The Peak Performance Approach

This approach involves a person focusing on a specific activity where they may have the ability to do superb work. It then involves them translating this into a clear purpose, following their principles and doing their best to achieve peak performance.

There are many definitions for peak performance. The one we are using here is:

A person focusing on a specific activity and becoming the best they can be.

Such a person may focus on an activity where they deliver As rather than Bs or Cs. It may be one that gives them positive energy. They may then translate this into a specific project and aim to achieve their picture of success.

They may focus on an activity where they feel in their element – at ease and yet able to excel. They may then aim to do work that is effective, excellent and maybe even extraordinary.

Such a person may aim to build on their strengths, follow strategies that work and achieve success. They may aim to make a positive contribution, pass on knowledge and sometimes experience a sense of peace.

Let’s explore one approach that a person may take to following these steps during their time on the planet. 


People love to have a sense of purpose. One approach is for them to follow a passion, translate this into a clear purpose and work towards their picture of success. Let’s explore these themes.


Some career coaches advise people to follow their passion. Others say this is not good advice. They suggest that people should focus on the things they do best.

Great workers often combine these elements. They pursue a passion where they have the ability to do superb work. They may feel passionately about encouraging people, doing creative projects, finding a medical cure or doing another activity.

Imagine that you want to follow this path. What are the things you feel passionately about? What are those where you may have the ability to deliver peak performances?


People love to have a sense of purpose. This can bring meaning and structure to their days.

Great workers may translate their passion into a clear purpose and focus on a specific thing they want to do. Different people do this in different ways.

Some people focus on a long-term purpose. They may aim to follow a spiritual faith, a vocation or a sense of mission. They then aim to express this in various ways in their life and work.

Some people focus on a short-term purpose. They may aim to write an article, climb a mountain, finish a marathon, teach an inspiring course, lead a team to success or achieve another goal.

Different people describe different things regarding their purpose. Here are some that they may mention.

My Purpose

The specific thing I want to do is:

I want to encourage people … I want build a happy family … I want to help people to live healthy lives … I want to help people to become the architects of their own lives.

I want to help dyslexic people to build on their strengths … I want to write articles that inspire people … I want to create enriching environments that enable people to grow.

I want to find a specific medical cure … I want to create technology that simplifies people’s lives … I want to give people practical hope … I want to pass on knowledge that helps people to build a positive world.

Imagine that you have begun to translate your passion into a purpose. This can lead to the next stage.

Picture Of Success

Great workers realise that, whilst they may aim to follow a purpose, they may need to express this in various ways in the life and work. Bearing this in mind, they may aim to do a specific project or work to achieve a specific goal.

Imagine that you want to follow this path in your own way. When doing so, you may explore some of the classic questions. These include the following.

What is the specific project I want to do or the specific goal I want to reach? What are the real results I want to achieve? What is the picture of success? What will be happening that will show I have achieved the goal?

What will be the benefits of achieving the goal? What will be the pluses and minuses involved in working to achieve the goal? How can I build on the pluses and manage the minuses?

Bearing in mind what is involved, on a scale 0-10 how high would I rate my motivation to do the work? How can I maintain or improve the rating? Make sure the rating is at least 8+/10.

Imagine that you have worked through these themes. If appropriate, one approach is to complete the following framework.

My Picture Of Success

The specific project I want to do or
the specific goal I want to reach is:

To …

The real results I want to achieve are:

To …

To …

To …

The specific benefits of
achieving these results will be:

To …

To …

To …

This purpose section has focused on ‘What’ a person wants to do and ‘Why’ they want to do it. The next step involves focusing on the ‘How’.


Great workers often follow their chosen principles when aiming to reach a goal. They aim to be super professional and, when necessary, find solutions to problems. Let’s explore these themes.


Imagine you have chosen to focus on achieving a specific goal. What are the principles you want to follow when doing the work? How can you translate these into action?

Different people follow different principles and much depends on the work they are doing. Here are some they may mention

My Principles

The principles I want to
follow when doing the work are:

To be caring and compassionate in my work in the hospice … To be a good educator who enables people to shape their futures … To help people to build on their strengths, follow strategies that work and achieve success.

To make natural history programmes that encourage people to take care of the planet … To create a positive culture in which people can do positive work and get positive results … To create wins for our company, wins for our customers and wins for our colleagues.

Bearing in mind the principles they want to follow, some people then focus on how to translate these into action. Some do this by exploring the following questions.

What is the specific goal I want to achieve? What are the principles I want to follow when working to achieve the goal? What are the reasons why I believe in following these principles?

How can I translate these principles into action? What are the key strategies I can follow to increase the likelihood of achieving success? How can encourage myself and other people on the journey?

Imagine that you have clarified the principles you want to follow. The next step involves the following theme.


Great workers aim to be super professional and deliver consistently high standards. They aim to do this whether counselling people, coaching a sports team, leading a business or doing other kinds of work. Such people often take the following steps.

