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How to STOP the High-Pressure CHOKE

STOP Performance CHOKING

 

Choking

Have you ever been in a high-pressure situation where you had to have PEAK PERFORMANCE in order to succeed, only to perform well below your capabilities? (Like, really really badly?)

Catch Andrew talking about this very issue with Qualk & Dutch on WCCP 105.5 The ROAR on location at Best Chevrolet in Easley, SC and learn the biopsychology secrets to NEVER CHOKING AGAIN.

Out Of Bounds – Nov 19, 2014

Let me know: Are you more a “LOVE TO WIN” person or a “HATE TO LOSE” person?

Boo Yah!

The Sound of No Hands Clapping

“The person who seeks all their applause from outside has their happiness in another’s keeping.”

Dale Carnegie

 No Hands Clapping

 

I am constantly reminding myself to not base how I feel about my performance on what other people think. If you do all that you can to prepare, and you execute with your very best effort, who cares if people applaud you or not. Do I like it better when they do? YUP!! I really do like it when people like me. However, and my wife and kids can testify, I honestly don’t care if someone likes me, approves of me, or applauds me or NOT.

One day, several years ago, when my oldest son was in middle school, it was my turn to pick up in car line. He got into the truck, we exchanged hugs, and asked how each other’s day was going. I mentioned, laughingly, a response to an op-ed piece I had written for the newspaper, it was ripping me, but was poorly written (SHOCKER!).

My son laughed with me, and said, “Dad, half the world hates you!”

Well, it’s probably a lot higher percentage than that, but those folks aren’t contributing to my family’s well-being anyway, so who cares. 300 Spartans took on the world’s superpower, Persia, and stopped them dead in their tracks. I’m pretty sure, Leonidas wasn’t heartbroken over the fact that Xerxes didn’t like him. In fact, Leonidas didn’t much dig Xerxes either.

Every major decision I’ve made in my life, had a truck load of folks who didn’t applaud the decision I made. And guess what, had I made the opposite decision, I would have had a truck load of folks who didn’t applaud the decision. Live your life, make your choices based on the criteria that making these decisions will bring you closer to realizing your vision and overall goals. (Of course, if you don’t have a vision, making decisions is like taking a vacation with no destination, or start date, but that’s for another day.)

Today, instead of taking into consideration the validation of others (family, friends, coworkers, the boss, etc.), think about becoming the one validates them. Can you imagine being a lowly foot soldier in World War II and having General Douglas MacArthur slap your shoulder and say, “You’re doing a great job, keep on keeping on”? Do you think MacArthur was seeking validation?

 

Boo Yah!

Are You A One-Hit Wonderer?

“Success breeds complacency. Complacency breeds failure. Only the paranoid survive.”

Andy Grove

 complacency

I’ve seen so many folks realize some success, start to enjoy the comforts of it, become complacent and begin a downward spiral.  I’ve seen it with people in their corporate careers, with entrepreneurs, with special operations warriors, athletes, politicians, coaches, actors, singers, ministers, and the list goes on.  It makes me very sad to see this phenomenon, especially when it happens to a past mentor, coach, or someone I held as a model for my own success.  They rest on their past success, get fat and happy, and it’s only a matter of time before they find themselves at the bottom end of things.  There are many examples of declining performers succumbing to the stupor induced by drugs, alcohol, excessive junk food, or just resting on laurels in general.

I hate to see it happen to others, but I would hate it even more if it happened to me.  Paranoid might be a good word for it, or as Captain Jack Sparrow would say, “I like to keep a weather eye open.”  I’m vigilant times ten about becoming complacent.  Complacent means to be content, self-satisfied, pleased with yourself, and showing satisfaction with things as they are.  This shouldn’t be confused with confidence which is the self-assurance that come as a result of success.

There is a fine line between confidence and complacency, between self-assured and self-satisfied.  I walk that line like I’m on a high wire over Niagara Falls without a safety harness.  I know that the great performers are never content with yesterday’s results.  What if Thomas Edison was satisfied with the phonograph? No light-bulb.  What if he was content with his life’s work after the light-bulb? No motion pictures.  Most people I know would have been more than OK with just one of those things, sold the patent to the guys on the Shark Tank, and retired to the islands. (NOTE: The Shark Tankers aren’t content nor satisfied, and neither should we be.)

Be ever aware that success breeds complacency, and the downward spiral which leads to becoming a one-hit wonder or an invitation to appear on Celebrity Fit Club, (or to do a construction show with the Amish).

Boo Yah!

Inconsistently Consistent?

“To be a consistent winner means preparing not just one day, one month or even one year – but for a lifetime.”

Bill Rodgers – Marathon Man

inconsistenty

One of the saddest things to witness as a coach, is seeing a client do totally awesome for several months, lose body fat, gain lean muscle, look great, see their countenance change for the better, and then stop doing all the things that produced their success.  Sometimes they try to “get back on the wagon” of good habits, actions and behaviors, only to stop again after a few weeks.  Then on again and off again, with downward spiraling results and eventually finding themselves in worse shape than the beginning.

The on again/off again inconsistency in performance is one of the biggest killers of success I’ve ever come across.  Doing well for a few weeks, then coasting….then feel bad enough to start doing again for a few weeks, then backsliding some more.  Over and over, the only thing consistent is their inconsistency.

