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Bridging the Performance Potential Gap: A Guide for Leaders

April 4, 2024

There’s a silent challenge that we all face but often fail to directly address—the Performance Potential Gap. This is the gap between where we currently stand in our professional lives and the peak performance we know, deep down, we’re capable of achieving. It’s a space filled with untapped possibilities yet to be realized, and growth that’s waiting to be ignited. I’ve seen firsthand how increasing awareness and taking action to close this gap can significantly transform leaders and their organizations.

Understanding the Performance Potential Gap

At its core, the Performance Potential Gap is about unrealized potential. It’s about the difference between being competent and being exceptional, between managing and inspiring. Every leader has a vision of what true success looks like—not just for their business, but for themselves as individuals. However, the daily grind, comfort zones, and short-term pressures often obscure this vision, leaving our greatest potential just out of reach.

This gap is not a sign of failure but rather an indicator of possibility. It represents an opportunity for growth, learning, and transformation. The first step towards closing this gap is acknowledging its existence. Once we do, we open ourselves to the journey of building a transformation bridge from where we are to where we truly want to be.

Two Daily Questions to Bridge the Gap

There are two fundamental questions that leaders should ask themselves every day:

  1. What are the things I need to start doing that I’m not doing OR that I need to do more of to close this gap?
  2. What are the things I need to stop doing that is getting in the way of making progress toward closing this gap?

These questions serve as a daily compass, a guiding roadmap to continuous improvement. They encourage a beautiful balance of reflection and action—two critical ingredients for next-level growth.

What to Start Doing

  • Prioritize Learning: The path to closing your performance potential gap is paved with knowledge and insights. Whether it’s industry trends, leadership strategies, or personal development, commit to staying in learning mode.
  • Create Quality Feedback Loops: Constructive feedback is a mirror showing us our blind spots and areas for improvement. Embrace it with an open mind and a willingness to grow. Feedback can be uncomfortable, by design. Remember to take it seriously, but not personally.
  • Embrace Risk: Stepping out of your comfort zone is essential. Our greatest growth is found at the very outer edges of our current capabilities. Experiment, innovate, and don’t fear failure—it’s just another step towards your potential.

What to Stop Doing

  • Avoiding Challenges: Comfort zones are comfortable because they’re familiar, not because they’re productive. Avoiding challenges keeps you stagnant. Face difficult challenges head-on, and grow from them.
  • Procrastinating on Decisions: Decision-making can be daunting, but procrastination is a potential killer. Make informed decisions promptly, learn from them, and move forward. There is no substitute for taking action.
  • Neglecting Self-Care: Leadership demands energy, clarity, and emotional strength. Neglecting self-care depletes these resources. Prioritize your well-being to maintain peak performance.

Closing Thoughts

This process is not a sprint but a marathon. It requires persistence, resilience, and a commitment to continuous improvement. Every step taken to minimize this gap not only enhances your leadership and business performance but also contributes to a purposeful professional life.

As leaders, we have the privilege and responsibility to actively pursue our highest potential. Let these two questions guide your daily actions and decisions. The gap is not a permanent chasm but a bridge waiting to be crossed. With each day, each decision, and each action, you control the level of progress to becoming the leader you’re meant to be.

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