Performing at your highest level is difficult to do over and over again. It’s not your talent that fluctuates. You may alter and upgrade your game plan and knowledge level, but at the end of the day true high-level performance seems to be driven by something other than talent alone. I believe winning at the highest level, closing the biggest or the most sales, is based on the energy you bring – with all other factors being reasonably similar.
Energy? Like the stuff you buy in the can under names like Red Bull? Unfortunately, they don’t sell this kind of energy in a can. This energy is a combination of both passion and confidence. When we’re playing our “A” game, we typically bring our talent, knowledge, passion and confidence to work together. The talent and knowledge are there to some consistent degree. We know what we know, that doesn’t change. The passion and confidence are what come and go, weighing heavily on our performance. Yet we spend far more time typically on all the other things, and when it’s “Game Time” the most important element, energy, is often dissipated by distraction.
This weekend I watched my son’s hockey team compete in a tournament in St. Louis. On Saturday afternoon they played a game and were absolutely dominated 1-11. They looked like they were playing in the wrong level in the tournament. It wasn’t a fair fight. They couldn’t move the puck from one end to the other to even get more than a few scoring opportunities. The coach told them he had never coached a team like this. It was a disaster! Then they played a game in the evening against an equally strong team as earlier. My son’s team came with the same players, same talent level, same skill and knowledge level of the game. But they were a totally different team. They brought fight, passion, and confidence that they knew they were better than they looked earlier. They were quiet before the game. No fist pumping or chest pounding. Quiet. And they went out and dominated this team 6-1. They were NOT the same team. Passing was on, shooting was accurate, and goaltending was impossibly on. Do you ever come with everything but the quiet energy to win? The boys in the first game on Saturday wanted to win. But they didn’t play like it.
Are you mentally prepared to:
• Leave a powerful voicemail message?
• Make a compelling follow up prospect call?
• Be memorable when meeting people at a business function?
• Close a sale with a potential ideal client?
• Conduct your best meeting with a top client?
Most of the energy comes in preparation, reviewing the importance of the task at hand, and the ability to remove distractions. It’s about bringing the best you to the table. It isn’t that we want to perform poorly, but sometimes we do. And it is not about what we know – it is about what we bring. The energy makes all of the difference.