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Mind the performance gap

Building a high performing business is about bridging the gap between leadership capability & success. Yet there is one component that most business leaders forget, and I will share that with you soon.


First off, I am excited to share the 2018 Business Leaders Report results with you. Mindshop surveyed hundreds of business leaders and advisers from around the world to get their insights on what leadership capabilities a leader needs to focus on in 2018 and beyond to get the success in their business they seek.

The 10 capabilities are:

  1. Personal Focus – having a very clear personal focus on what you do as a leader
  2. Talent Management – your ability to manage talent effectively, attract and retain the right people
  3. Short-Term Strategy – rapid identification and timely response to issues and capitalises on opportunities fast
  4. Long-Term Strategy – skill to effectively know your industry, competitors and emerging trends and how that correlates to your business ‘Why’
  5. Empowering Leadership – drive change by challenging and supporting staff and empowering team members to be change ready
  6. Effective Communication – good listening, powerful questioning and facilitating team contribution to business improvements
  7. Time Management – prioritise high value activity and use systems, processes and effective delegation, therefore making time.
  8. Problem Solving – use decision making tools to fix problems in a timely manner
  9. Implementation & Coaching – polished coaching skills to empower and support your team
  10. Technology Early Adoption – look to technology to effectively improve efficiencies and value add to team and customer success


These capabilities don’t significantly change year on year. They are like ‘tickets to the game’ or the foundations you need in place to get the success that you’re looking for. However, these capabilities don’t automatically translate to success. These capabilities are the start of the journey to success.


Why capability alone doesn’t translate into success

You see, some leaders go off and invest a lot of time, money and effort in building new capabilities and then sit around wondering why they are not getting different results with their team or business. You may display a high level of capability in the ten areas outlined above and still not be achieving the success you desire. This is the gap and the reason for the title of this blog . . . ‘Mind The Performance Gap’


The research goes on to shows that there is a significant part of the equation to building a high performing business that is focused on execution or performance. Without specific performance habits your success is limited. The equation looks like this:


Success = Capability + Performance Habits

There are 10 Performance Habits needed to bridge the gap to success. They are;

1.         Strategic Mental Models

2.         Efficient Tenacity

3.         Empowers Great Teams

4.         Intuitive Decision Maker

5.         Change Ready

6.         Self-Aware & Authentic

7.         Leverage Technology

8.         Life-long Learning Mindset

9.         Simplify Complexity

10.     Adaptable & Agile



The combination of the 10 capabilities and 10 performance habits is quite powerful and the survey results show that those achieving success are characterised by performance habits applied consistently, layered on top of a strong foundation of evolving capability.


Now the list of habits & capabilities is long. So where do you focus first?


We have a simple questionnaire & matrix to help you along that journey. Simply download the report and go to pages 14-15 to identify where your performance gap is and where you sit on the ‘Success Matrix’


The Success Matrix


In the success matrix, you’ll see there are 4 quadrants and each quadrant are titled for the following reasons:


Stagnation: low capability and low performance leads to stagnation and ‘groundhog years’. Often leading to people giving up and going back to old habits and processes


Frustration: investing heavily in building capability without seeing results leads to increasing frustrations and confusion because high performance habits are needed to translate capability into success.


Rising Star: existing high performance habits lay strong foundation for success, but without a continuous investment in building the right capabilities, opportunities are often lost, time wasted and confidence diminished.


Success: high capability combined with high performance habits significantly boosts the probability of success, a continuous investment in evolving habits and capabilities, aligned with customer and market demands avoids sliding back to stagnation.


Where do you sit on the matrix? Where are your gaps?

Now is the time to start working to bridge your top three gaps. When you do, you’ll certainly go a long way to improving your probability of success this year and into the future.

Remember investing time and money in generating capability alone is no guarantee of success. Capability will provide a solid foundation, yet an additional layering of performance habits is essential to your success.


Sean Martyn