How to Improve Performance in 2016

In an article by Geoffrey James I recently read about changing ones mindset to improve performance. You can read that article here.

As this inspired me I will use his questions at the end of the article to set my own performance baseline.

Implanted Mindset

  • What belief that I’ve had since I was a child has proven the most useful?
    Working hard is crucial — There are no short cuts in life and you will have to do the work to get the results.
    Sport is a must — If you do not move you will get lazy, stiff, and sick.
    It is okay to say no if you do not want to do something; you do not even need a special reason — Sometimes wanting to lie down, read a book, or watch TV is enough to say no to do something else.
  • What belief that I’ve had since I was a child has held me back the most?
    Everyone gets rewarded fairly directly correlated with their performance in a job — This is simply not true; performance and rewards do often not correlate in the real world outside of school.
    There is not a significant difference between how men and women and their performance is viewed. Emancipation has succeeded — This is also simply not true as recent investigations and evidence have shown. Stereotypes and bias cause us to view men and women differently and to set different expectations.
    If you make a mistake or state your opinion people will not like you.
  • What can I do, today, to reinforce and strengthen the useful beliefs?
    Set principles in form of positive mantras and and reinforce. Do not feel guilty when living in accordance with these principles. 
  • What can I do, today, to expunge and eliminate the dysfunctional belief?
    Do not try to want to be liked at all cost. Work hard to get the stereotypes out of your mind. Judge and treat people by their actions not by the expectations that may be manifested through stereotypes. 

Imprinted Mindset

  • What three books have influenced me the most?
    Christopher Hitchens — God Is Not Great
    Lierre Keith — The Vegetarian Myth
    Malcolm Gladwell — Outliers
  • What three experiences have taught me the most?
    Spending a year abroad at the University of Cape Town in South Africa.
    Running a marathon.
    Working with top leaders of my company on a few key projects.
  • What can I do, today, to strengthen the beliefs I acquired?
    Putting the lessons learned into practice by approaching new and unknown territory testing these beliefs and principles in action. Mentoring those that come after me with the experiences I gained. 
  • Given my current goals, who are the three best mentors (authors, experts, consultants) to help me grow?
    I have no idea. I will have to find a few. I know who my partners need to be: my boss at work and another colleague. My general problem is that I need to find a sparing partner that I can bounce ideas of. I do not have any.

Inspired Mindset

  • If I could do anything and knew that I could not fail, it would be _______.
    Develop my own brand either in form of a leadership position in my current company or open my own to drive an improved ecological, economical, and sustainable business by working with “reduced footprint principles” and “efficient work streams”.
  •  What is holding me back from following that inspiration?
    A sponsor and sparing partner to help me move forward and to bounce ideas and approaches off. 
  • What parts of my life are leading me toward that inspiration?
    Everything. I want to leave a busy and challenging life that is worthwhile, drives results, inspires others, and is a good role model for my kids.
  • What is my plan to follow that inspiration?
    Based on what I am seeing after reading through what I wrote it is finding a sponsor and mentor.

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