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High Performance Culture

I have posted on LinkedIn before about how much I love The High Performance Podcast. I have listened to a few more episodes this week (featuring Tyrone Mings and Steph Houghton) and I find that after every episode I am constantly reflecting on matters covered in the episode. This week I revisited my thoughts on one of their key concepts which is asking people what their non-negotiables are for a high performance life.

I have thought about mine on many an occasion since I started listening to this podcast and I end up struggling to get it down to the three that they ask for. However, I have finally settled on my three and thought I would share them. These are my personal values but they feed directly in to how I work in my role as Director of Thrive Safe.


I heard someone say a long time ago - think how would you want people to describe you if you aren't in the room and live life in that way. The word "kind" would always be the most important to me.

I don't think I can excel in any area of my life if I am not acting true to myself with kindness at my core. If nothing else, this one is essential.

Often people mistake kindness for weakness but I generally think that if someone takes advantage of your kindness, it says more about how they are feeling or the place they are in than it does about who you are.

Kindness for me comes in many forms but most notably: compassion, honesty, loyalty, giving time and support.


Being accountable covers a lot of key components that I feel fit under this term: honesty, integrity, resilience and a growth mindset.

Accountability to actions and behaviour.

Accountability to the energy I project to other people.

Accountability to the hard work that goes into my business.

Accountability for any way I act that impacts someone else - regardless of my intention.

Accountability for the way I learn and grow as a person - not sitting in excuses or limitations.

On the podcast they speak often about fault and responsibility when considering being faced with inevitable adversity - it's not your fault what happens to you but you are responsible for how you respond. I like this concept because I think being accountable in this way also means owning the parts of us that we know we need to work on, accepting this and moving forward in a way that doesn't ignore or deny these parts of us.

A point that I will bring forward here is that you do need to have the space or safety to be able to explore this. This comes with an understanding that trauma and intense wellbeing needs - whether physical or mental - can have such a detrimental impact that the responsibility does not need to be managed alone. We also need to be aware that people move through their recovery at different paces. Some are also afforded more access to things like counselling, therapy or support depending on their circumstances. However, I find it a useful concept around understanding that whilst we cannot change the past, we can work with the controllable elements of our lives and with the right support we can move forward so that our past doesn't have to define our future.


Enjoying the moment.

Enjoying the process. Focusing on the task in hand.

Being grateful, always. Committing to being my best self with what I have available in that moment and just being present. Not being negatively focused on the past or future -which is actually quite a lot of energy for someone who has had some intense periods of anxiety....!

I am in no way saying I have mastered this art yet but it is an element that I work on every day.

Ben Bergeron has a podcast where he talks about 'chasing excellence' and the idea of being a 'curious competitor'. This mindset approach is well worth looking into and definitely shaped a lot of how I approach my day. The key takeaway I have from it is around focusing on giving your best with what you have available in that moment.

A great podcast about the value of being present is also the Jonny Wilkinson episode of the High Performance Podcast.

I also highly recommend reading 'Atomic Habits' by James Clear for anyone who does want to make positive changes in their life but is maybe feeling a a little overwhelmed to do so. It's simple to follow, obscenely informative and helps to work with marginal gains - 1% improvements that are sustainable, achievable and useful.

I'd love to hear what values are important to you and what you feel makes a high performance culture wherever you are.

Take care

Emma Swan

Director, Thrive Safe

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