Paddles and Performance Scorecards

Oct 01, 2021

Those who consistently perform close to potential have learned to control their focus. I competed at an international level and know how vital focus is and consistency. Every week I’d spend hours in training putting in the strokes on the rowing machine.

Every sinew in my body was tested and I’d mix sprints with endurance rows. The endurance was often hardest – breaking down a 45 minute session into each muscle group in my body. I tested every single element – feet for the first push off, thighs to elongate the stroke to make the machine do the work and that final flick of the paddle to keep the momentum high.

My training plan was clear and depended on me consistently growing. The context was key with diet and overall fitness as important and vital to my competitiveness as my technique. I’d be logging performance and knew when I was above or below par. Mental readiness was the toughest but tracking progress enabled me to see the correlation between effort in and results out. My timings on test sprints showed clear ROI.

Essentially I could see that I was doing a good job and reaching my goals – or at least giving myself the very best chance of success.

What has this got to do with performance scorecards? If you were expecting a summary lesson on what constitutes a balanced scorecard and benchmarking – well read the text again.

You can infer that I had the big vision and had a target that I was working towards.

I had a clear plan.

I needed to know that I was progressing towards my goal, that I was doing a good job. If I slipped in training, yes, I could see that, and examine what went wrong, whether there was anything I’d need to adapt.

Yes, I could be tough on myself but all that energy distracted me from the end goal. I needed to fix it not dwell on it.

I needed enough detail to know where I could make incremental progress – where I could gain an edge. Because I was intentionally tracking the details.

My targets were based on my previous achievements, results from previous races and a reasonable stretch.

My context metrics – diet, weight and overall fitness weren’t tracked with as much intensity but were key input measures to include.

That’s it!

That’s the core philosophy of performance management. Accountability, openness to improve, knowing that I’m on track to deliver that big vision. That’s all that it is at its heart.

Too many times I’ve seen performance management shrouded in jargon (that’s an expert power trick from the teams that develop them) or used to punish. Well, think about it, does that really lead to sustained improvements and commitment to an end goal?

I’m in the business of simplifying big concepts – because it's more important for you to start. If you need that expert me, with the credentials and experiences, I’m always happy to share but ultimately I’m in the business of giving you the confidence to win.

Be clear about your goals, break it down, show up, be positive and keep growing.

You’ve got this!

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