They prepare properly. They look ahead, clarify the results to achieve and rehearse following their chosen strategies to achieve the goal. They then click into action.

They are super professional and encourage other people. They aim to get some early wins, perform superb work and provide great service. They do their best to achieve success.  

They focus on continuous improvement. They keep doing reality checks to clarify what is working, what they can do better and how. They then implement these ideas to keep improving.

Such workers may also aim to act as positive models for other people. The way they behave can set the tone. It can also encourage other people – especially when times get tough.

Imagine that you are delivering high professional standards when doing a piece of work. It can then be time to explore the next theme.

Problem Solving

Great workers find solutions to challenges. Some even use setbacks as a springboard to success. You will do this in your own way, but it can be useful to ask some of the following questions.

Looking ahead, what may be some of the difficulties I may face on the journey? What can I do to prevent some of these difficulties happening? How can I manage these difficulties if, despite my best efforts, they do happen?

What can I do to stay calm during a crisis? How can I buy time to think and explore the options for going forwards? How can I find creative solutions to challenges? How can then pursue my chosen option and do my best to achieve success?

Imagine that you are delivering consistently high standards. Sometimes this can be enough to reach the goal. But there may be times when you want to move on to the following theme.  

Peak Performance

Great workers do their best to deliver the goods and achieve peak performance. Some go further and aim to pass on knowledge to other people. Sometimes this can lead to a sense of peace. Let’s explore these themes.

Peak Performance

Great workers often rise to the occasion and, when appropriate, deliver peak performances. They may do this when playing a sport, performing a song, conducting an operation, tackling a challenge or doing another activity.

They use their radar to gather information, see patterns and predict what may happen. Reaching into their repertoire of skills, they then apply their knowledge to deliver the desired results.

Such workers seem to go into another dimension. They seem to act slowly but swiftly. They then do something special to deliver peak performances and achieve the picture of success.

Imagine you are following this approach in your own way. Sometimes it can be useful to explore the following themes.

How can I be a good finisher? Looking back, what is my successful pattern for finishing? How can I follow those principles in this situation? How can I flow, focus and finish?

How can I keep doing the basics and, when appropriate, add the brilliance? How can I add that touch of class? How can I do my best to achieve peak performance?

Imagine that you have completed the piece of work. You may simply want to rest, reflect and re-energise yourself. At some point you may also wish to consider the following theme.

Passing On Knowledge

Great workers sometimes want to go beyond doing fine work. They want to share what they have learned with other people. How can you do this in your own way? It can be useful to start by focusing on the What, Why, Who, How and When.

The What

What is the knowledge you want to pass on? This may depend on the project or other activity you have been pursuing.

You may have learned lessons from gardening, counselling, building houses, managing crises, coding, leading teams, solving particular problems or whatever.

The Why

Why would you like to pass on this knowledge? What would be the benefits for people? What are the practical tools they could take away and use in their daily lives and work? How could these things help them to succeed?

The Who

Who would you like to reach with the knowledge? Would they be young people, those with learning difficulties, budding entrepreneurs, athletes, leaders, scientists, social entrepreneurs, therapists or other people?

What would be the characteristics of these people? Would they be motivated and wanting to learn? What other qualities would you like to see in your ideal students?

The How

How would you like to share your knowledge with people? Different people prefer different methods for sharing know how. They may prefer, for example:

To act a positive model and show what good looks like on a daily basis by, for example, running a business;

To act as a mentor, coach, trusted advisor or to run teaching sessions, seminars, workshops or other forms of education;

To write articles, create websites, write blogs, produce learning materials, make videos, make television programmes or whatever.

The When

When do you want to share the ideas with people? What would be your preferred setting? Would you like to run a seminar, produce a blog, run a coaching session or whatever?


Great workers love to do their best. This can lead to them enjoying a sense of peace. This can take different forms.

A person who is adrenaline-driven may enjoy stretching themselves and reaching a specific goal. This may be followed by a rush of satisfaction and feeling high.

Such a person may then enjoy a sense of peace but this may only last for a short while. They will then move on to planning the next mountain they want to climb.

Another person may pause and feel content in a positive way. They may take time to reflect, recentre and re-energise themselves. They may then begin to explore the next thing they want to do to make a positive contribution.  

There are many models for doing superb work. This piece has explored how a person can translate their passion into a clear purpose, follow their principles and do their best to achieve peak performance.

Let’s return to your own life and work. Can you think of a specific activity where you may like to follow elements of this approach? How can you do this in your own way?

You may want to follow some of these steps in your own work. Alternatively, you may want to help another person to achieve peak performance.

Here is a summary of the themes we have explored. It is an approach that can be followed by individuals but it can also be adapted to helping teams and organisations to do superb work. You will, of course, follow this approach in your own way.

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