In this article I will review the book High Performance Habits from Brendon Burchard.
In addition to the book review, I will share my personal experience with the 12-week coaching program that I went through in 2020.
High Performance Habits – Book Structure
Brendon Burchard starts the book with a definition of high performance, and the facts and figures that he knows about high performers based upon his long-term research.
“High Performance refers to succeeding beyond standard norms, consistently over the long term.”
From there the six High Performance Habits (HP6) clarity, energy, necessity, productivity, influence and courage, reflect what high performance actually do continually -from goal to goal, from project to project, from team to team or from ….-. Repeat that for a moment: the HP6 reflect what High Performers DO consistently driven by day-to-day action.
Brendon Burchard has structured the book in three major sections.
Section 01: Personal Habits
- Habit 1: Seek Clarity
- Habit 2: Generate energy
- Habit 3: Raise Necessity
Section 02: Social Habits
- Habit 4: Increase Productivity
- Habit 5: Develop Influence
- Habit 6: Demonstrate Courage
Section 01 and 02 cover the HP6, divided over personal habits and social habits. The differentiation is the result of research of personal efforts and social behaviors with the underlying habits that were the most impactful and needle moving when it comes to performance (outcomes).
Section 03 is focused on the long-term effect of high performance. So how can you sustain levels of high performance over long period of time. In the Audible book: The 6 Habits of Growth Brendon Burchard uses that example of an Formula 1 sportscar, that takes pitstops to adapt to the (weather)conditions and optimize performance.
|02||-||Beyond Natural - The Quest for High Performance||29|
|03||Section I: Personal Habits||Habit 1: Seek Clarity||53|
|04||Section I: Personal Habits||Habit 2: Generate energy||91|
|05||Section I: Personal Habits||Habit 3: Raise Necessity||127|
|06||Section II: Social Habits||Habit 4: Increase Productivity||173|
|07||Section II: Social Habits||Habit 5: Develop Influence||215|
|08||Section II: Social Habits||Habit 6: Demonstrate Courage||255|
|09||Section III: Sustaining Success||Beware Three Traps||291|
|10||Section III: Sustaining Success||The #1 Thing||325|
|11||Section III: Sustaining Success||Summary Guide||343|
|12||-||Continuing Education Resources||348|
|13||-||About the Author||349|
Personal High Performance Habits
Habit 1: Seek Clarity
This chapter reminds me of a specific page in the The Disruption Mindset book of Charlene Li, p.16 that states a quote from Wayne Gretzky: “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been“.
- Envision the future four
- Determine the feeling you’re after
- Define what’s meaningful
Seeking Clarity is about the future around the topics self, social, skills and service. Of course all are related, but the key point is that you are taking conscious steps and becoming clearer in what you want, develop te social interactions and skills around that, and be congruent in aligning the outcome feeling you will get from it. Define what is meaning full, and relate your actions and next steps in a consistent way to that meaningful outcome.
“Gratitude is the golden frame through which we see the meaning of life.”
Download a clarity chart template over here.
Habit 2: Generate energy
The key point is a famous quote from Brendon Burchard that has been used a lot by my own coach as well: “A power plant doesn’t have energy, it generates energy.” If you look at yourself in that way this chapter is all about your health and ability to generate energy and keep these consistently high over a longer period of time, without getting burned out.
- Release tension, set intention
- Bring the joy
- Optimize health
Part of this chapter is devoted to spiritual health, and the meditation practices that Brendon Burchard uses himself. Please have a look at the release meditation technique instruction video ! In addition it is about positive emotions and creating new mental- or physical triggers to get into a positive mindset.
Brendon Burchard uses a lot of quotes, practical examples, practical assignments together with so called performance prompts:. I recognize these type of questions from the High Performance Coaching program as well.
Habit 3: Raise Necessity
Those who have kids or friends in need, know and feel exactly what the phrase “Know who needs your A-game” entitles. Who are the people you are counting on you and where you need to be your best self in delivering your service to them.
- Know who needs your A-game
- Affirm the why
- Level up your squad
Affirming the why for me really relates with the famous golden circle of Simon Sinek, and why is the main driver of meaning in life.
“Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life,” – Amy Phoeler.
This is one of the best gifts life gave me when joining the Value Engineering team at BMC software. It are all people that inspire and stretch me one way or another, despite the fact that all 12 of us are completely different. There is a great article on Medium on necessity How to Start and Achieve a New Dream written by Brendon himself.
Social High Performance Habits
Habit 4: Increase Productivity
“Nothing is less productive than to make more efficient what should not be done at all.” – Peter Drucker.
Don’t forget to have a look at Peter F. Drucker ‘s Harvard Business Review article Managing Oneself.
- Increase the outputs that matter
- Chart your five moves
- Get insanely good at key skills
Increase outputs that matter is about doing high value work and high value activities. If you are able to prioritize these, while improving the quality and frequency your are of in crafting your own path. This is an area where I want to focus on in 2023, both in work and personal life. Building on top of my strengths and increasing the outputs that matter (to me and those around me). Please check out the Gallup Strengthsfinder 2.0 and Gallup Team StrengthsGrid articles to find more on strengths-based development.
