Look beyond performance

Fran Crippen loved the water. The US long-distance swimmer had beaten his competition many times. 7 medals in 6 years—one gold, four silver, two bronze. Olympic games in reach. Expectations were high for the Fujairah Marathon Swimming World Cup. Fran promised to call home after the race. The call never came. High performer Crippen died during the race’s last leg—of exhaustion.

Athletes, CEOs, even school kids get judged by their performance. Speed, height, profit—it’s what we are trained to judge. It’s what we see. It’s easy.

Performance is only half the story. When CEO Albert J Dunlap took the helm at ailing appliance firm Sunbeam, he sold off plants and fired over half of the workers. The stock price shot up. Performance was at its best. But soon, with too many resources cut, Sunbeam could no longer compete and fell into crisis.

Sustainable performance requires real health.  For athletes, this includes the right pace, a healthy training schedule, proper nutrition. For organizations, it’s things like positive mindsets and behaviors, energy, leadership.

Try This >> Push for performance. But remember, in all you do, build in health too.

(My former colleagues have written a great book about the idea.)


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