Yes, routine is boring sometimes. When I feel bored being consistent, I remind myself of the time I was flying in a corporate jet with an ex-fighter jerk, I mean jock, as the pilot.  He decided he was bored with consistent flight, and started doing some “Goose and Maverick” crap.  The boss wasn’t in the bird, we were dead-heading back home, only an aide, me, and Mr. Ex-fighter (and soon to be ex-corporate aviation) jock.  Fuel was burnt, stuff was launched across the cabin, coffee spilled, suit jackets stained,  and oxygen masks dropped…. but hey, he wasn’t bored.  Nor was he consistent.  I like consistency, a lot.  And so do you….

Can you imagine an inconsistent commercial pilot? There’s a news story for you. What about an inconsistent surgeon? Any volunteers to be his or her next surgery patient? Most of us get torn out of the frame if the garbage pickup isn’t consistent, or the mail runs late, or the cell signal goes in and out.  How about inconsistent cable or satellite TV during a big game, or the series finale “Breaking Bad“?  Power outage at the Super Bowl? At your house?

We don’t tolerate anything less than consistent performance from our entertainment service providers, not to mention our favorite franchise quarterback, who is prone to throwing the 4th Quarter interception,  but we’re usually okay with inconsistency in our own performances. Man DOWN!! What’s the number to 911 again? (What if the 911 Operators weren’t consistent? Just asking...)

Boo Yah!!

What’s Your Target?

Identify the target first

identify your target

Many times when I’m walking clients through the introspective process of gaining clarity, it’s like pulling teeth to get them to tell me what it is that they really want, (i.e. what their target is). It’s exponentially worse with corporate clients, and the as the size of the organization increases, so does the seeming difficulty in identifying a specific target.

Ask yourself this, “What do I really want (in life, in relationships, in business, etc.)? What does it look like? What about in 5 years? What do I want it to look like?”

Inevitably, the answers are centered on what the client doesn’t want – We don’t want to lose market share, we don’t want to do worse this year than last year, we don’t want to invest in more employees because of the uncertainty of the economy, we don’t want more problems, and on it goes.

A large part of what we do, is to teach business pros to use the same thinking tools that snipers utilize. Imagine being a tag-along on a mission with a sniper, perched high above a road through a mountain pass.
“Hey, what’s your target?” you ask.
“Well …hmmmm, see that big rock over there?”
“Yeah.”
“That’s not the target. And that tree, over there? That’s not the target either. Neither is that mountain in the distance, and it’s not that little enclave of shacks to the south, either.”
Meanwhile, the convoy of Taliban fighters, on their way to the Spring Offensive, drives straight down the mountain pass road, right under your noses. Ridiculous? Exactly!
For many of us, targets drive right under our noses, unnoticed, because we are too busy pointing out everything that is NOT a target. Focus on what you really want, paint that picture in great detail in your mind’s eye, and then write it down. Clearly identify your target – then deploy to the sniper’s perch. Going on the mission before clearly defining that mission is like trying to eat a soup sandwich.

 

Boo Yah!

80% of Performance Isn’t Trained For By Most

My business partner, Steve Siebold, is one of the world’s leading Mental Toughness Coaches. In the past two decades, during the course of his work with Fortune 500 sales teams, he has surveyed the top executives of those companies. The surveys have shown that top executives believe that “performance” breaks down as follows:

10% comes from Skills
10% comes from Knowledge
80% comes from Attitude

Even if you believe this break down isn’t exactly right, the top executives at the top companies believe it. That leads us to ask this question, “How are we training our attitude?” If we spend any time at all on training, it is usually training to increase knowledge or skills. How many of us actually train to have a world-class attitude? If the top business executives in the world are right, that means that most of us are doing little to nothing to train the biggest piece of the Performance puzzle.

 

Boo yah!

Punching Stress Right In The FACE: Anticipation

Do You Allow Others To Manipulate You With Guilt? Peak Performers Don’t

We are looking at the 6 conditions of the conscience, your co-perceiver (Ancient Olympian’s 6th Sense), and today we start off with a PURE conscience.

 

Pure Conscience Peak Performance

“PURE” in this case means clean, clear; to prune so as to bear fruit; purified by fire; sincere, genuine, free from every admixture of what is false, free from guilt.

 

Wow! That would take an entire book to break down each of those.  We won’t do that today, let’s just look at two combined.  If we just prune away guilt our performance levels will rise significantly.  The benefit of listening to the REAL YOU, your Ancient Olympic 6th Sense, the voice of the Peak Performer inside of you, is that you are NOT moved by guilt.

 

People love to use guilt, they don’t even realize they are doing it.  They got it honestly.  Mom’s love to use guilt.  Ever go home during a family gathering and eat the cakes, pies, and cookies your Mom fixed for you, not because you wanted it but because she gave you the “but I made it just for you.”  “It’s your favorite.” “You’re too skinny.” “You don’t like my cooking anymore?” “Nothing I do is good enough for you.” etc, etc, so on and so forth?  And so, we can’t stand the guilt, especially Mom guilt, and blow our diet.

 

Most of those who I coach are driven much more by guilt than they think. I’m not saying to go around making folks mad just for kicks, but if somebody uses the pressure of them being upset at you if you don’t do what they want…..that’s a NO, if you ever want to be a Peak Performer.  I don’t cave to peer pressure, Mom pressure, spouse pressure, guilt trips from my boss, my religious leaders, my teachers, my coaches.  If your relationship with someone is harmed because you stop caving to their pressure, you might want to re-evaluate that relationship.

 

Remember “prune so as to bear fruit”? To reach Peak Performance, we have to be mentally tough enough to trim away the pressures of guilt and begin to respond to the Olympian inside, not the manipulators outside.  If you are letting yourself by moved to action based on a guilt trip you are giving up your position as the Administrator of your life.  Sign up for the newsletter .

Boo yah!!