"High-performer" and "overachiever" may sound like nuanced differences, but the results that come from these two mindsets can be quite different.

Overachievers operate with an intense desire to succeed and produce at a level above and beyond expectations. They drive hard with a focus on production of activity.

High performers act with a similar desire to succeed. However, their focus is largely on learning, the journey, and how they can create something better that produces superior results.

Overachieving personas 

Read through these descriptions of some familiar personalities in insurance agencies.  

The overachieving producer

  • Makes more calls
  • Holds more meetings
  • Manages more clients
  • Does more service work
  • Fields more emails
  • Needs to feel and appear busy to feel productive
  • Monitors team activities with a microscope to ensure everything is managed to their plan
  • Creates a sense of anxious activity around them

The focus here is activity, feeling good about being busy, and feeling needed by both clients and the team.

The overachieving agency leader

  • Brings more services into the organization
  • Hires more outside consultants/joins more groups to collect advice
  • Develops more internal processes and stricter structures
  • Holds more meetings with internal leaders and producers
  • Needs to feel and appear busy to feel productive
  • Creates a whirlwind of activity from the department leaders through to the staff

The focus here is being in control of the business – the more control you have over the individual components, the more control you have over the results. Right?

High-performing personas

Next, read through similar descriptions of folks with a slightly different mindset.  

The high-performing producer

  • Focuses on developing prospect/client relationships to deliver the proper value to the right clients
  • Cultivates relationships with centers of influence and focuses on giving as much or more than receiving
  • Studies their craft, is constantly learning and adding to their repertoire, takes the time to discuss these new topics with peers and clients, and readily shares the information
  • Doesn't need to be "busy" to feel productive
  • People working for/with them will run through walls to get things done, not because they're asked to but because they want to.

The focus here is to build a book of business with the right kinds of clients who value the insight and services the producer and agency can bring to them.

The high-performing leader

  • Conducts annual agency planning
  • Communicates the company vision repeatedly to the entire team
  • Takes coaching and uses the advice
  • Creates a safe environment for performance coaching and career development throughout the organization
  • Works for a larger purpose than earning a profit
  • Spends considerable time reading, thinking, discussing, gathering, and assimilating ideas
  • Doesn't need to be "busy" to feel productive
  • The team, from department leaders to the staff, will run through walls to get things done and move the business forward, not because they have to as a part of their job, but because they believe in the organization's vision.

The focus here is to create a company built on a strong vision that attracts the right employees to help serve their community.

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Confidence required

An underlying theme separating the overachievers from the high performers is confidence.

While our overachievers can be considered workaholics and strive for perfection, they may be motivated by fear, and it's not unusual for them to feel a lack of satisfaction in their work. This mindset can nag at confidence. 

High performers also focus on the goal but care deeply about how much they learned, improved, and performed along the way to the destination. This mindset can help build up confidence. 

A high degree of nuance, patience, and precision is required to perform at a high-achieving level, which is impossible without self-confidence. Lacking the confidence to exercise patience and wait for precision to take shape causes people to push and rush things through to the end. The need to feel a "hit" of accomplishment overrides the patience required to slow down and do it well.

Rushing things through may accomplish something, but it's often not the right things needed for substantial movement and growth. Slowing down and making time to think through things properly and letting them simmer for a while requires the foresight and belief that you will be able to achieve it, and achieve it better, if you wait and gather information to make the best decision.

Letting go of frenetic activity and constant movement can be hard when achievement has been the total focus. But shifting that intense energy into high performance is possible. 

Overachievers already recognize the power of hard work and clearly aren't afraid of it. The challenging part is repurposing the energy and recognizing that what they've already achieved deserves some serious self-confidence. They've accomplished things most people don't have the discipline to do and should own that well-deserved self-confidence, and use it to drive new results in the agency.

When you can recognize the confidence and embrace a new deep belief in your abilities, you can develop the patience to allow things to simmer before taking action – the right action for the right reason. 


Content provided by Q4intelligence

Photo by bowie15