2008 Summer Volume 8 No. 1
Peak Performance is a Mental Attitude
By Mike Cooper
"Racing, regardless of what people say, is a mental sport. If you believe you can win and you're in a car that can win, you more than likely will win. If you have a negative attitude, typically you won't get very good results."
—Jamie McMurray, NASCAR Driver
Auto racing is the most popular sport in the world in terms of television viewership. It’s fast, exciting, and dangerous. It is often said that the race is won long before it starts—in the planning, preparation, research, and training.
However, the fastest cars with the best team don’t always end up in the winner's circle. It takes a great team leader and a great driver.
Like racing, the success of a portable sanitation company starts in the planning, preparation, research, and training stages. However, peak performance comes at the individual level; if you own the company, you're the leader and the driver all in one.
When racecar drivers are balanced on that fine line between gaining an edge and courting disaster, it’s their self-confidence that gives them the courage to continue without letting up.
As you prepare for the upcoming peak season, your company is like a racing crew and you are in the driver’s seat. There is a lot to do before the race starts. You may bid on new contracts, train new employees, fix old equipment and order new equipment, look into new ways your company can serve customers, and talk to your accountant to get your books in order.
However, in all that preparation don’t forget the mental game. Your self-confidence will enable you to steer your company to victory.
The Mental Game
With all your pre-season preparation, are you doing anything to prepare yourself mentally? As the season approaches do you feel confident, strong, and ready to take on whatever challenges you will face? Or are you feeling worried about what might go wrong?
Obviously, you need to consider the challenges ahead. A racecar driver can be the most confident driver on the track, but if he isn’t prepared to do what needs to be done to maintain traction on a tight corner, he isn’t in control.
Going into 2009, everyone has uncertainties. The economy is not doing so well, home building is slumping, gas prices keep going up, and competition is increasing.
However, it’s important to your business and your success not to fear uncertainty but to face it with a positive mental attitude.
How we respond emotionally to challenges has a lot to do with the outcome. Some emotions empower us and mobilize our minds to perform. Others sap our energy making us feel and act confused, indecisive, and tired.
As business owners and managers, self-confidence and positive emotions do as much to make you successful as your strategy and hard work.
How would you feel as an employee working for a business owner who seemed scared or worried about the future? You would either be looking for a new job, or so worried about the current one that you would have trouble concentrating on the job. How would you feel as a customer interviewing a new vendor who seemed tentative or uncertain? When you put yourself in others’ shoes it becomes clear how important your mental attitude is to your success.
You want to develop the peak-performance mindset of a winning racecar driver and harness that power of confidence, composure, and focus.
In this issue of JohnTalk, you’ll learn a lot of great ideas to help you gain a mental edge and keep yourself focused on peak performance.
- Sponsorships, Why They Help You Overcome “Fear of Strangers”
- Lapping the Competition with Strategic Marketing
- Who’s in Your Pit Crew? (on the importance of selecting and keeping good people)
- This Formula For Success Runs in the Family (how some lessons learned as a winning racecar driver can help you win in business)
- High-Speed Service: Motivating Your Service Staff Makes Happier Customers
- Stay in the Race! Purchasing, Maintaining and Recycling Your Equipment
- The Road Ahead: Performance Metrics
- Race to the Finish Line—PolyJohn Brazil
- Don’t Stop Me Now! A Champion’s Can Do Attitude Leads to Success
For leaders to truly achieve success they must also develop attitudes for success. When this happens, you will better utilize the skills and knowledge that you already possess. Fear and uncertainty are normal, but how you deal with it makes all the difference.
As Mario Andretti says, “If everything seems under control, you're not going fast enough.”
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