The disciplines of excellence
By Dr Sven Hansen | 18 March 2020
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 of the most resilient people 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 21,000 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 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.
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.
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 becone 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 available here.
Our 2020 Global Resilience Report is available here.
Dr Sven Hansen is the founder of The Resilience Institute. Sven began a corporate health business in 1988. He completed his MBA in 1993 and set about building an evidence-based, integral and practical solution to sustainable performance in life, sport and business.
Over 20 years Sven has worked extensively with High Performance Sport, professional firms, banks, corporates, government, entrepreneurship, universities, and schools. He leads the development of The Resilience Institute’s methodology and is an experienced executive coach, keynote speaker and leadership trainer.
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