Don’t just chase performance, create it!


So Andy Murray has just won Wimbledon today. His playing was of the highest degree against Djokovic. Now what would we think if Andy Murray was a business? Or, as a manager, your team?


I have never been much of a business person. I’m definitely more of a people/organisational psychology kind of worker. So I have never been much of a ‘chase after things’ kind of guy. I’ve always thought that performance can be planned. Absolutely.

I’m at odds with 98% of all management around the world.

Now Andy Murray had to chase down a few balls today to win the points and that is something most managers (excluding me) are great at. They will track figures, give team talks, work on weaknesses or weak performers, drum the importance of targets and make that their sole focus.

But Andy Murray didn’t win just by playing games. He trained. He did drills, he did weights, he did stamina training, he probably did dietary training as well. He had a coach to support him and provide advice. Every hour of his week was geared towards winning Wimbledon.

So what can businesses and teams do to work towards world class performance?

1. Have a coach. It doesn’t need to be someone more senior but someone who can cast a different view on things. That way when it comes to match time, performers are better prepared.

2.Do drills. For example let’s take a sales role. Now people can refine their sales practice using tacit learning over time. To speed things up break down sales into the components that make up each step of the way. Practice these over and over separately. This will improve things a lot quicker and can be applied to any role.

3. Build periphery skills. Interpersonal skills and wider industry knowledge are top of the list here. They may not be directly related to a role but can help elevate a good performer into a great performer.

4. Wellbeing. Now with this I don’t mean giving your staff fruit or gym memberships. This comes down to mental wellbeing. Everyone’s needs are different so this will take a lot of patience understanding and curiosity on your part. Find what everyday mechanics help people feel comfortable and what stops them being comfortable.

5. Strike the balance between supporting performance and driving performance. You need a bit of push and pull to reach the top.

6. Believe that you and your team can perform. Mental determination can really sustain improvement. I talk a little about how to do it here with your team.

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