Trick 2: Draw energy from your past successes

graphic of a worried-looking person trapped between two spiked walls closing in
graphic of a worried-looking person trapped between two spiked walls closing in
Image credit: Author

Formula 1 is a great example of performing under pressure. With millions of people watching and the clock ticking, every tenth of a second counts. When drivers pit, the pressure is on for their crew to get them back on the track as quickly as possible. The entire team must work together to deliver performance under extreme pressure.

The actors who perform on stage or the athletes who participate in competitive sports also need to perform in high-pressure situations. How are they able to deal with the pressure of performing in front of thousands of people who might judge them?


Because you get out what you put in

A graphic showing a series of questions to ask when managing a high performer, and a quotation “Talent is the multiplier.”
A graphic showing a series of questions to ask when managing a high performer, and a quotation “Talent is the multiplier.”
Image credit: Author

High performers in any organisation aren’t easy to manage. With their uncanny ability to produce outstanding work and an appetite to solve tough problems, they demand even greater attention and engagement from their managers.

And these managers are so busy putting out fires, attending meetings, convincing stakeholders, and solving poor performance that they fail to prioritise the one thing that deserves their time and energy: their top performers.

With an excuse of a busy schedule, they fool themselves into believing that their high performers are already doing great and are invested to excel in their role, which is sufficient to…


And what to do instead

Credit: Author

Do you feel exhausted, even frustrated, from working hard, putting in extra hours, sometimes even on weekends and late nights trying to catch up on work, but not being able to make progress on your own goals?

Is it the demands of the workplace that’s eating up into your time, or the fact that you don’t have control over your own schedule? Do you create value or are you simply working to satisfy the expectations of others?

Jumping in to solve every crisis at work, saying “yes” to new projects even when your plate is full, staying late to help…


How to make better decisions

graphic showing four symptoms of decision fatigue
graphic showing four symptoms of decision fatigue
Credit: Author

As we get down to work, our mind is flooded with thoughts — should I respond to that email I got last night or a message from my boss, how about a cup of coffee, why not start the project I have been avoiding this entire week or maybe just a quick catch up on the meeting I missed yesterday…

A series of these small decisions scattered throughout our day may seem harmless in the moment as they seem to demand only a small fraction of our mental energy. …


Maintaining focus in a distracting world

graphic of boy with cloud of distractions over his head and a quote from book on maintaining focus
graphic of boy with cloud of distractions over his head and a quote from book on maintaining focus
Credit: Author

In a world that’s designed for interruptions, we are all vulnerable to distractions.

The sense of accomplishment that comes from producing great work rewards and energises us to strive for more, be better at our tasks, and generate higher quality output.

We have all the necessary information, the right tools, and resources at our disposal to achieve excellence, and yet we rarely see it in practice.

The feeling that most people describe at work is one of relief as opposed to accomplishment after finishing a task. …


#2 Practice the art of war

Tactics and manipulation, backstabbing, power plays, biased decisions, back channel communication
Tactics and manipulation, backstabbing, power plays, biased decisions, back channel communication
Credit: Author

I learned the hard way that the secret to getting ahead is not just doing great work; it also requires the ability to navigate office politics, not in an insincere or manipulative way, but rather as a skill to better handle the politics that goes on inside your organization. You simply can’t win people based on logic and rationality.

As someone who experienced it firsthand, I was naive in ignoring it. Charming team members who would say one thing to my face and spill a different version to my boss, people who would not think twice to switch sides to…


Identify and fix the subtle behaviors that impact employees’ well-being

Left side: two circles — one says “you”, other has “toxic people” Right side: two circles are entwined
Left side: two circles — one says “you”, other has “toxic people” Right side: two circles are entwined
Credit: Author

Some of the most toxic managers I have worked with had no clue they were contributing to a toxic work environment. Otherwise pleasant to talk to, these managers seemed to genuinely care about their people. However, what appeared on the outside was not in tune with what went inside their teams. Their good intentions didn’t always translate into the right action.

Their behavior was rooted in flawed assumptions about what contributes to toxicity.

When thinking about a toxic work environment, most of these obvious examples come to mind:

  • Obsessive, micromanaging boss who controls every single aspect of the working hours.


Avoiding the conversation or using tactics to up their motivation doesn’t work

Photo Credit: Author

One of the biggest challenges managers face at work concerns promotions. It seems like everyone is waiting for their next big promotion when they haven’t even mastered the current one. Once the performance appraisal season kicks in, a good part of a manager’s time goes into managing unhappy employees — those who were expecting a promotion and didn’t get one and even those who weren’t expecting a promotion but nevertheless feel sad when others around them get promoted.

The truth is most people believe they are ready for a promotion while their manager thinks otherwise. As the employee obsesses about…


2. Use your sense of autonomy

Two stick figures fighting. One watching.
Two stick figures fighting. One watching.
Image Credit: Author

My first major encounter with a role conflict occurred when I took on a team lead role. It was a critical project that required integration across multiple teams and functions, and the team consisted of a few senior people who were pulled in temporarily from other teams to help meet the delivery timelines. While we were all responsible for implementation, I was additionally required to strategize, plan and coordinate the entire deliverable. That’s where things got a little bit complicated.

My role to successfully deliver the project conflicted with the expectation to manage people who were senior to me:

  • How…


6 strategies to promote a growth mindset among managers and leaders

Credit: Author

I have worked with two different kinds of leaders and managers over the years. The one who believes in fixed abilities and promotes a fixed mindset — “those who don’t perform well can never do better” — and the other who believes in growing those abilities, thereby promoting a growth mindset “people can be coached into improving their skills.”

The first kind engages with the workplace to boost their own self-esteem, establish their superiority, and prove their smartness. They focus on their employees’ weaknesses, refuse to coach them, blame others for failures, do not seek feedback, divide people into competent…

Vinita

I write about ideas to sharpen your mind and keep you learning to be effective in your work and life. Writer. Techie. Thinker. More@ https://www.techtello.com/

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