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How to insert high performance into your leadership

How to insert high performance into your leadership

James Vincent shares some sage advice for aspiring business owners

James Vincent has been a key member of the UK support team at ActionCOACH since 2014, leading the way on high-performance coaching as their UK performance director. James lives and breathes his guiding purpose, which is simply to ‘make good things happen’.

Having worked with Olympic athletes, senior executives and business owners, James calls upon a wealth of experience, amounting to almost two decades of high-performance coaching in both sport and business, to coach people to success after success. James has spent eight years in his role at the world’s number one business coaching franchise.

In the 10 years prior to this, he was part of the National Coaching Team. Based out of the Carnegie high-performance centre at Leeds Metropolitan University and the English Institute of Sport, he was responsible for programme design and coaching delivery at competitions worldwide, including TeamGB Badminton.

What is an underappreciated part of high performance?

Looking back is a key part of high performance. You look back for two reasons and two reasons only. The obvious one, that everyone gets is to learn, and the not-so-obvious one is to simply build yourself up – to develop strength, belief, and confidence.

Yet bizarrely, you’ll be astounded as to how many people look back to do the opposite…by beating themselves up – self-sabotage is the world’s biggest pandemic. ‘Oh no, I didn’t make the sale, I feel terrible.’ Who in their right mind would choose to feel terrible? No one. And if no one would, that tells you high performance is definitely about a strong mentality – your mind working properly to keep building yourself up.

How important is mindset in leadership?

The reality is that someone is either tearing themselves down or building themselves up at any given point. Leadership requires that mentality to keep taking strength, belief, and confidence from whatever happens in order to build yourself up right now, at this moment.

Keep learning, keep implementing those learnings, and maintain your drive, and you’ll curb self-sabotage to make way for high performance.

Of course, authenticity and a few other factors also come into high performance. This small trio philosophy has helped develop some incredible people, in either business or sport: Be yourself, set the standard and tell the truth.

Why as a leader should you bring high performance into a team?

Well, it creates synergy. To synergise is the opposite to compromise. Compromise means we both lose and synergise means we both win. It means the total is greater than the individual parts and when you get down to it, the only real sustainable competitive advantage in business is teamwork.

Leaders help foster high performance in their team through consistency. There are so many ways to win. When it gets down to it, you must make a decision, then communicate the decision, make it bigger and increasingly visible.

Then remember to stay with it, and not get sidetracked by bright shiny objects – keep it tidy. Success likes simplicity, focus and follow-through. Success likes consistency.

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