Anyone can become a peak performer

If you are determined to become an achiever, nothing can stand in your way, writes Lynda Aurora

We are all encouraged or aspire to become peak performers but do we know what it really takes? How can we get out of the rut we sometimes find ourselves in? Are we prepared to do what it takes to get to the top? Will it be worth it?

Stories abound of people who drift in their jobs just doing what they need to get by until something happens. It can be a new project or a change in corporate leadership that motivates them to take action. Suddenly they become a person with a mission. Peak performance begins with this kind of commitment to a mission.

Peak performers maintain that in everyone there exists significant potential for self-improvement and self-development. All it takes to excel is a personal decision and the commitment to follow through. It is as easy and simple as flicking an internal switch.

Some peak performers recall a single powerful moment or a period in their lives which offered them a glimpse of their real selves and what they were truly capable of achieving. This was certainly much more than they had done so far with their lives. Having had that realisation they decided to accept the challenge and see just how far they could go. They became determined to push their personal boundaries.

For others, the inspiration comes from watching and learning from people they admire. This provides the catalyst to dramatically improve their own performance. For such types, examples taken from other people's life stories provide them with the ideas, strategies and values to make that leap from the ordinary to the extraordinary.

Values are a critical ingredient for the peak performer. They provide a firm foundation and trigger the impulse to achieve and excel. There is nothing magic about anyone's success. It is the result of intense concentration on values, strategies and action. Successful people are no longer prepared to accept mediocrity in their lives; they are realists who believe that, in the final analysis, they will make it. They focus on achievements as an indicator that they are progressing towards the goals to which they are committed.

Like everyone else, peak performers face obstacles, stumbling-blocks and have plans that do not work out but that does not stop them. No matter how rough things get peak performers see it through to the end. If they know they must do something, they will find a way en route to achieving their best. They make use of obstacles and transform them into stepping stones.

Along with having a mission, they find their own place in the world and do what they feel best equipped to do. As each peak performer improves so does their company.

Where do you think you can find the zone of peak performance? If you imagine three intersecting circles which represent your personal mission, your job requirements and the organisational environment, then your peak performance is the area where the circles intersect.

Remember, in life it is never too late to start improving your game and get yourself into the premier league! The good news is, peak performers are made, not born.

What they do is not abnormal but can be done by anyone. For them there is no comfort in mediocrity. They are out to reach their potential - are you?

With the start of the new year I challenge you to lift your personal game to new heights. Show yourself and others what you are capable of and more. Just think what a difference you can make personally, professionally and to Hong Kong - we need you to do it!

Lynda Aurora FCCA ACA CPA MBA MA-HRM PCC is a career coach, partnering with people who want to reassess their career options, get strategies to improve their work performance and employability or are in career transition. She is Asia's first and only Professional Certified Coach Member of the International Coach Federation.

Taken from Career Times 09 January 2004
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