Category Archives: Performance

I see GREEN people

coloredpeopleI had a wonderful conversation with a wonderful friend last week. At about the two hour mark, I got asked how it is that I assess people I meet. I have been asked that question before by others and myself. The process has evolved over the years. Continue reading

New Book: Triathlete EQ

TriEQbookHeather Gollnick, 5-Time Ironman Champion and winner of over 200 multi-sport events, and Dr. Izzy Justice, a sports neuropsychologist, proudly announce the release of their new book: TRIATHLETE EQ – A GUIDE FOR EMOTIONAL ENDURANCE. The central premise of the book is that endurance sports are as much a test of an athlete’s emotional endurance skills as they are a test of their physical ability skills.

Chrissie Wellington, 4-Time World Champion, endorsed the book as “unique and much needed … for elite and novice athletes…” The book is rooted in neuroscience, has practical exercises and tips, and has a workbook format that allows readers to build their own customized mental strategies to incorporate into training and racing. USAT and Ironman Hall of Famer Bob Bobbitt has written the forward. To read other reviews, an excerpt of the book or to purchase it, please visit As Olympian and 70.3 World Champion, Andy Potts, noted, “…this book will help you perform better.”

Listen !!

listenIn reading several human capital magazines and online forums in the past few months, there seems to be a growing recognition of the epidemic of poor listening skills, especially at leadership levels. I was recently asked if there was a connection between listening skills and EQ. Yes! Continue reading

Employee Satisfaction

EmployeeJobI read a very interesting study last week on employee satisfaction surveys. These are surveys that organizations use to assess the overall satisfaction and engagement of employees. The data is often used to make important decisions by leadership regarding leadership behavior and values, employee work place rewards and perks, and sometimes used by external organizations as a metric for a “best place to work” for. Continue reading

Defining Growth

In a seemingly innocuous conversation last week, I was asked how to define and measure personal growth. How do you know you have grown from say a year ago, several years ago, or even from last week? The obvious answer was that you are doing something that you routinely do, but you are doing it better. Perhaps you are happier or you are meeting your goals or you have been promoted or are getting actual formal feedback from your boss, peers, or customers. But these are “outcomes” of a process where “you are doing things better.” Continue reading

Right Advice

There is a wonderful scene in “Father of the Bride” (Steve Martin comedy movie) where he tells his daughter to put a sweater on because it’s cold outside and she ignores him several times. Then her fiancée asks her to do the same and she immediately puts it on. The same good advice was not heard from one source, but immediately embraced from another. Continue reading

Triathlete EQ

The goal of most professional triathletes is to look for that edge that would allow them to perform at a very high level to beat the competition. Having now worked with many professional athletes from a myriad of sports, we are convinced that what they are actually looking for is to merely perform at their best when it counts the most, not necessarily to uncover the hidden secret of their swimming, biking or running. This means to either simply duplicate what in fact they have done hundreds of times in training, or better yet, beat it. Put another way, a key goal is to not allow any situation to beat them. This is especially true for amateur triathletes. In triathlons, once the race starts, they are not looking to develop new skills. What they seem to be looking for is how to use the hours invested in training and skills they already have without succumbing to the pressure of the moment.  In other words, it’s not a technical skill of the sport that is in question, it is something else. Triathlete Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is a term we have coined and it is exactly what that something else is that allows you to perform at your best in a race situation. In Triathlete EQ, we will explore what happens to our bodies under the proverbial pressure, and begin to understand what it takes to be able to manage the variables which cause that pressure. [read full .pdf Triathlete EQ article]

Olympic Pressure

I spent part of last week with a small group of athletes trying to qualify for the Summer Olympics in London. These are the final days of competition, often with current training partners and future teammates. My topic was “The Role of Emotions in Performance” and I got to talk to many athletes for several hours prior to my presentation. Everyone seemed to be looking for that one nugget that might help shape their thinking in these last few days before knowing whether they’ve made the team or not. Continue reading

Before and After Pictures

I facilitated a session last week discussing Action Learning Projects that a group of leaders were embarking on. They had to pick a problem to solve that was in their immediate circle of influence. The problems are often easy to identify and in many cases, so are some of the solutions. Continue reading

Bottom 10%

I was with a group of folks a few weeks ago who had a healthy debate on Jack Welch’s “remove the bottom 10% of your organization every year” policy from a couple of decades ago. Some of the folks who run large corporations said this would never happen in their company. Not only were they too big, but also they would have no idea how to identify the bottom 10%. Is it 10% across the board, or 10% in a department, or 10% of a level? Is the bottom 10% in one high performing business unit the same as another 10% of a low performing business unit? Would force-ranking be subjective thereby forcing employees to build alliances like the ones we see on “Survivor” on TV, instead of focusing on performance? Continue reading

Frustration, Angry, Mad–Old Terms

I worked with a professional athlete recently and he told me he gets very frustrated, angry, and mad when things do not go well. And then it’s downhill from there. I asked him how much “quality thinking” he does when he is frustrated, angry and mad. “Not much,” he replied. Continue reading

Managing Monologues

I think it was my Dad who told me, long before I was ready to understand what he was saying, that the quality of my friends was very important. One adage even suggests: You can judge a man by the company he keeps. Our friends, our work colleagues, our family, and other people we engage with determine to a very large extent the quality of the dialogue between us and them. Continue reading

Manage YOUR Performance Review

This week I had a coaching session with an executive who was very disappointed with his performance review. He had worked very hard and had met or exceeded many of his metrics but apparently, because of the force-ranking system of his company, he ended up in the middle of the pack. Continue reading

Get Up

We’ve all heard the adage “it’s not how far you fall but how quickly you get up” – this short video brings to life this timeless lesson. 

What happened last week, last month, last year – that you are still not up from? This week, get up.

Innovation & Fear

I have talked to several organizations lately who have made innovation a top priority. I don’t have any formal statistics on this, but anecdotal evidence is suggesting that a very large number of companies are trying very hard to make innovation not just a part of their business models, but an inherent part of their culture. Continue reading