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4 Fundamentals of Maximizing Performance

Originally published: 04.01.11 by Tom Flick

4 Fundamentals of Maximizing Performance

Motivation, measurement, values, and leadership will ensure a win.

When I left my NFL playing days behind and entered what I thought would be the organized, disciplined, team-first culture of corporate America, I was amazed to discover that for the most part, everyone was basically wingin’ it. Wasted time, wasted energy, and wasted talent.

Too many businesses and their people are more caught up in the terminology and acronyms of change and growth, rather than the actual practices that help us to change, grow, and — ultimately — reach our goals. To get bac on track, these businesses need to get back to the fundamentals of maximizing human performance.

Just as laws govern entropy, gravity, and aero-dynamics, laws also govern human performance. Great companies, organizations and teams rely on these fundamentals to maximize the performance of their most valuable asset — people.

1. People are motivated by dreams:

Create a compelling picture of the future for your employees and a belief system that supports it. We don’t live in a society of rich vs. poor — we live in a society of dreamers vs. non-dreamers.

We don’t usually get what we want, but we most always get what we expect. Why? Because the ideas in our head rule our world. We subconsciously move toward our most dominant belief system. A big dream or compelling picture of our future can actually move us from where we presently are, to a future place where we wish to be.

Social psychologists say that we spend 90% of waking time gathering information and data to support two things — our past and our present, which leaves just 10% of our time to think about our future — and that’s where the magic lies.

In order to convey the enthusiasm that will motivate others, you need a definitive vision that can be clearly conveyed. Get started by asking yourself these questions:

• What motivates me?

• What’s my purpose?

• How do I focus energy and get other people to focus their energy?

• What’s my picture of your future?

• What is it that I really do for a living?

2. Make goals big and measurable:

If the dream is the launching pad, the rocket is the measurable goal. I am not talking about ethereal goals or idealistic goals (I wish or hope) but actual measurable goals with built-in action steps.

Measurable goals do four things for people. They:

1. Allow us to exercise extreme effort. 100% effort — all in going all out.

2. Move us from a position of involvement to commitment. (Can you receive a paycheck if you’re involved? Yes. But you’ll never be world class.)

3. Allow us to effectively tap our full potential.

4. Create contagious can-do attitudes. (Funny, isn’t it, how we hire on aptitude and fire on attitude?)

Too many potential winners are competing in life like the cross-eyed discus thrower. He doesn’t score a lot of points, but he keeps the crowd awake because he’s all over the place. Get focused with big measurable goals.

3. Character is power:

Proverbs 22:1 says, “A good name is to be esteemed more than gold or silver.” How true. The fundamental truth is — good people do win! Doing right is good business.

Why? Because success is weighty. It puts demands on our character. Without clearly defined values, people lose all sense of moral responsibility. Your customers are essentially asking two questions of you and your people — “Can I trust you?” and “Can I trust your company?” Answer those two concerns by the values you and your employees live, and you’ve gained a customer for life.

4. Authentic leadership:

Authentic leaders are those who know how to “be real”— honest and transparent with themselves and those they come in contact with. Self-leadership, the ability to live and lead the change that we expect in others, is a fundamental law paramount to success. There is a false assumption that power, authority, and title make the difference in leadership — they don’t. People who make the difference are not the ones with the credentials, but the ones who understand that their job is to ultimately help people win.

I don’t believe you keep clients on product or price, but with what I call, “Moments of Truth.” These are moments where you have an opportunity to tell your story, to be real, transparent, and authentic. An authentic leader’s voice becomes a megaphone that amplifies above a bad year, shareholder pressure, and pressing competition. It also relaxes, liberates, empowers, and grants permission for others to be real and speak the truth.

Remember, it’s not what you know, but rather what you do with what you know that makes the difference. Ensure consistent winning results by having the fundamentals of success as part of your game plan. 

Tom Flick is President of Tom Flick Communications, based in Redmond, Wash. Tom, a former All-American and NFL quarterback, personally addresses over 100,000 men and women each year on high-performance strategies for leadership, teamwork, change, and personal growth. For more information please visit or call toll free 1-888-829-8400 to receive a free press kit about Tom’s speaking services.

About Tom Flick

Tom Flick

Tom Flick is President of Tom Flick Communications and The Legacy Coaches, Inc., based in Redmond, Wash. Tom, a former All-American and NFL quarterback, speaks to more than 100,000 men and women each year on high-performance strategies for leadership teamwork, change, and personal growth. For more information, please visit or call 1-888-829-8400.

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