07 Jun The Disciplines of Excellence
A study of 21,000 highlights the keys to success
Amidst the exuberance of opinion, ask a good question and then see what the data says before drawing conclusions. Blessed with an abundance of data from our Resilience Diagnostic we asked: what is the difference between the top ten percent and the lowest ten percent?
This proved to be a fruitful question.
There is a jaw-dropping difference in what matters to the top decile as compared to the bottom decile. It was not exactly what we expected. Well, if you want to understand what is good for you, the answers are clearly visible in the results.
In brief, we took 21,200 assessments and grouped people by resilience ratio. This is the overall score from 60 resilience factors ranked on the Resilience Diagnostic. Our logic is that the resilience ratio captures the multiple different pathways or styles that lead to flourishing (optimal resilience).
Then we looked for the key asset factors that distinguish those top performers from those struggling. In other words:
What are the key disciplines of excellence?
In the table below you can quickly identify what really matters. The columns show the percentage of scores in the very often and nearly always category for the top, middle and bottom decile (10%) from the resilience ratio.
Pretty clear, isn’t it?
The high scores for top performers underpins that these are practices they simply don’t negotiate. Excellence is based on consistent execution of these key factors.
They cluster; first cognitive – focus, optimism, presence, decisiveness. Second, spirit – purpose, fulfilment, values alignment and third, maintenance – vitality, bounce, sleep and perhaps assertiveness.
Interestingly, fitness and nutrition did not make it.
What excellence avoids
Then we look at the risk (or liability) factors that vary most widely between the three deciles. It is clear what the highest performers take great care to avoid. These disciplines of excellence define what to counter in your life.
The first cluster is energy mastery – counter fatigue, overload, apathy and sloth. The second is equanimity – counter worry, self criticism, chronic symptoms, self doubt and hypervigilance. We believe the ability to down-regulate intensity has become a critical discipline.
Again, top performers simply do not indulge in the topics of complaint. One consideration I am left with. Never forget to be humble. Don’t doubt yourself but do check the consequences of your decisions and actions.
Rather than preach, we invite you to explore the data and consider how you rank your disciplines of excellence.
Our 2018 Global Resilience Report is due shortly. In the meantime, we will put up a few key conclusions that we believe might be of interest. For those interested in the full report, please leave your details with email@example.com.