The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective


High Performance…

I enjoy observing and commenting on the parallels between sports performance and business performance.    April is a particularly active sports month – the University of Kentucky marching through “March Madness” with the prospects of completing a perfect season; the first major golf tournament of the year, The Masters; NBA and NHL playoffs; the start of Major League Baseball; very active.   And who can overlook NASCAR’s continuing race schedule, including the Duck Commander 500 April 11th at the Texas Motor Speedway?

The thing I like best about sports (and business) competition is the competition:

I’ve been up against tough competition all my life.  I wouldn’t know how to get along without it.  

Walt Disney

Of course in today’s sports world, we seem to be continuously inundated with the philosophy attributed to former professional wrestler Eddie Guerrero, “If you’re not cheating you’re not trying.”  Winning at any cost is not an admirable trait we should carry over into the business world, is it?  Yet, in the business world we occasionally see this approach; it’s even advocated in popular business books such as Inside the Tornado ©:

Some of the essential principals of tornado marketing:

1. Attack the competition ruthlessly.

2. Expand your distribution channel as fast as possible.

3. Ignore the customers.

Geoffrey Moore

I’m OK with points 1 and 2; it’s #3 that I take issue with; our customers take issue with it too!

Nonetheless, what I like best about high performance in the business world are the high performances from talented contributors in “average” roles.  Here’s one of my favorites (slightly condensed) from another popular business book, First Break All the Rules ©:

Jean P’s story illustrates both the irrelevance of average and the growth potential of talent.  

For data entry roles, the national performance average is 380,000 keypunches per month, or 19,000 per day.  Many companies use an average performance measure like this to determine how many data entry employees they need to hire…

… the top-performing data entry employees make a mockery of the national average.

Jean P. is one such employee.  When she was first measured, she averaged 560,000 punches per month – already 50 percent above the national average.  She was recognized (by her manager) for her performance…

Three months later she hit a million keypunches…  A couple of weeks (later), Jean checked… and saw that she had managed 112,000 keypunches in one day…     (She and her manager) put a plan together, and six months later she soared past 2 million.

Jean became a model for her role.  Her manager spent time watching her, asking her why she loved her work so much…  He designed a talent profile to find more like her and a compensation plan to reward her excellence.  Today, Jean’s personal best is 3,526,000 keypunches in a month, and the average of all the data entry employees working around her is over a million. 

Marcus Buckingham

Again, the national average in Jean’s field was 380,000 keypunches per month.  How would you like to have that level of high performance in your company (or attain that performance in your position)?  Jean’s performance is the epitome of competitive excellence, true?

All of the great companies in the world out-execute their competition day in and day out. 

Price Pritchett

Yes, high performance is a wonderful thing to observe – in sports competition and in business competition.

Our competition got me out of bed in the morning; paranoia is a wonderful motivator. 

Scott Deeter

OK everyone – rise and shine J  Especially the shine part!


Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my website too:



  1. Nathan Sumner
    Apr 02, 2015

    Thanks for the motivation.

    • Gary
      Apr 17, 2015

      Thanks for writing Nate! Your kind comment is motivating 🙂 Thx, GAP

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