Tuesday, December 14

What's Your Halter?

One of the joys of working with such a variety of nonprofit organizations is the opportunity to dip into so many different worlds, learn from each, and cross pollinate ideas and solutions. When I was working with an organization that trains seeing eye dogs, I learned that these dogs are just like other dogs when they are not on their halters. Visiting homes where the dogs were being raised gave me the opportunity to see them spread out in front of the fireplace, begging for belly rubs, just like any other dog. I was surprised, after seeing how disciplined and single-minded they were at work.

We all have "high performance profiles," a set of elements that together cause us to excel at what we do. For a seeing eye dog, it's obvious that donning his halter means getting serious. For me, there are a host of factors that contribute to being able to sustain peak performance. For years, I've worked at cultivating them so that I can achieve optimum performance when needed. One factor I've just noticed is wearing a watch. My watch has become for me what the seeing eye dog's halter is to him--it means "work." When I strap it on in the morning, it is time to get down to business.

What are the factors that help you and your team perform well? Do you do better when you get enough sleep? When you are close to deadline? When you frequently review goals? When you get positive feedback? Pay attention to what contributes to success, and then build in those elements to be able to achieve and sustain peak performance.

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