Listen to Les McKeown read this blog post:
We saw in our last post that there are important differences between 'achieving' and 'performing', and that crucially, so-called overachievers often under-perform.
Why is that? In my observation, I've seen three main reasons why performance-based leaders deliver better results than achievement-based leaders:
1. Benign Neglect
Sometimes the best solution to a problem comes only after letting the problem ripen on the vine awhile.
Performance-based leaders can (and do) do this regularly, but for the overachiever the idea of putting something on the back burner and letting it stew for a while is akin to Chinese water torture.
I’ve mangled enough metaphors here for you to get the idea.
2. Collateral Damage
Achievement-based leaders (aka 'overachievers') look for the winning (i.e. ‘best’ or ‘right’) solution. Performance-based leaders look for the optimal solution.
The difference between the two is usually one of collateral damage: the winning solution will often (metaphorically) involve taking some prisoners, or hurting others in the process, sometimes not so metaphorically.
The optimal solution accepts there is a playoff between result, and the effect on people, and seeks to balance the two.
"Achievement-based leaders (overachievers) look for the winning (i.e. ‘best’ or ‘right’) solution. Performance-based leaders look for the optimal solution." - Les McKeown, Founder and CEO, Predictable Success
Does this mean that performance-based leaders are wusses? Nope. It means they’re normal, adult humans with a set of governing principles that includes the impact their actions have on others.
3. Self Doubt
Counter-intuitive and weird, but true: Achievement-based leaders suffer from self-doubt much more than performance-based leaders. I’m not 100 percent sure why this is, but in my observation and experience it has proven itself to be true over and over again.
I think it’s partially linked to the second point above – that achievement-based leaders know at some level that they’re often prizing achievement above other people’s needs or expectations.I think it’s also because they’re typically highly self-competitive, and so are frequently second-guessing themselves.
In the next post I'll share the ways in which I have seen achievement-based leaders successfully transform themselves into performance-based leaders - but in the meantime...