INSTINCTS: The Third Leg in High Performance


Follow your instincts and you'll always find a way to success.

There are three legs that are necessary for high performance in any situation—at work, at home, in sports, or even in your search for meaning and purpose. Here they are:

  • KNOWLEDGE: You need to know your stuff—the fundamentals in any endeavor.

  • PASSION: You need to appreciate, value, and emotionally connect to what you do.

  • INSTINCT: You need to do it in your natural, innate manner—instinctive style of doing.

The first two legs are well-known. They are necessary but insufficient aspects of performance. Instinct is the least known. Leaders get caught up in KNOW-HOW and in a particular WAY of doing things. It is, in essence, method-oriented rather than PERSON-CENTERED. They forget who’s doing it.

The fallback method becomes the leader’s way of doing. This is called instinctive bias: my way is THE way. This is a narrow view. It is not necessarily mean-spirited, but it is limited. Notice the following examples:

  • If leaders are detailed, they expect everyone to be so. If they are big picture, they expect it of others. Big picture is different but not necessarily better than the detailed approach or vice versa.

  • If leaders are naturally organized and sequential in their approach, they expect all associates to have a plan and to follow the plan in the order it was designed. But if leaders are adaptive, inclined do their best work off-the-cuff, then they expect all others to be last-minute doers and urgency driven.

These are descriptions of some INSTINCTIVE ACTIONS. Our performance instincts capture the uniqueness of the person. Instincts are the unlearned inclinations or propensities for doing things in a certain way.

We need to bring the person’s unique ways into the mix of understanding and managing high performance. It’s the missing leg in the puzzle of high performance. The question is: How do we measure instincts? That's what Wisdom Hunger specializes in; We have developed systems and process that can help you find your team's instincts and maximize your performance.

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