This week I did a virtual training for a chain of car dealerships across the midwest. The last four speakers before me were PJ Fleck, Tom Izzo, Eric Thomas and Jesse Itzler.
If these names don’t ring a bell, they’re all heavy hitters and doing amazing things in sports or business. I was happy just to be in their company!
When I listened to their messages, every one of them said the same thing:
We haven’t been obsessing over what’s outside of our control. We haven’t let it distract our attention.
So simple, so powerful.
I typically refer to this as “Managing Your Inputs.” As Outperformers, we know that inputs affect performance outputs, for better or for worse.
Here is the specific audiobook chapter from OUTPERFORM for Leaders:
There is certainly a common thread of managing inputs. Consuming enough information to be informed, but not so much that paralyzes and produces inaction.
Excerpt from OUTPERFORM for Leaders on Managing Inputs
You condition the mind like you condition the body. The same way that you don't get fit or unfit from doing one workout or skipping one workout; you don’t adopt an Outperforming mindset by reading one article or listening to one podcast. It is something that happens repeatedly over time.
Many names have been used to explain this concept: slight edge, compound effect, aggregation of marginal gains...
They all describe the same principle. Performance is something that happens in small, almost imperceptible increments. The things we barely notice. This makes it even more paramount to consciously AND intentionally manage your inputs every day.
Inputs are the information you feed your brain. Outperformers know:
Better inputs produce better performance outputs.
As I’m writing this, we’re about 12 days into the coronavirus and global pandemic. The coverage of the virus is EVERYWHERE. It is hard to escape it. I also know that I haven’t helped myself—I have been guilty of spending multiple hours being consumed by what's going on locally, nationally and globally.
Almost all of the news is negative. It’s updates on new cases and infections, death totals, lack of resources, a plummeting financial market, business challenges, etc. Finding positive information is akin to finding a needle in a haystack. It does not matter if it’s you, me or Dupree; you cannot possibly be your best if those are the inputs you’re putting into your brain for the majority of each day.
Now, you’re obviously reading this because you’re a leader (and, likely, a business leader). You may be thinking that it’s critical to your business for you to stay up to date on what’s happening in our society.
I get that. As a speaker who does 50+ live events per year, I have to stay up to date, too. This global pandemic has fundamentally altered my short-term business overnight.
But there is a distinct difference between consuming enough information to feel like you’re knowledgeable and educated, and so much that you’re fixated on it and it’s no longer serving you.
I ask myself the simple question:
Will MORE information fundamentally impact
anything that I’m doing today?
If the answer is ‘Yes,’ carry on.
If the answer is ‘No’ (which it usually is), I don’t need that unnecessary input. I’m good. I can move forward as my best self and proactively work my Outperforming day without it.
Always be conscious and intentional of your inputs. This is an extreme example during an unprecedented global crisis, but on a micro level, how you manage short-term inputs of information has a massive impact on long-term outputs of performance.