. Our efforts aim to help executives build their capacity for supportive or secondary competencies, including endurance, strength, flexibility, self-control, and focus. Increasing one’s capacity at all levels allows them to perform at their peak and sustain it over time. This is what we call the Ideal Performance State. Even if executives lack emotional skills or a higher purpose for working, they can still perform successfully. However, they cannot maintain this level of performance without experiencing negative consequences over time – to themselves, their families, and the corporations they work for. The best long-term performers are those who tap into positive energy at all levels of the performance pyramid.
Energy is the ability to do work. Our training starts with the body because it is the source of our energy. The best way to build capacity is by lifting weights. Essentially, the key to increasing physical strength is creating balanced work-rest ratios, which has been established by several decades of sports science research. This involves putting a lot of stress on a muscle until its fibers start breaking down. Provided you give your muscles enough time to recover (usually at least 48 hours), they will not only heal, but become stronger. If you keep working the muscle without taking a break, you will cause acute and chronic damage. If you don’t put stress on a muscle, it will become weak and smaller. The enemies of energy expenditure and recovery are linearity and stress, respectively.
The next step in IPS is to develop emotional capacity, which is the internal environment that allows for peak performance. We performed extensive research in the beginning, asking hundreds of athletes to describe their emotions while they were playing at their best. ” People tend to use similar words to describe their positive experiences, such as “calm,” “challenged,” “engaged,” “focused,” “optimistic,” and “confident.” For example, Olympic gold medalist Marion Jones said she was having a great time. This is not a stressful time in my life. This is a very happy time.” The speaker is describing a time when they were feeling happy, and later asked other people in different professions about a time when they were performing at their best. These other people also used similar language to describe their own “Ideal Performance State.”
Most traditional performance-enhancement training is focused on the cognitive level of the performance pyramid. The traditional methods for improving skills typically center on improving abilities by using things like process reengineering and knowledge management or becoming more technologically savvy. Our goal is to improve our clients’ thinking skills, including focus, time management, and positive and critical thinking.
Although many executives are uncomfortable discussing the spiritual side of business, it is an important part of the performance pyramid. The term “spiritual” can evoke strong feelings and might not seem immediately connected to high performance. We mean the energy that is unleashed by tapping into one’s deepest values and defining a strong sense of purpose when we talk about spiritual capacity. We have found that this capacity can help us to persevere through difficulties and provides us with motivation, focus, determination, and resilience.
If you want to stay at the top of your game as a startup CEO, here are some simple lifestyle changes that can help, followed by some optimal workout routines for the time-strapped business leader. Read on for the top 20 peak performance tips.
Daily Tips for Mental Peak Performance:
1. It is important to rehydrate often because the brain is made up of 75 to 80 percent water. This means that not having enough water can impact how the brain works. Make sure to keep a carafe of water by your desk so you can drink it throughout the day and stay hydrated.
2. Caffeine can help improve your focus and attention span, but too much can prevent you from thinking deeply and creatively. One cup of coffee is great. L-theanine is a substance that is found in green, white, and black teas that has been shown to stimulate alpha waves.
3. It takes one hour of sleep to ‘pay back’ or recover from every two hours of being awake. If you have trouble remembering your dreams, it may be a sign that you are not sleeping well.
4. You can improve your working memory by training it, just like you would any other muscle.Think of your working memory as your brain’s desktop. You can improve your working memory by training it, just like you would any other muscle. It is better to have more items on your desk that you can easily access and compare. The variation in fluid intelligence among individuals can be attributed to working memory. There are many different apps, websites, and software programs that can help you do this.
5. If you’re feeling fatigue, it may be a sign that you’ve been doing the same thing for too long and it’s time to switch tasks. This will help increase your stamina by activating different neural pathways. If you are not getting a lot of results from what you are doing, stop and do something else. You will be surprised at how much more energy you have.
Diet tips to boost your brain:
6. Consume choline: It improves brain speed and memory. Vitamin E is found in almonds, broccoli, egg (with yolk), peanuts and peanut butter.
7. Feed your brain the right fats by including omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids in your diet. The brain needs a ratio of 4:1 of omega-3s to omega-6s.
The best way to get omega-3s is to eat cold-water fish such as salmon, sardines, herring, anchovies, tuna, and mackerel. Flaxseeds, walnuts, and their oils all contain omega-3s. Look for specially marked omega-3 eggs whenever possible. The idea that eggs raise blood cholesterol has been shown to be false, so you can eat them every day without worry.
8. Try to incorporate more foods that contain acetylcholine into your diet, as it is a chemical that determines your brain’s processing speed. Acetylcholine is found in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts, bok choy and kale.
If you have a lot of acetylcholine in your system, you tend to feel more creative. However, if you have very little acetylcholine, it significantly slows down your brain, causing “brain fog” and “clouded thinking.” This is when your thoughts become disconnected.
Exercise tips to boost your brain:
Your brain needs lots of energy, and it burns 20 percent of your daily calories. The benefits of exercise are most pronounced in areas of the brain associated with learning and memory.
Exercise not only benefits the blood vessels throughout the body, but also those in the brain. This helps to keep the brain healthy.
9. Remember to exercise. Working out can help your memory by growing new brain cells in the areas responsible for thinking and memory.
10. Doing so will force your brain to stay engaged, even as your body gets used to the exercise. Doing a competitive sport or activity that involves movements you can’t predict will keep your brain engaged as your body gets used to the exercise. Basketball, tennis, soccer, and even ping-pong require fast reactions and are therefore better than golf or swimming, where the movements are much more predictable.
Daily Fitness Tips for Physical Peak Performance:
1. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will your fitness and your physique. If you want to change your behavior, look to the science of behavior modification. Work on changing one habit at a time. Pace yourself when starting a new workout routine and be mindful of which diets are sustainable for you.
2. An interval timer can be beneficial as it can help you to better manage your time by having set intervals for both working and resting. THINKING that you need huge amounts of time for exercise is not necessary. You can use the timer for short, effective high-intensity interval workouts.
3. If you want to try the Tabata workout, it only takes 4 minutes. It is a very intense 4 minutes though. Clinical research has shown that it is possible to improve fitness and change body composition. The Tabata protocol or any similar variation will give you 8 rounds of 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest. You can use a timer to help you complete these interval workouts quickly and efficiently.
4. The kettlebell swing is one of the most efficient and effective ways to work your whole body, get your heart rate up, build strength and power, improve posture, and more.
5. If you want to try a standing workstation, you can use it full time or alternate it with your seated workstation throughout the day. If you spend less time looking at screens, you will boost your metabolism and improve your posture.
6. You should not eating at your desk, rather take your lunch break away from your work station. Give your brain a little siesta.
7. If you want to learn how to manage your energy better so that you can be more efficient, reading a book on the subject might be a good use of your time. This could then leave you with more time for things like exercise.
8. Move: By any means and mode necessary. There are many ways to get exercise, including taking walks, going to the gym, working out at home, and following videos on YouTube. Do whatever you want, as long as you are physically active. Our bodies weren’t made to sit down for long periods of time.
9. If you have the choice of working out for a long time once or twice a week or doing shorter workouts more frequently, you will get better results from the shorter workouts. This is in line with the last tips: learn the Tabata protocol or the kettlebell swing, then perform that short, intense, timed workout frequently.
10. Most strength and conditioning coaches hire others to do what they do best so they can take breaks. Fitness professionals tend to hire someone to fix things like their broken car or computer, rather than trying to do it themselves. This leaves you with more time in your schedule to exercise and be physically active.
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