The Top 5 Attributes Found in Every High Performer: Insights from a Peak Performance Coach

coaching corporate goal setting habits mental skills training mindset Dec 21, 2023
Key attributes of high performers

After two decades of studying high performance, and coaching individuals from the C-suite to professional athletes, I've had the unique opportunity to observe the common threads that weave through the tapestry of their success. These individuals, from vastly different backgrounds and industries, share a set of attributes that consistently propel them to the top of their fields. In this article, I'll highlight the top five attributes that every high performer possesses, in my experience, attributes that are not just innate talents but skills that can be cultivated and nurtured.


  1. An Always Learning Mentality

The first and perhaps most crucial attribute is an unquenchable thirst for learning. High performers don't rest on their laurels; they are acutely aware that the world is constantly evolving and that staying ahead means being a lifelong student. This mindset goes beyond formal education; it's about a deep-seated curiosity and an openness to new experiences and perspectives.

These individuals engage in continuous self-study, voraciously reading, exploring new ideas, and staying abreast of developments in their field. But their learning isn't solitary. They actively seek external consultation and coaching, recognizing that external perspectives can challenge their thinking and spur growth. This humility, the understanding that they don't know everything, is what keeps them growing and evolving.


  1. A Commitment to High Levels of Self-Awareness

The second attribute is a profound level of self-awareness. High performers understand themselves intimately – they know their strengths, their weaknesses, and, crucially, their triggers. This knowledge isn't innate; it's cultivated through intentional reflection and a willingness to confront uncomfortable truths about themselves.

This self-awareness allows them to create environments and situations that optimize their performance. They understand what it takes for them to be at their best and actively work to create those conditions. This might mean recognizing the need for quiet time before a big presentation or identifying the types of tasks that drain their energy. It's this intentional approach to understanding and managing themselves that sets them apart.


  1. Prioritizing Health and Well-being

The third attribute is an unwavering prioritization of their health and well-being. High performers know that their mental and physical health are foundational to their success. They understand that you cannot operate at an optimal level if your health is compromised.

This means regular exercise, a balanced diet, adequate sleep, and mindfulness practices are not just afterthoughts; they are integral parts of their daily routine. They view these practices not as luxuries but as essential components of their performance toolkit. This holistic approach to health ensures they have the stamina, mental clarity, and resilience to tackle challenges and perform at their best.


  1. Building High-Performance Habits and Routines

The fourth attribute is the intentional construction of high-performance habits and routines. High performers recognize that a significant portion of our daily actions occur without conscious thought. By deliberately crafting habits and routines that align with their goals, they ensure that their default actions are contributing to their success.

This might involve morning routines that set the tone for the day, structured time for deep work, or evening rituals that promote restful sleep. These habits and routines become the scaffolding for their success, creating a structure that enables them to consistently perform at a high level.


  1. Clarity and Commitment to Goals

Lastly, high performers are characterized by their clarity and commitment to their goals. They don't just set goals; they build detailed plans to achieve them. This process involves not only identifying the end goal but also breaking it down into actionable steps and setting timelines.

They are adept at navigating the balance between ambitious, long-term goals and the short-term objectives that will lead them there. This clarity of purpose and direction ensures that their daily actions are aligned with their broader ambitions. They don't just work hard; they work smart, with a clear vision of where they're going and how to get there.


Again, in my 20 years of studying what separates those who succeed at the highest levels and coaching high performers, these five attributes have emerged as non-negotiables in the pursuit of peak performance. What's most exciting, however, is that these attributes are not exclusive to the elite few; they are skills and mindsets that can be developed by anyone. Whether you're a CEO, an athlete, or someone just starting on your personal development journey, focusing on cultivating these attributes can profoundly impact your ability to achieve your goals.

Remember, the path to high performance is a journey, not a destination, as cliche as that sounds. It's about continuous improvement, constant learning, and an unwavering commitment to personal and professional growth. By embracing these five attributes, you set yourself on a path to not just achieving your goals but exceeding them and redefining what you believe is possible for yourself.

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