I think we often misunderstand what separates top performers from everybody else. We think that they work hard and have great opportunities or superior knowledge – and those things can be important. But there’s something different that really supercharges their growth.
Top performers keep growing
Frankly, I think that opportunity, knowledge, and effort are only the results of what puts some performers at the top. The real supercharger is that they keep growing – and they grow quickly. They practice. They study. They improve.
As you look at their lives you’ll find that these high performers are constantly in the process of both being and becoming. They strive to be the best. And they are always making investments and looking for opportunities to become better at what they do and to use fear to become more than they are.
They invest in growth
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.
Top performers know that investing in future growth pays great dividends so they systematically invest time and money in growth. And they invest wisely and with intention.
Like a seasoned stock market investor, they look for investment opportunities that will yield great results for the investment. They don’t shy away from investments that will cost a little – as long as they payback is greater than the investment.
They choose accelerative opportunities
And that’s where accelerative opportunities come into play. Top performers always look for the opportunities that will pay back huge results quickly and continue paying back for years to come. They look for convergence opportunities where they can get paid to learn and grow quickly.
Top performers read – a lot
Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers
HARRY S. TRUMAN
Learning is a life-long process. It doesn’t end when you grab your diploma and throw your graduation hat up in the air. High performers know this and they invest heavily in reading.
They know that a book can be a really small investment that can pay huge dividends. Knowledge and continued growth can differentiate them as part of the 20% of people who read at least one book a year instead of the 33% of US citizens will never read another book after graduating high school.
Top performers take specific courses
Yes, sometimes college curricula are the right answer for learning. But after college, many top performers look for specific hands-on courses to teach them what they need to learn. They don’t necessarily look for a full curriculum.
A high performer who wants to understand accounting or marketing will likely read a book or two (see above) and then take a course. It might be a course at a college or it might be a specific course from an established accountant or a killer marketer.
Top performers attend events
They’ll look for events to network while learning from the leaders in a particular industry. In the past I’ve often attended church conferences and I’ve found them invaluable. This year and I’m happy to say that I’ve won some tickets to the Chick-fil-A Leadercast. I look forward to seeing what I’ll take away.
Top performers pay for coaching
This is really the next step. It’s finding somebody who’s really good at teaching people to do what you want to do and having them spend specific time with you offering practical advice. This isn’t something I’ve done yet but I’d like to move forward in this arena when it’s the right time.
Top performers invest in masterminds groups
This is a relatively new concept for many and it’s something I’m planning to move into this year. Many top performers are part of mastermind groups – groups of people who come together to share, make progress, and be accountable to each other in life and in business. You can read more about that in Dan Miller’s e-book on the starting your own mastermind group.
So, like I mentioned, I’ll be attending the Chick-fil-A Leadercast this year to continue learning and growing. I’m planning to start a mastermind group. I’ve read about 5 books so far this year (I’m writing this in April 2013) and I’ve listened to well over 100 podcast episodes.
How about you?
* What do you find helps you learn, grow, and succeed quickly?
* What is one thing you’ll do in the next seven days to invest in your goals?
Photo credit: eadey