Gearing Down for Greatness


By Diane Taylor

What leader doesn’t want to perform at their best?

How do we measure performance?  Is it when we get a great performance appraisal, a raise, a promotion, or when our boss says, “You did a great job?” The workplace provides several opportunities for us to feel like we are performing.  As a result, we put the pedal to the metal and do whatever we can to get the best results.

We speed around the race track. We work late, travel often, and think about strategies and conversations about the work day when we are at home or out with friends. And of course, we check our phone every 5-10 minutes in the event our boss sends an email, because responding outside office hours will show our true commitment to being a high performer.

The issue is… life is not a race. At the end of the road, when our time comes, there will be little mention of how we proved ourselves as high performers by racing around the track in the workplace. The truth is our “performance” is not measured by how late or hard we work, but rather by what we accomplish and the lives we touch and the relationships we are blessed to be a part of.

There is no annual performance appraisal for being a father or a husband, a friend or a daughter; however, these roles are far more important than any role of vice president or department manager.

Life then, is not a race track, but rather a winding road through a beautiful countryside. Sometimes the road is twisted and other times it is steep. Certain days it rains and others the sun shines down perfectly to warm your skin.

Great leaders perform in all areas of life, not just in the workplace. It is not always easy to balance the many relationships in our lives but by being aware of how this can lead to “true happiness”—perhaps an even greater measure than “performance,” it makes it all worthwhile.

Think about how you can change your life from racing around the track with no pit stops to a satisfying journey along a winding road. What stops along the way are important to make your life meaningful? What will you do to ensure your tank is full so you can get the most out of the journey?

Diane Taylor is an inspirational speaker, facilitator, coach and blogger. An expert in developing exceptional, authentic and engaged leaders, she is passionate about helping people create balance and meaning in their lives. A recognized leader in her field of human resources, Diane is also a dance and hockey mom who lives in South Surrey, BC.

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