Introducing ‘Superior Performance Intelligence’

Introducing ‘Superior Performance Intelligence’

I hope that your preparations for Christmas are going well. I’ve just returned from working with Sabretooth Capital Management in New York where I managed to squeeze in some much needed present-buying.

Since this is my last blog of 2011, I wanted to end the year on a high note and introduce you to a new concept I’ve been working on. Over the last couple of years, I’ve been reflecting on my experiences of working with top performers in sport, business, the military etc. I’ve always been intrigued by exactly what sets these people aside from those who don’t make it to the top. But I’ve become especially interested in what enables them to stay at the top when they get there.

Recent headlines have borne ample witness to how demanding being at the top is. Top leaders at organisations such as Barnes and Noble, Pfizer and Lloyds have stepped down due to reported fatigue, exhaustion and stress.

However, there are many examples of people who have reached the top and stayed there for a long time. Jamie Dimon at JP Morgan and Jeff Immelt at GE immediately come to mind in the business world as leaders who have come through thick and thin and demonstrated an impressive sustainability and longevity. In sport, Sir Alex Ferguson, Michael Phelps, Steffi Graf and Michael Johnson are examples of current and past performers who have all thrived on the pressures of being at the top.

So what is it that enables top leaders, athletes and performers in any domain to deliver success time and time again, rather than succumbing to the demands of being highly visible, scrutinised and accountable? The answer is that they possess high levels of what I call ‘Superior Performance Intelligence’ (SPI).

I carried out a study of SPI with top performers from the worlds of sport, business, military, performing arts and medicine which will be published in the middle of 2012. The study identified SPI as ‘a critical awareness and know-how that enables top performers to apply their minds, skills, techniques, strategies and tactics to the same high standard every time they perform’.

The study showed that SPI comprises three components:
1. Knowing how to maximise your potential
2. Knowing how to work with your environment
3. Knowing how to deliver high performance

I will tell you much more about SPI in 2012. In the mean time, have a fantastic Christmas and New Year.

There are 3 comments.

Penelope Mavor

Sounds like stimulating, powerful and interesting research Graham – looking forward to hearing more about it. Wishing you a 2012 of Olympic proportions.

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Thanks Penny. Yes, it’s attracting quite a bit of interest and I’ll keep you updated on developments.

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David Turner —

Hi Graham
Saw your chapter on this area recently (have not read in full yet). Resonates with aspects of my own research on expert-like sports coaches. I look forward to seeing and digesting more of your work in this area.

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