Safe leaders keep their heads down when under pressure, says Graham Jones, performance development consultant, but real leaders thrive use pressure as an opportunity to make a difference. Speaking at the Princeton Regional Chamber on September 15, the co-founder of Lane4 suggested that fear of failure doesn’t keep you at the top. Desire does.
Adrian Moorhouse, the CEO of Lane4, fought his way to Olympic gold by swimming in – yes – Lane 4. To win under pressure, says Jones in his new book “Thrive under Pressure,” you need belief, motivation, and focus.
Belief: Jim Landry didn’t believe he could break the four-minute mile until Roger Bannister almost did it.
Focus: Tiger Woods, says Jones, falls apart when he doesn’t lead in the final round. “Watch his body language. He can beat his opponents into the ground but tries too hard if he’s behind.” In contrast, Darren Clark, a Lane4 client, managed to compartmentalize and was able to ace his Ryder Cup matches just six weeks after his wife died.
Motivation: Provide meaning, says Jones, telling of the NASA janitor who was pushing a broom, but when asked what he was doing, said “I’m putting people on the moon.”
“You are the source of your employees’ pressure,” says Jones. “Too often there are so many challenges that there is no time for support. Help others thrive.”
In photo: Graham Jones with Michelle Everman of Mercadien.