Dan Beverly
A common trait of High Performance Leadership is a high degree of consciousness.
That is: self-awareness. The kind of self-awareness that catches itself doing things right (how many of us could do with doing more of that?!) – but also catching moments when our behaviours and ways of being are not the best course.
Of course, for some of us the preference is “towards”. We like to move towards a goal. And for others, we prefer “away”. We focus on avoiding or minimising what we don’t want.
But the High Performing Leader – a learner by nature – always finds the balance. And a key part of that is continually checking-in on the character traps we can all fall into, from time to time.
Because High Performers are interested in the kind of success that exists over the long term. And we don’t stay at a high level of performance for very long if we allow these traps to set in.
Here are 4 character traps I encourage my own High Performing Clients to continually check-in on.

1. Superiority

Superiority is the anti-practice of humility. And it’s one of those characteristics we are acutely aware of and find toxic in others – yet can be completely oblivious to, when we ourselves do it. (Who hasn’t silently cursed the idiots they find themselves surrounded by?)

But aside from being a toxic behaviour, superiority can also close us off to new learning. When acting from a place of superiority, we become most certain about everything. And will hear nothing else. And no high performer was never not a learner also.

Here are 3 questions to prompt further reflection.

  1. Where am I often overly-critical, judgemental or dismissive of others?
  2. Some of the benefits of a more appreciative, open and
  3. What simple rule could I give myself to be more tolerant of others?

2. Complacency

Complacency is the anti-practice of diligence. It’s resting on laurels, overspending previous wins, and an air of self-satisfaction – but without merit or with insufficient regard to issues and risks. And that last piece is an important distinction: because all high performance needs feelings of contentment and satisfaction, along the way.

Complacency comes from a place of knowing or having it all. Of not needing to work at something. And that destructive attitude closes us off to new learning ; and makes no acknowledgement of the outside world which is, of course, changing all the while.

Here are 3 questions to prompt further reflection.

  1. In what major areas have I allowed complacency to creep in?
  2. How and where can I mix things up and introduce variety?
  3. How can I introduce some outside accountability to keep me on mission?

3. Neglect

Neglect is the anti-practice of attention. And at both ends of the spectrum – when we’re under pressure or when we’re entirely comfortable – it’s easy to lose sight of the fundamentals, the basics and the status quo.

Neglect is a trap of absence: it’s stuff we’ve stopped doing. And it can really sneak up on us!

Here are 3 questions to prompt further reflection.

  1. What, right now, is not getting the attention it needs or deserves?
  2. Who are the people who need my attention? The “infrequents”, as well as the “oftens”.
  3. What low-priority items are keeping my attention from the high priority items?

4. Over-commitment

Over-commitment is the anti-practice of focus. It is a misuse of our commitment. And whilst it might come from a good place initially, it ultimately produces low performance in the form of incomplete or substandard work.

Commitment is like energy: it never vanishes; it only gets transferred. But it can also be over-spent. And so we need to engage some commitment and over-commitment checks.

Here are 3 questions to prompt further reflection.

  1. Where am I repeatedly over-committing?
  2. How is my over-commitment negatively playing out?
  3. What do I need to say “no” to, to refocus my commitment?

Your personal character traps

Atop my 4, I invite my clients to add their own personal character traps. Their particular kryptonite.

What are your traps? What would you add to the list that you just know: if I could catch myself doing that – and intervene with an alternative choice – my performance and results would vastly improve?

And with that list in hand: what will you do in future to avoid the traps?

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Dan Beverly

Dan Beverly is a leadership and performance coach helping women in leadership achieve their highest potential.

To work with Dan, Schedule a Discovery Call – and start capitalising on your pivotal career moment, today.