After having trained over 1 million people on high performance, motivational trainer Brendon Burchard writes in his latest book, High Performance Habits, “I can share that there are no superhumans in the mix. High performers are not fundamentally different from you or anyone else because of some special talent, signature strength, genetic miracle or fixed personality makeup.” The difference between high performers and others is that high performers, he writes, “have simply mastered — either on purpose or by accident through necessity — six habits that matter most in reaching and sustaining long-term success.” In High Performance Habits, Burchard lays out the six habits:
Seek clarity. The first step is to be clear on who you want to be and what you want to achieve, Burchard writes. Equally important is to be clear on how you want to interact with others.
Generate energy. Actively manage your mental stamina, physical energy and positive emotions to “stay on your A game,” he writes.
Raise necessity. High performers feel they absolutely must perform well. To emulate these high performers, you must also continuously stoke the “why” fire –– whether that “why” comes from internal standards or external demands.
Increase productivity. The goal is to achieve what Burchard labels prolific quality output (PQO) in your primary field of interest.
Develop influence. Actively develop a positive support network. High-performance achievement is not possible without one.
Demonstrate courage. Don’t be afraid to express your ideas or to take bold action.
The Practices Behind the Habits
Burchard begins each of the six habits chapters with a description of the importance of and forces affecting the habit — that is, the “basics” of each habit. For example, necessity emerges from the internal forces of identity (personal standards of excellence) and obsession with the topic or process, and from the external forces of duty, including social duty, obligation or purpose, and urgency.
For each habit, Burchard then describes in detail three “practices” that help you achieve and maintain the habit. For “raise necessity,” for example, the three practices are
Practice 1: Know who needs your A game. Burchard offers an interesting exercise: Every time you sit at your desk, you ask, “Who needs me on my A game the most right now?” As Burchard explains, this “trigger” exercise — since it is triggered every time you sit — not only forces an immediate gut check on what your A game is, it also requires you to think of someone else. The thought of this external person or group waiting for you increases the sense of urgency.
Practice 2: Affirm your why. High performers are not shy about declaring out loud not only what they wanted to achieve but why, Burchard writes. Making such affirmations in public pushes people to achieve what they’ve said they’ll do. “If all this sounds a bit hokey, then you really need to spend more time with high performers,” he writes.
Practice 3. Level up your squad. Citing recent discoveries on “clusters” and “social contagion,” Burchard argues that the people around you have a profound influence on who you are, what you think and how you behave, perhaps more than you know. The quickest win in developing high performance is to get closer to the positive and successful people you know — and to seek new people “who expect and value high performance.”
High Performance Habits is a pragmatic and prescriptive book. With every piece of advice contained in the habits and the core practices, Burchard offers specific action steps, exercises and/or activities (such as the desk trigger exercise described above).
A new entry from self-help publisher Hay House, High Performance Habits: How Extraordinary People Become That Way is an example of the best and most practical books in the self-development field.