The fun part, this chapter is not just about efficiency, but more about deliberate planning and building experience like you were running a project.
“Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.” – Pablo Picasso
In addition the High Performance Planner or GrowthDay App are good tools that might help to level up productivity increase.
Habit 5: Develop Influence
Influencing is partly coaching, teaching, consulting and contributing to outcomes and performance of others. While this -to me at least- is a very meaningful part of life
- Teach people how to think
- Challenge people to grow
- Role model the way
Role modelling is a super interesting concept. I have a 6 year old daughter, and both of my parents are also still alive and fit (both physically and mentally). When you look at patterns and behaviors both ways, it is interesting to see the effect of me role-modelling behavior and values in my daughter. Doing things together and allowing her to copy behavior, context and why you do certain things as you do.
Of course showing what good looks like is also applicable in a professional context. Influence is not equal to management or even power.
Habit 6: Demonstrate Courage
“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not the absence of fear.” – Mark Twain
The main take away is that one defines what more courageous means to you and simply act and live that way. To me it also relates to David Goggins and how he gained his unshakable mind, and pushing the limits of body, mind and “dealing with fear”.
- Honor the struggle
- Share your truth and ambitions
- Find someone to fight for
Struggling, means that you are gaining experiences, learning new things and your are failing fast. So for me that is a key indicator for growth. If you speak up and share your ambitions, that might feel scary, but it allows people to think, contribute and support you along the way.
Fighting for someone relates back to who needs your A-game. At least to me.
Certified High Performance Habits Coaching
Mike Ang is a former direct colleague from Microsoft, who now runs his own businesses as an entrepreneur. Mike Ang is a Certified High Performance Habits coach, where the universe wanted our paths to cross again in Snowworld, Landgraaf. I was in a difficult moment of my life back in 2020 and given the personal circumstances I was relatively low on energy.
From an initial coffee and beer catch-up a High-Performance Coaching strategy session was planned, which set the foundational starting point for the core program of Certified High Performance Habits Coaching. During the 3 to 4 month coaching program I was able to move the habits scores significantly up, back energized to normal levels, moving the needle and progressing and growing.
Curriculum and process CHPC
The curriculum and content for the High Performance Habits Coaching – Core program is so cleverly designed for output and results. I cannot compare to other coaching programs, but the amount of change the curriculum, structure, tools and content drive in such a short period of time is impressive.
If you combine the rock-solid success curriculum with a skilled coach like Mike Ang, you will experience long lasting impact and a drive for more. I’m planning with Mike Ang to “go to the next level” and collaborate on the Charge coaching program that builds upon the foundations of the High Performance Habits core sessions.
During the one of the first sessions you need to rate yourself on each of the habits. While progressing through the program and working on each of the habits (core and mastery sessions) you improve the score. When you improve the score in one habit, the rest will increase across the line as well.
After 3 months of certified high performance habits coaching the energy levels were increased drastically, while the needles on all habits were moved significantly. This was reflected in the exit scores as well. And while it is not about the absolute score, the relative performance increase compared to last month, or last week is what matters most. This also means you’ve build habits for consistent high performance improvement.
Concluding thoughts and wrap-up
This article consists of both a book review of Brendon Burchard ‘s High Performance Habits book, and my personal experiences with Certified High Performance Habits 1:1 coaching with a life coach. And while I’ve invested in a life coach in a difficult time, I would argue that everyone will benefit from a life coach, also in good times.
The almost scientific approach with loads of practical examples from successful business people and professional Olympic athletes make the theory around personal habits and social habits stick. Brendon has the rare ability to simplify and build theory in an easy, digestible way. In addition to the book, you can also find useful Resources & Downloads from Brendon’s website or the High Performance institiute.
The price-point of the book is roughly 20,– and is reasonable for me to have in my collection of personal development books. If you are more of a listener, than grab your Audible version of High Performance Habits as part of the membership fee. Both are no brainers and please have a look at the other books of Brendon Burchard.
In addition you might want to consider a subscription to the GrowthDay App or get yourself a High Performance Planner. So lets kickstart the new year !
Certified High Performance Habits Coaching – 1 : 1 sessions with a certified life coach
Certified High Performance Habits coaching is a different investment level than a book. However the perceived value that I was able to gain from the intense 3-4 months of 1:1 coaching is amazing, and harder to quantify. While the scores for each of the habits are good indicators of the progress, the real value is in the process underneath and the skills development to gain long term performance. However if you are interested are doing some research for a good life coach, give it a try and contact Mike directly !
In addition to understanding the scope of the High Performance Habits, the most important take away is to develop systems and structures to sustain high performance over time. Where the certified High Performance 1:1 coaching has set-out a strong foundation it is up to the individual to build, develop and grow in the next S-curve.
Please check out the page with more personal development book reviews, assessments and tools.