I remember the first meeting I ever attended as a clinician. I
was here as part of a group of doctors to discuss appropriate
treatments for patients diagnosed with prostate cancer.
At the beginning of the meeting, I was asked by another member
of the team, “Excuse me, I haven’t seen you around here before,
what is your title?” to which I replied, “I don’t have a title
but my father is a king.”
Most of the group laughed at my answer with a sense of surprise
and relief at the same time. They probably were shocked that I
could be so casual in such a traditional setting.
I tell you this story because I think it is an important lesson
in peak performance. Let me tell you why.
Peak performance is not about your titles or your trophies of
the past but about the quality of your character. The real
potential of a human being is not embedded in the position
he/she holds but in the actions arising out of his/her
inspiration. Elite performers, in my view, are committed to
contributing to the lives of those around them so that their
presence inspires others to manifest their highest potential.
One of the greatest honors and challenges one has in a lifetime
is the chance to lift others to live their highest purpose.
As the 21st century unfolds, peak performance will become the
standard that the majority should strive for. I say this
because up to this point, peak performance has been thought of
as only available or the privilege of the few. This has to
change and I believe will change.
With increasing chaos in our times, only those organizations
who inspire responsibility and peak performance at every level
will have the opportunity to remain at the top or at least in
the running for a piece of longevity in the market. On the
contrary, those organizations that insist on holding leadership
and peak performance exclusive for the people at the top will
not have the foundation to remain strong competitors in their
area of business.
Exclusive peak performance, only reserved for those at the top,
promotes leadership that is inherently imbalanced. Inclusive
peak performance, on the other hand, liberates all employees in
an organization to reach peak performance and unleash their
inherent potential in both their work and personal lives.
How do you shift from exclusive to inclusive peak performance?
1. Realize that peak performance is not about thinking you are
superior to anybody else. A true leader, one who stands for
excellence and optimal results, is one who also knows to develop
unconditional trust among his peers and organization. As long as
people believe that you are committed to elevating everyone to
their highest good, they will follow you to eternity. If on the
other hand, they sense that your number one goal is to dominate
and create hierarchy, they will not give you their best
performance nor will they invest in your goods. Building
unconditional trust in your work and in all your relationships
is your #1 priority.
How do you build unconditional trust?
- Let others know what your values are and how they dictate
- Walk your talk
- Be respectful to others by first telling them what you intend
to accomplish and then asking them for their input on the issue.
If you simply let others know what you want without consulting
with them and involving them in the decision-making process, you
are not being respectful and most importantly you are not being
an inclusive peak performer.
- Communicate from your heart more than your mind.
2. Commit to mastering your existence and create a standard
for others to do the same. Consistent peak performers always
strive to discover new things and build up on their level of
expertise. Elite leaders know that the small choices made along
the way are more important than the choices that have to be made
in crucial times. The quality of your life, both professionally
and personally, is created by your ability to stay present and
make conscious choices moment to moment.
This applies both to mental as well as emotional choices. You
can allow living in reaction to life and being in constant
frustration, or you can make a conscious choice to let your
emotions be a guide to further growth and opportunity. In the
same way, you can choose to worry about your competition and how
you might not survive or you can choose to see the competition
as your guide for further discovery. One of the most important
qualities of peak performers is their steadfast commitment to
continual discovery. One of their highest principles is to
remain awake to the possibilities that every opportunity brings
with it. For them, life is a gift, where every experience is a
window into their next contribution.
3. Inclusive peak performers live life with curiosity rather
than judgment. This is one of the main reasons they don’t allow
fear to dictate their behavior. They are unafraid of what is
coming because they trust in living life big. They understand
that it is through action, and action that is bold and focused,
that they will be shown what they are capable of. Inclusive
beings understand that every moment is a new moment. They are
more concerned about the experience than the result. As Maslow
put it once, peak performers are not attached to the outcome.
They don’t allow life circumstances to darken their path. They
take action with a sense of spontaneity and adventure, knowing
that every moment is precious and must be let go at the same
Everything in life is in constant motion. As they say in
Buddhism, impermanence is one of the main characteristics of
existence. So stop holding on to your fads and start living life
big, knowing that not knowing is your greatest treasure. Live
life as if you were just born.
Live life as if you were on a mission to discover the treasure
in every moment. Live life as if other human beings were part of
your self. Live life as if you were a messenger of the highest
good. Live your life as if all your customers, peers, employers
and employees, were your brothers, fathers, mothers, and
children. As Carlos Castaneda said in Journey to Ixtlan, “.
Learn to make every act count, since you are going to be here
for only a short while; in fact, too short for witnessing all
the marvels of it.”
Ruben Perczek, Ph.D
Guiding business leaders accelerate the pace by which they