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What High Performance Really Looks Like

High performance is consistently performing at your best over the long term. It’s a vital mindset and toolbox to go to during high-pressure moments. At Knopman Marks, we incorporate High-Performance Training into exam prep so our students can show up at their best on exam day, and throughout their careers and lives. 

Do you ever wonder how successful professionals make it all happen?

We decided to pull back the curtain and ask high performers to give us a peek into what it really takes to rise to the top of their fields. In our new series, What High Performance Really Looks Like, Knopman Marks CEO Liza Streiff invited three guests to share high-performance habits and strategies.

Here are five top tips from Nogie Udevbulu, managing director at BlackRock; Jean Sonia Lee, Senior Product Manager, Core Engineering at Google; and Christina Cubeta, Consumer Division Head & Chief Merchandising Officer at FTD.

  1. High Performers Leave Room for the Unexpected

We make plans to achieve our goals and do the necessary research but how often do we leave room for serendipity? When launching a new project, remember the importance of that unplanned discovery that has been a key part of invention throughout history. Next-level breakthroughs often arise when we let go of plans and assumptions. “Allow yourself to stumble onto ideas that you weren’t even looking for,” says Lee at Google

  1. High Performers Can Navigate Anxiety

Sometimes we need to make a major decision or act despite feeling anxious. In these times, Cubeta at FTD remembers to trust herself. She may feel the impulse to call trusted advisers and colleagues to hear their advice. In the end, however, she leans into her ability to figure it out herself. She trusts that she knows what works for her and what is right for her. “You do you,” she says.

  1. High Performers Say What They Want Out Loud

An important part of driving high performance is having a vision for the future. This vision can be imperfectly formed but it involves recognizing something you want. Often, it’s a deep knowing. Streiff at Knopman Marks believes it takes courage not only to have a vision but to say it out loud. “When we say it out loud, we own it,” Streiff says.

  1. High Performers Are Not Afraid to Be Authentic

Udevbulu at BlackRock makes sure that fear does not prevent her from stepping into her next level of impact. For her, this includes being authentic at work. She believes in the power of diverse viewpoints and the importance of recognizing that everyone’s viewpoint on the team matters. “Your viewpoint matters, and you matter,” she says.

  1. High Performers Know That Happiness Matters

Though high performance may come at a price, that price is not happiness, according to Cubeta at FTD. When she talks about performing at the top of her game, she makes a point of including the role of happiness and feeling good. “If you break all the records but you’re miserable and stressed out, is that truly high performance?” she asks

Want to learn more about what it takes to be a high performer? Follow our series on TikTok and Instagram.

Suzanne Riss is an author and Director of Communications at Knopman Marks Financial Training. Previously the award-winning Editor-in-Chief of Working Mother magazine, she is a fierce advocate for issues facing working moms and an authority on work/life trends. Her expertise has been tapped in interviews by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Good Morning America, the Today Show, and CNN. Suzanne's third book, Work Disrupted, published by Wiley, was released in January 2021.