Are You Performing Up to Par? Here’s a Balanced Approach to Performance

by Sep 30, 2022News0 comments

Lately, I’ve been thinking about the different types of performance.

As I work with individual clients, and in our group coaching formats, I have learned many spread themselves far too thin, diluting their performance personally, professionally, and organizationally. It does not have to be this way.

Are You Performing Up to Par?

Most people do not break their performance into specific areas to maximize their efforts. Many also do not know where to begin in order to improve their performance. I hope this can help!

A Balanced Approach to Performance!

The word performance evokes various thoughts and ideas. To adequately focus on personal, professional, and organizational performance you must first master a balanced approach, and to achieve balance, we also need to think about 3 additional types of performance: strategical, tactical, and innovative.

Reflect now on these words and what thoughts come to mind.




  1. an act of staging or presenting a play, concert, or other forms of entertainment.

“Don Giovanni had its first performance in 1787”

Similar: show,production,showing,presentation, entertainment,staging,act,concert,recital,house,gig

  1. the action or process of carrying out or accomplishing an action, task, or function.

The second definition above fits best into our conversation, but when you think about it, performance is an act of presenting. Presenting requires a simultaneous implementation of many skillsets to be successful. This presentation requires balance and intuitive behavior. Emotional, intellectual, self, and organizational awareness are required. Culture and personal values come into play. In the end, goals, systems, and key “Performance” Indicators are required to achieve personal, professional, and organizational desired results. Let us then break the performance down.

Strategic Performance

Strategic Performance is required to devise the best process for desired results. To identify the plan, one must elevate from the weeds and see the big picture. Yes, you do know this, but do you take this action regularly and with discipline? Here is the goal-setting process. Here we identify what will be required and in what order, to achieve our desired outcomes. Personally, professionally, and organizationally. I appreciate and most often implement Ready-Fire-Aim! But not without a thoughtful process.

The idea here is to get the ball rolling right? We all know to execute this way without a good ‘rest of the deck’ is futile. Your strategic approach to performance is more valuable than working too hard with crazy hours, it is working smart and with purpose. Understanding your purpose, why, and mission is key to success. Without extreme clarity here, implementation will often stray and waste valued time and resources. The strategy is important but, not everything. One can have the best strategy, but without passionate tactical implementation and the ability to innovate, means nothing.

Tactical Performance

Tactical Performance is where the rubber meets the road here. Once we have developed the best strategy, it is time to implement it. Here is our opportunity to get things done and move the ball. I believe systems do the heavy lifting with task management, and we handle the variables as they arise–another example of the 80/20 Rule. Systems carry 80% of the load and we adjust to the 20% as needed to achieve our goals. You know this too, but how often do you try to do it all?

Your tactical performance is managed with Success dashboards and KPI’s. The SOP Manual and checklists must be up to date. Are they yet?

Here is a great examples of SOPs and checklists to prove my point:

We all fly on planes and trust our very lives with the Captain and Co-pilot we do not know right? As I fly, I am often comforted observing the Captain and Co-pilot running their checklists. Even more so when I see the captain checking gear outside the plane with his clipboard. How many times has he done this? Countless times I would imagine. BUT the point here is the Captain could tactically miss a critical checklist item and failure would be catastrophic. Agree? We all would agree. The system does the heavy lifting here driving success tactically.

Performance is guaranteed by strategically developed the correct process, following that process, and physically checking all boxes.

Here is the catch, you must do the work here to earn the desired results. Simply checking the boxes means nothing. Developing a sound strategy and not implement it is futile. To go through the motions means nothing either. To work hard without a good strategy is foolish. Therefore, sound tactical performance is required for success. YES, but there is more.

Innovative Performance

Innovative Performance is critical for sustainability. I have outlined the value of strategy and tactics here with performance, but there can be a trap. To implement with rigidity can be that trap. But you ask, “Then why bother with all this planning? Why not just go do something?”

The strategic planning provides the thoughtful information necessary for this vital next piece to the best performance. Innovation and creativity are key to maintain momentum. This thoughtful thinking process is where your internal-confidence, gut feelings, and decision-making come from. In this process, you think through many scenarios and prepare yourself personally, professionally, and organizationally for unexpected and unintended situations.

Without this process, you cannot implement this next critical performance skill. Innovation, creativity, and the Art of the Pivot. Not the panic pivot, throw it at the wall and see what sticks pivot either. No, I mean the quality, high performance-based, thoughtful implementation of innovation and creativity when necessary, and with discipline.

The Strategic, Tactical and Innovative Performance Balance

This is the balance I am suggesting. To implement one or two of the above is not enough for best performance. If it were easy, everyone would do this. The process I describe is simple, but it is not at all easy. This balanced approach to performance few develop, instead they wonder why they seem stuck in mediocrity.

Mindset is everything in both personal and professional life. We know this. The unspoken element here to add to the equation is your self-awareness and emotional intelligence.

These two fundamental concepts are the true force multiplier to the balance equation of performance. Make no mistake, this is an equation.

Again, it reduces to systems and having the guts and discipline to follow the system you devised. Most will not and do not implement this idea. They wonder why they are not achieving the results they desire. Often these individuals blame the economy, their customers, or worse yet their teams. Any way you look at it the game of performance is all about appropriate balance. Know when is when, what to do, and how to do it. This requires life-long learning and I believe coaching as well.

The idea of valuable third-party, unemotionally attached, got your back accountability can be the magic of this system. Coaching for your best performance: personally, professionally, and organizationally. For most, including myself, coaching has been and continues to add to my personal performance elevation.