J.D. Meier's Blog

Software Engineering, Project Management, and Effectiveness

High-Performance Mode for Outstanding Personal Performance

High-Performance Mode for Outstanding Personal Performance

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One of the best books I’ve been reading on personal high-performance is Patterns of High Performance: Discovering the Ways People Work Best, by Jerry L. Fletcher.

In the book, Fletcher explains the difference between getting results through grind-it-out mode vs. high-performance mode.

The gist is this – we work against ourselves when we don’t use our personal success patterns for how we work best.

It might sound obvious, but it’s actually a very subtle thing.

It’s very easy for us to fall into the trap of changing our recipe for results to try to match what we think others expect of us, or we copy how other people get things done.   In going with the grain of others, we can go against our own grain, and basically limit was we’re capable of.

If you’ve ever been in a scenario where you feel your hands are tied because you know you can solve it, if you just had the freedom and flexibility to do so, you might be bumping into the issue.

Many people slog through work using a grind-it-out mode, because they are using peak performance techniques that are sub-optimal for them.  In other words, high-performance is a personal thing.   Keep in mind that high-performance does not mean world-class performance, although high-performance can very often lead to world-class performance.

The main idea is to figure out how you actually do your best work.   We all have recipes for how we start work, get work going, keep it going, and how we close it down.   And that’s where we can find the patterns of our best work, if we look for it, over our past experiences, where our results exceeded our expectations.

If you want to fire on all cylinders and work in high-performance mode, find your high-performance pattern and use it to unleash what you’re capable of in work and in life.

If you want a deeper dive into high-performance mode, check out my post on grind-it-out mode vs. high-performance mode.

If nothing else, it’s nice to have a label for the two modes of work, so that you can identify them when you see them, and you can work towards doing more high-performance work, and less grind-it-out mode.