Vision: How to Inspire Your Performance

Any high performer, whether in the leadership world or not, knows they reach a point where they have to make a commitment move to inspire their performance to the next level. My good friend and fellow speaker Stewart Kennedy tells the story of a rock climber who has seemingly climbed as high as he could. He has reached a point where the next hand hold is just out of reach. To go higher he has to literally let go of where he is and leap for the next hand hold.

This is a great example of the first step out of four high performers must make to inspire their personal performance - they must take a risk. It is also a metaphor for step two, which is aiming for something. I have found myself in a similar predicament as of late. I have been growing our speaking business and doing great work, but I feel like it is time to aim for something new, something more challenging, and something higher. As high performers, we have to have something to aim for. A project or idea or proposition that truly inspires us.

Step three is to leverage our relationships to get there. We all know life is a team sport. Things get done through people, not systems or emails or silos. If you are struggling to reach a higher level, start tapping people who are at or near that level already. Learn from them. Lean on them. Help them (if you can.) If the relationship is authentic, they will learn, lean and help back.

The final step is to examine where your energies are directed. Energy is one of those unique resources that is not finite like time or money. Energy comes from the weirdest and sometimes most unexpected sources. If you need to go to the next level, you will need to redirect your energies to new places and you will need to create energy from new sources. This is not easy, but it is attainable. The toughest thing about energy in the context of reaching higher is how much it takes to get there. As a high performer, you are more than likely on auto-pilot in a number of areas. This auto-pilot has to be disengaged and you must take over the wheel again.

It is exhausting, but if you are fully committed to taking the risk, if your "something" is worth the aim and if the relationships are leveraged properly, you will be creating more energy than you expend.

Be rare. Go higher. Someone in your immediate circle and an infinite number of people in new circles need you to go there. They will be inspired to do the same. And that is what Personal Leadership Insight is all about. Inspiring others through your inspiring work.
Processing Questions for PLI Curriculum Teachers/Trainers:
* Pick on area of your life that you feel it is time to take to the next level.

1. What does the next level look like? What are you aiming for?

2. What obstacles or challenges are keeping you from reaching that next level?

3. What is the risk that is holding you back from taking on that challenge?

4. Who is someone that can help you gain the skills/knowledge to take on that challenge? What skills/knowledge can they help you develop?

5. Why do you want to become a top performer in this area? What gets you excited?

6. How can you remind yourself of this on a daily basis?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


This is EXACTLY what I needed. Love the acrostic and know it's not coincidence that I found it today.

I really love "let go of where he is and leap for the next hand hold" - so many reasons that picture works (for me anyway).

Rock on!