Listen to the podcast (FULL TRANSCRIPT):
Most recently, we spoke with Andy Meikle, founder of Elkiem, an organization focused on teaching leaders ways to create high performance cultures. For over 20 years, he has researched and interviewed thousands of high achievers around the world, including top athletes, academics, scientists, and leaders at Google, Tesla, NASA, United Nations, Harvard Business School, Juilliard and more.
Here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Andy:
Be mindful of who is giving you feedback.
While we can see the value in a 360º view of our performance, Andy advises listeners to remember that it may be harder for someone to give you truly constructive feedback if they don’t know you or your craft. Be mindful of where you seek feedback and act accordingly. Andy himself likes to receive his feedback from other experts and even asked a renowned actor to give him feedback on his communicative skills!
It is always best to over-prepare than to be underprepared.
Discipline and preparation are vital keys to any job in any field. If you are underprepared in your position, this can become a danger to you, your team, your goals and your organization. You should go into your work knowing what you want to do, when and why. If you don’t know the answer to these questions, it’s worth taking some time to figure it out.
Ask yourself about your belief system.
Andy learned early on that he needed a development belief profile for every person he interviewed. What does that mean? Every person has to believe something to be achieving the results they are—it’s what sets you apart from everyone. Take a moment to think about what you need to believe in, who you need to become and what you need to do to be a high performing leader.
Talent is important, but it isn’t the only ingredient.
Of course, it helps to have some kind of “pre-existing gene structure or psychological structure” that makes you better at what you do, but the in the end, you need to be interested in what you’re doing. Your interest in what you do is what allows you to learn, expand and improve!
Forget about comparisons.
Pretty straightforward, but easier said than done, right? Andy specializes in studying high performance and a common misconception people have about high performance is being “best” at something, which isn’t necessarily true. High performance is not concerned with what others are doing; high performance is your own personal definition—what do you want and who do you need to become to achieve it? When you stop making comparisons and figure out the answers, you start the journey to high performance.
Build a strong identity.
Andy applies this philosophy to raising his children, but it’s something worth remembering throughout life. When you build a strong identity, you won’t be swayed into doing things that aren’t in your interest by outside forces. How do you build a strong identity? Have a set of beliefs that you can practice and focus on and then decide who you want to be. Make that your “code.”