12 Secrets of High Performers

It shouldn’t take us a lot of time to recognise the superstars in our team, even early on. Those are the people you can rely on to not only get the job done, but get the job done really well. They consistently impress and deliver above expectations.

High performers are on a path to serious success. What we do everyday compounds, the habits, the actions, and the beliefs formed are all contributing to our future self. If we’re constantly adding value and contributing to a high standard every day significant opportunities are going to open up.

Most high performers cannot sit still. They have intrinsic drivers that fuel and energise their behaviours and actions.

What is common among High Performers?

1) Accountable - they hold themselves, their team, and the business accountable. They raise standards and expect reciprocal action from their immediate peers. If they have 3 items to get done this week, they ensure they’re taken care of. Progress is about taking small steps every day towards a longer-term goal. If you’re not taking those steps then you’re not making progress.

2) Purpose - they shift their focus from themselves to others. We find purpose when we’re working on something that matters to others. In all high performers, you’ll generally find a deep-rooted Why. Why they do what they do. This gives them direction and grit to keep going. Know your why.

3) Mentors - high performers work with advisers and mentors to accelerate their growth, discuss pitfalls of the environment, and generally immerse themselves with a network of other high performers who are further along in their journey and have experienced things they haven’t.

4) Coaches - they work with Coaches to develop their critical thinking and open up extreme self-awareness. What mental blockers or limiting beliefs are slowing them down? Emotional Intelligence plays a huge part in our development. Coaching also provides them with a plan and accountability partner, someone holding them accountable for making progress.

5) Table of Success - when high performers win or achieve their goals, they celebrate and sit at the table of success to appreciate the victory. Once they have recognised the win, it’s not long before they’re on to the next thing. Part of being a high performer is not seeing success as an end result but more of an ongoing journey. If you sit at the table of success for too long you become complacent and growth stalls.

6) Flow State - they can remove the distractions and environmental blockers and focus so intently on the single most important thing that they are able to consistently enter into a Flow State. Being in this state allows high performers to get a lot done very quickly as they’re able to immerse themselves and be in the zone, removing all the noise and distractions which would usually slow other people down.

7) Action - they take huge amounts of action. They’re not sitting around waiting for motivation or inspiration to knock on their door, or to get that New Year (new me) feeling. They know that taking action creates momentum and motivation, not the other way round. Even when they’re feeling deflated they continue to turn up and execute.

“Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work.” - Chuck Close

8) Lifelong Learner - they have a hunger and desire to be better and improve themselves every day. This involves feeding your mind with positive stories and knowledge found in books, Ted Talks, courses and continuing to approach every situation with an open mind. The working environment is constantly evolving with new things to learn.

9) Goals - high performers set personal goals and work towards those goals. They don’t have 20 Goals and make little progress on any of them. They remove those lesser goals and focus on the 3 most important meaningful goals and ensure the steps every day are aligned to those goals.

"We are kept from our goal, not by obstacles, but by a clear path to a lesser goal." - Robert Brault

  1. Work Smart - Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers argued that around 10,000 hours of practice will allow you to become an expert in any field is a little misguided, because if the practice is not deliberate and intentional you could get to a point of diminishing returns and be making no progress to expert level. So yes, work ethic is important but you need to be doing the important work that’s moving the needle not just the busy work which may be taking up hours and hours of your time but making you little progress.

  2. Evaluate - they stop monthly or quarterly to think and evaluate. What is no longer serving me? How are things going? What do I need to do over the next week, month, or quarter to achieve my goal? High performers are constantly reviewing the playing field and tweaking their plans.

  3. Courage - they have character and a willingness to work through failure and mistakes. They face up to their fear and work through uncomfortable situations as these are growth opportunities. They’re happy working on their craft in private and being vulnerable in public. Sometimes failure and mistakes are the costs of entry. All experts were beginners at some point.

High performers ultimately believe in themselves and their journey. With this belief, they take action, and with action comes wins, sometimes only small wins, but these wins build confidence and self-esteem which creates the desire and appetite in the engine room.

There are of course other behaviours High Performers exhibit but I am hoping some of these ideas are things you see in yourself or your team and perhaps there are some you could adopt to accelerate your journey and become better.


  • Book - Radical Candor by Kim Scott. Radical Candor is the perfect handbook for those who are looking to find meaning in their job and create an environment where people love both their work and their colleagues and are motivated to strive to ever greater success. It hits on why feedback is critical to improvement and why you must have the balance of being direct with your feedback but also so it’s received with the right spirit and intent.

  • App - Blinkist. Do you ever read books and think there was a lot of fluff in there? Blinkist saves you hours with its premium book summary app which condenses hours of reading down into a 10-15 minute summary for you to read or listen to. Try this app to save you time and learn quicker.

  • YouTube - Simon Sinek - Eye-Opening Speech. Discovered this collection of Simon’s speeches and talks. Really insightful and educating. Take a look to be inspired.

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