Top Performance Demystified

There are five characteristics top 20% performers consistently demonstrate.  Work to develop and master these skills and your performance will soar.

Having worked in marquee companies like Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble and Frito Lay both as an executive and as a consultant, I was fortunate to study and collaborate in building metric based “success models” for numerous diverse business units.   Interestingly, the characteristics of top performers across multiple companies were very similar.

Here are the core characteristics of top-tier performers.

Desire to Help Others Succeed.   Top performers are focused on helping create value for their customer’s and colleagues.  By assisting others, top performers accelerate their own success.

The Ability to Constructively Influence Others.  Many people can think strategically, communicate persuasively or devise creative solutions to business problems.  Truly extraordinary performers focus these abilities toward crafting an agenda that will lead to positive change vs. maintaining the status quo.

Willingness to Take Risks.  Top performers are both comfortable and energized by stepping outside of their comfort zones in an effort to stretch, learn and grow.  They ask the tough questions and implement innovative solutions.

Adaptability.   The best of the best operate in a constant mode of transformation.  Top performing leaders don’t shrink in the face of complex business challenges or intense competition.   Instead they continually adjust their approach while building wisdom through experience.

Follow-through.  True professionals fervently believe there is an answer to every problem.  Performers stay the course and inspire others around them by passionately persisting while operating with integrity.  Above all, they recognize that success is not a result of talent alone; it comes from the combination of innate ability and the grit to continue climbing when others give up or give in.

Think about a significant responsibility or project you are currently working on.  How might you focus your skills, abilities and talents to further improve just one of the core characteristics above while executing against your plan?

How might you positively influence or lead your team to demonstrate the same?