Carrie Fisher was a much-loved actor.
Her sudden death, at the age of 60, robbed us of someone who had a wide-range of other talents beyond acting:
- as an ambassador for mental health;
- as a script-doctor in Hollywood; and
- as a writer of books.
But it’s for her performance as Princess Leia in Star Wars – aged only 19 – that she will be best remembered.
She also said this:
Stay afraid, but do it anyway. What’s important is the action. You don’t have to wait to be confident. Just do it and eventually the confidence will follow.
Advice about how to perform at your best – a necessary ingredient being bravery. Performance is important in the workplace and, in this article, we’ll look at one particular factor that can affect your level of functioning at work.
Edition 646 of the HBR Ideacast (podcast) featured American writer, Marc Effron. It focused on his book 8 Steps to High Performance: Focus on what you can change (Ignore the rest) – in particular, on how sleep affects your performance at work.
According to Effron’s definition, a high performer is someone who performs – in terms of behaviours and results compared to their peers – at or above the 75th percentile, year-in, year-out. In other words, you achieve performance at a level which means you are “better” than 3 out of 4 of your peers, over time.
Performance is always relative. The example of two workers faced by a marauding tiger springs to mind.
One worker is seen changing into running shoes and the other says: “But you’ll never outrun a tiger”. The reply: “Maybe not, but I only need to outrun you!”
One of the factors Effron considers is the science behind sleep and high performance.
There is plenty of research on the effects of exercise and nutrition on performance at work but none of it conclusive.
On the other hand, sleep – or lack of it – clearly affects performance. You have to look at it in terms of both quality and quantity of sleep.Continue Reading