Miramar MXO – October 2020: Stress as a Performance Advantage, Excerpt 1

The focus of the most recent of our MXO Leadership forums centred around leadership wellness and the impact of stress on personal performance.

These sessions were led by Track Record, who offered an alternative perspective on stress and resilience, grounded in science and data, and evidenced from the world of Olympic sport and business.

We looked at the point in which stress can cause a negative impact on an individual (the tipping point) whilst understanding and recognizing that it should be a trigger for action, not suffering.

David Carry from Track Record (former Olympian and Commonwealth Gold medallist) took us through the relationship between rising performance and increasing pressure, discussing the identification of being in a positive ‘challenge’ state or slipping into a more negative ‘threat’ environment.

The group spent time discussing the state that they felt their employees were currently experiencing and what internal drivers could be impacting them. Key was to identify the warning signs (within yourself or your team members) that are associated with being in a negative (and often destructive) threat state. ‘Action, not agitation’ was a phrase that rung true with many.

A great deal of this discussion looked at how to pinpoint your tipping point, whilst understanding that there is a level of healthy pressure which can help individuals reach their optimum performance.

Following on from this analysis was the next step: How can you change your perception of stress to create a performance advantage? What practical tools can you implement to influence your state?

“Resilience is the capacity to prepare for, recover from and adapt in the face of stress, challenge or adversity.” Therefore, the ability to recharge yourself and to manage your ‘drains and gains’ effectively is vital.

We talked through the significance of building long term habits alongside real time bespoke responses, in order to manage stress. Everyone has the ability to train higher resilience, it’s about understanding the triggers that drive you over the tipping point and the choices that you have to bring you back.

Finally, Track Record took us through the four domains that impact resilience capacity: physical, mental, identity and emotional. Looking for aspiration values and not only identifying the importance of recharging yourself, but of self-improvement to upgrade your long-term performance capacity.

“Which domain do you currently need to target (and therefore improve) to give you a performance advantage?”

A huge amount was covered in the time that we had together with key takeaways including: Drive yourself in concentrated sprints of 1-2 hours, not days. We can control how we perceive stress to our advantage. Communicate your emotional state to others & encourage them to for the same. Know how to recharge your battery and take the time to do so.

A huge thank you to David Carry and Katherine Ready from Track Record for chairing an extremely interesting and thought-provoking session.


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