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High Performers Often Make This One Big Mistake

Source | | Dede Henley

High performers are often like stars – they shine bright, but they can also burn out. What is the one sure way to derail your own high performance? By paying more attention to getting stuff done than to building relationships.

I have to admit, at the start of my career, I didn’t get this. I wanted to prove myself by getting massive amounts of work done. I was tireless. I came into the office early and stayed late, often eating lunch at my desk. I didn’t really talk to other people — that would have been a distraction and, worse, a waste of time. Plus, I didn’t like office politics or gossip. So I was “heads-down”.

The challenge was that no one really liked working with me. I was always trying to prove myself and not really engaged as a team member. As Rebecca Zucker writes in an HBR article, Why Highly Efficient Leaders Fail, “Highly efficient leaders often lose their focus on people due to a limiting belief that more people-focused activities will slow them down and impede their ability to execute, and to ultimately be successful.”

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