A unique ap­proach to en­tre­pre­neur­ial per­for­mance

Jamaica Gleaner - - BUSINESS - Ya­neek Page Ya­neek Page is an en­tre­pre­neur and trainer and creator/ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer of ‘The In­no­va­tors’ TV se­ries. Email: info@ya­neek­page.com Twit­ter: @ya­neek­page Web­site: www.ya­neek­page.com

IN THE past four years, I’ve trained and coached more than 500 en­trepreneurs from over 25 coun­tries across the world, and most of them have an in­ter­est­ing de­sire: to repli­cate them­selves in order to double their pro­duc­tiv­ity, in­crease im­pact, and im­prove re­sults.

“If only there were two of me, it would solve so many prob­lems” is a cry I hear over and over again from busi­ness own­ers strug­gling to keep up with the in­tense phys­i­cal and men­tal de­mands of their high-stress ca­reers.

Pro­duc­tiv­ity is not just a strug­gle, but a cri­sis for us in Ja­maica as we con­tinue to ex­pe­ri­ence decades of na­tional de­cline while our lead­ing trad­ing part­ners and re­gional com­peti­tors have reg­is­tered sub­stan­tial com­par­a­tive gains in this area.

While we all know it’s im­pos­si­ble to repli­cate one­self, it is a lit­tle-known fact that many en­trepreneurs can double their pro­duc­tiv­ity and im­prove ef­fec­tive­ness by ad­dress­ing their hu­man per­for­mance.

The hu­man-per­for­mance ap­proach, specif­i­cally ‘cor­po­rate ath­lete’ train­ing, has been praised by global com­pa­nies such as Pep­siCo, Mor­gan Stan­ley, and the Es­tee Lauder Com­pa­nies as trans­for­ma­tional for their ex­ec­u­tives and em­ploy­ees.

Last week, I had the great for­tune of at­tend­ing ‘VV100’ work­shops fa­cil­i­tated by John­son and John­son’s Hu­man Per­for­mance In­sti­tute, which in­tro­duced me to key el­e­ments of the cor­po­rate ath­lete ap­proach to hu­man per­for­mance.

The work­shops were or­gan­ised for women lead­ers from over 30 coun­tries by the renowned Wash­ing­ton-based non-profit Vi­tal Voices Global Part­ner­ships in an ef­fort to strengthen the per­for­mance and ef­fec­tive­ness of 100 of the 15,000 women in their net­work in whom they’ve in­vested in over the last 20 years.

The bet­ter and longer these women can per­form un­der pres­sure, with­out com­pro­mis­ing their health, the greater the im­pact they can have in their or­gan­i­sa­tions, com­mu­ni­ties, and coun­tries.

So what are the key el­e­ments of this unique ap­proach to im­prov­ing per­for­mance that en­trepreneurs should know, and how can they take ac­tion? The most im­por­tant el­e­ment is that it is ef­fec­tive en­ergy man­age­ment, rather than time man­age­ment, that re­sults in trans­for­ma­tional and sus­tained high per­for­mance.

It is a mo­men­tous shift in mind­set for many peo­ple who see bet­ter time man­age­ment as the ul­ti­mate panacea. The next el­e­ment is learn­ing the sci­ence be­hind ex­er­cise psy­chol­ogy, nu­tri­tion, and emo­tional well-be­ing.


In short, it is tak­ing the prin­ci­ples pro­fes­sional ath­letes learn and live by in their train­ing for com­pe­ti­tion and ap­ply­ing them to busi­ness to rad­i­cally heighten per­for­mance over a sus­tained pe­riod.

Phys­i­cal fit­ness, good health, and fre­quent ex­er­cise will re­sult in higher phys­i­cal en­ergy, which will give en­trepreneurs the stamina they need to op­er­ate at a higher level of pro­duc­tiv­ity.

For this rea­son, en­trepreneurs would be en­cour­aged to com­plete com­pre­hen­sive med­i­cal tests, in­clud­ing blood chem­istry anal­y­sis. Once they have a com­plete un­der­stand­ing of their health sta­tus, the next step would be estab­lish­ing a con­sis­tent fit­ness rou­tine to im­prove health and phys­i­cal en­ergy.

Crit­i­cal to this process is nu­tri­tion and en­gag­ing a qual­i­fied nu­tri­tion­ist to help craft a life­style ap­proach to healthy eat­ing that can fuel your body with small, fre­quent meals to per­form at a higher level.

An­other crit­i­cal pil­lar is to strengthen the men­tal and emo­tional well-be­ing of the en­tre­pre­neur to en­sure fo­cus and men­tal alert­ness, high lev­els of op­ti­mism, con­fi­dence, drive, and re­silience.

It’s re­ferred to as men­tal and emo­tional en­ergy. In ap­ply­ing this prin­ci­ple en­trepreneurs re­frame their view of stress, chal­lenges, and fail­ures. They would need to learn and strengthen skills to help them cope and re­cover quickly from ev­ery­day de­mands, dis­ap­point­ments, and highly tax­ing sit­u­a­tions and en­vi­ron­ments. The hu­man­per­for­mance ap­proach recog­nises that men­tal tough­ness is crit­i­cal to peak per­for­mance and re­quires tar­geted train­ing and coach­ing in­ter­ven­tions to build for­ti­tude. It’s a per­fectly log­i­cal pil­lar, yet very few en­trepreneurs, com­pany ex­ec­u­tives, or man­agers set aside re­sources to ad­dress their team’s emo­tional well-be­ing and men­tal re­silience.

The fi­nal pil­lar in the model is as crit­i­cal as those al­ready men­tioned, yet it is one that I can’t ever re­call hear­ing in en­tre­pre­neur­ial or cor­po­rate lead­er­ship in Ja­maica, and that is spir­i­tual en­ergy. This was ex­plained as the en­ergy that is de­rived from hav­ing a clear driv­ing force that gives peo­ple their pur­pose and rea­son for jump­ing out of bed each day out­side of the an­tic­i­pated fi­nan­cial re­wards.

The coaches at the John­son and John­son Hu­man Per­for­mance In­sti­tute said this was one of the most chal­leng­ing ar­eas for many peo­ple be­cause they hadn’t clearly de­fined a pur­pose for their lives. How­ever, this is key to per­sonal ful­fil­ment out­side of ca­reer as­pi­ra­tions and en­hances en­ergy that drives per­for­mance over the long run.

For­tu­nately for some en­trepreneurs, spir­i­tual en­ergy is the eas­i­est to hone as they are clear in their minds about the dream they have, the prob­lem they want to solve, the peo­ple they want to serve, the im­pact they wish to have.

Given that en­trepreneurs are typ­i­cally do­ing what they love based on a dis­tinct vi­sion and have the power to make de­ci­sions and change within their or­gan­i­sa­tions im­me­di­ately, they are, in my view, best poised to take full ad­van­tage of en­hanc­ing pro­duc­tiv­ity by rev­o­lu­tion­is­ing hu­man per­for­mance.

One love.



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