Focus on Winning

“You always get more of what you focus your attention on”

A top performer will focus on winning performance naturally, it seems to be part of their DNA. What can we learn from observing a top performer in operation?

The first critical point to learn is that their attention is always focused specifically on what they want to achieve as opposed to what they don't want.

Tuning Performance

In every moment and in every situation we each are aware of either what we want or what we don’t want and top performers are the same yet they consistently display the ability to convert what is not wanted into a clear vision of what is wanted each and every time.

Attempting to keep everyone’s attention on what is wanted in an organisational setting can prove challenging. Everyone will become aware of what is not wanted - Failures, problems and conflicts are an everyday occurrence and demand our attention - but if we fail to use each experience to further define what is wanted then an environment of judgment, criticism and depleted energy will rapidly become the norm and the opportunity to build and maintain a winning performance will be lost.

Management must develop the capability to create and continually enhance a vivid picture of a winning performance, and embed each team member within that picture of success. All organisations will have a vision of what they wish to achieve but the majority have not as yet distilled that vision into a personal picture of success for each employee that inspires and energises peak performance.

Maximising the focus on winning for an organisation or team begins with:

  • Setting stretch performance goals within attainable timescales
  • Communicating the purpose, meaning and values that support success
  • Accurately defining what a winning performance will look and feel like
    • Multiple perspectives
    • Ensuring team member buy-in
  • Identifying the key Team Metrics
  • Sharing current and historical performance data
    • Targeting areas for incremental improvement
  • Prioritising the critical performance indicators
    • Those that most greatly influence success
    • By team and individual
    • Delegating ownership
  • Creating a ‘delighted customer’ vision
    • Internal and external
  • Establishing a process to manage ‘what is not wanted’

Developing the ability to focus on winning is one of the most powerful tools available to us, but it only delivers a winning performance when it is sustained and refined over the long term.

The highest performers have learned to maximise their focus on the things that contribute the most to a winning performance, and they never stop asking themselves “if that is what I don’t want, what is it that I do want?”

Dave Brailsford, the Performance Director for British Cycling commented –

“Our success at the Olympics was expected. We knew exactly what we wanted to achieve and we planned in the minutest detail how we would achieve it. We just focused on delivering against our plan”

To support your renewed Focus on Winning you next need to Build a Winning Mindset

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No matter how well your teams are performing today there is always scope for performance improvement and the simplest process for delivering it requires that you:

  • Continually sharpen the FOCUS of what is wanted and keep everyone’s attention on it
  • Continually strengthen the MINDSET of ‘I CAN/WE CAN’
  • Continually ingrain desired BEHAVIOURS that provide the optimum balance between accelerating and sustaining performance

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