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The 3-OUT High Performance Formula

March 14, 2024

In the world of leadership and personal development, there’s a consistent pattern among those who achieve and maintain high performance: they do things differently. I’m grateful for the unique opportunity to observe and work with successful leaders across various industries on a daily basis. From these observations, I’ve distilled a powerful formula for achieving high performance founded on three fundamental practices: OUT-Prepare, OUT-Work, and OUT-Learn. Let’s dive into how these practices can fuel better performance.

1. OUT-Prepare

Preparation is the foundation of continuous success, no matter the field or industry you are in. High-performing leaders understand that to stay ahead, they need to OUT-Prepare everyone else. This doesn’t just mean getting ready for the known challenges but also preparing for the unexpected. It involves understanding the broader context of their industry, foreseeing potential challenges, and crafting strategies to navigate them successfully, being ready and able to adapt.

To OUT-Prepare, leaders:

  • Invest time in understanding the trends and forces shaping their business to properly account for risk / threats they may encounter.
  • Engage in strategic scenario planning to anticipate possible future challenges, while positioning themselves to take quick action should they arise.
  • Cultivate a network of advisors and mentors to gain diverse perspectives allowing them to see problems & solutions through a broader lens.

2. OUT-Work

Working hard by itself is not a differentiator. At a certain level, expect everyone to work hard, that’s how they got in the room. The meaning of OUT-Work is simply not logging more hours, but by working smarter and with a relentless focus on their goals. This focus is key to effective prioritization and always knowing what’s most important. They spend more time, energy, and focus on the most important things and say no to mostly everything else. This discipline & consistent effort creates leverage, which compounds their success.

To OUT-Work, leaders:

  • Prioritize tasks based on their strategic impact and alignment to the overall mission.
  • Delegate effectively so that their time is spent on the highest-value activities.
  • Maintain relentless consistency & discipline on where their attention and focus goes, using the 80 / 20 principle to maximize leverage & bandwidth.

3. OUT-Learn

In a rapidly evolving world, the ability to learn and adapt is more crucial than ever. High-performing leaders are voracious learners who OUT-Learn those around them. They are not content with the status quo and are always looking for new ideas, insights, and strategies to enhance their leadership and the performance. They are far more focused on being the best student in the room, than being the smartest one in the room. This commitment to continuous learning ensures they remain agile and can pivot in response to new challenges and opportunities.

To OUT-Learn, leaders:

  • Dedicate time for personal and professional development.
  • Encourage a culture of learning and continuous improvement within their teams.
  • Stay open to new ideas, even those that challenge their existing beliefs. They avoid having strong opinions, firmly held. Opting instead for thoughtful opinions, loosely held, willing to change positions if the facts change.

Implementing the 3-OUT High Performance Formula

The 3-OUT High Performance Formula requires a commitment to personal growth and the discipline to push beyond the comfort zone. It’s about making a conscious effort every day to prepare more thoroughly, work more effectively, and learn more deeply than anyone else. By doing so, leaders can elevate their performance and inspire those around them to do the same.

High performance is not a destination but a continuous journey of self-improvement.