High Performance CEO Energy

High Performance CEO Energy

High Performance CEO Energy

High Performance CEO Energy

By Craig Johns

Is it a badge of honour in your workplace to work non-stop, be the first one in the office, the last to leave and be answering emails while on holiday?

In your industry is it cool to be pumped up on caffeine, get an average of 4-5 hours’ sleep a night, have the most billable hours, and be out socialising with clients and colleagues most nights of the week?

For most, you will know that if you keep up this frenetic pace you will at some point burnout, get sick, hate what you do and maybe even lose something as precious as your marriage. However, you keep repeating that ‘next week or ‘next month’ you will take better care of yourself, but we all know that someday is unlikely to happen anytime soon, if ever, and is more likely to happen when you reach a point that is too late to recover from losing things that are most important to you.

One day you will wake up and feel utterly miserable, exhausted and hating your life. You are highly likely do something spontaneous that is out of character and possibly you will regret. When you get to this point, it is not your mind and body that has let you down, it is the CHOICES you have made. Choices that you have had total control over.


If you are caught in this downward spiral, hopefully you get to the point where you say ‘I don’t want this anymore’, ‘I don’t want to be stuck on this emotional roller-coaster’, or ‘when my ENERGY is dipping, I can’t control it’. So, how do you expect to be taking everyone to a higher level when you are feeling at such a low point?

Companies and their staff set KPI’s around sales, profit, growth and in some cases, industry rankings. They want to achieve new standards, reach new heights, produce something that no one else has before and become successful. They desire high PERFORMANCE, but most act like complete beginners and are in fact are delivering an amateur environment every day that is destined for personal failure’s and in some cases company catastrophes, that are totally preventable.


World class Performers, musicians, artists, speakers and especially athletes do not get to be at the top of the world by living in a life of constant stress, exhausted ENERGY stores, lack of sleep, ENERGY-sapping hours and pointless activities that have a negative effect. They establish goals, set out a plan to achieve them, and develop strategies that deliver high productivity, enhanced ENERGY reserves, adequate recovery and rejuvenation, vibrant relationships, and PERFORM with positive mental, emotional and physical vibrancy.

You need high levels of ENERGY every single day if you want to deliver high levels of PERFORMANCE. It doesn’t matter what you have achieved by natural talent, pure luck or just doing more hours than anyone else, if you are constantly withdrawing from your ENERGY reserves, the quality you produce will begin to diminish overtime and you will not reach your optimum potential.


As a CEO, business owner or an important leader, you require as much ENERGY as a high performing athlete. So why do so many neglect vital aspects such as fitness, nutrition and recovery as part of their daily HABITs as they desire to be successful? Is it because it is a challenge to directly measure physical, emotional and mental PERFORMANCE in the workplace compared to say an athlete, musician, artist where PERFORMANCE is out there in a vulnerable environment for everyone to see both the delivery of and the final result?

High ENERGY levels positively correlate with assertiveness, speaking up for yourself and taking actions toward reaching their dreams. It produces higher levels of creativity, people are more likely to deliver innovation, and come up with new ideas. Educational attainment and the pursuit of higher levels of understanding also positively correlate with high ENERGY levels.

If you have more ENERGY you have greater levels of confidence, self-esteem, happiness and are more likely to tackle bigger challenges. Mental alertness and positive emotions are enhanced, and you are more inclined to eat healthier and lose weight easier. A person with higher ENERGY levels exudes confidence, positive demeanour and a positiveness that enhances the likelihood of people believing in you, buy from you, following you and supporting you.


Low ENERGY levels affect your ability to deliver high PERFORMANCEs and filters through all aspects of your life. People with low ENERGY levels tend to experience their mind feeling slow and foggy, they often feel physically exhausted, and they feel a lot of negative ENERGY and emotions. Low ENERGY correlates with low PERFORMANCE, unhappiness, lack of enthusiasm to take on challenges, lower perception of success versus their peers, lower confidence when facing adversity, less likely to eat well or exercise and have less influence over others.

Disaster strikes when people neglect their ENERGY while building their career. Focusing on developing positive ENERGY needs to be a HABIT developed at the beginning or at least the early part of your career. The last thing we need is a CEO, business owner or leader to turn into a stress monster, destroying their beautiful marriage, and causing significant financial losses because of constant low ENERGY levels.


CEO’s, business owners and leaders tend to have higher levels of ENERGY that are significantly higher than managers, entry level workers or interns. This is probably due to the stakes and challenges being much higher and every decision has a major effect on how your PERFORMANCEs are perceived. It takes about the same level of ENERGY as a professional athlete, so you must care about your ENERGY as much as one. The more ENERGY you have the more likely you are to be happy and be determined to climb to the top of your primary field of interest.

To improve your ENERGY levels, you need to develop effective daily HABITs that include exercise, healthy balanced nutrition, recovery periods during the day as well as adequate sleep at night, the ability to switch off work, and spend quality ‘on’ time with your family and friends.


It’s All About Trust Link
Have We Got The Hiring Process Totally Wrong? Link
Are You Leading A High Performing Culture? Link
Are Leaders Born? Link
It’s Your Story Link
Be A Rookie Link


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Trust Craig Johns It Is All About Trust

It Is All About Trust

An article in the New Zealand Herald (Donaldson, 2018) brought up a great discussion between ‘Command and Control’ versus ‘Self-Determination Theory’ in sport. It raised some great questions that relate to both the business world as well as the coach-athlete relationship. Has the traditional ‘hierarchical’ systems, which lead to command and control, become outdated or is there still a place for this type of leadership behaviour?

Let’s take a look at what the central currency to any community or relationship is. Trust is essential to any relationship and is, according to Mayer et al., made up of three key elements: ability; benevolence; integrity.

Ability is built on the skills, competencies and characteristics that enable a person to perform tasks in a specific domain. As a relationship is building those involved will be ascertaining whether the other party can do what they say, have a track record of performance in that particular area and is their any evidence supporting their claim to competency. It is usually situation specific as we cannot be highly skilled in everything we do.

Benevolence is based on the foundation of how much do they actually care about the relationship versus aspects such as money, power or self-fulfilment. Early in the relationship you are trying to understand each others situation, how much do you want to help each other and are the actions being taken beneficial for each other.

Integrity refers to our acceptance of a set of principles and whether they are being adhered to. Are the actions taken from and adhered to against a set of principles? We want to know whether they will guide or motivate our performance, are we accepting of each others performance principles, and do both sets of principles align or can they coexist.

I would also add a fourth dimension to trust, and that is enjoyment. Enjoyment is the number one retention factor for any type of community or relationship. It helps to love what you are doing and have fun why you are doing it. If the environment is enjoyable, then you are more likely to stay connected.

Command and control is based on an aggressive, micro-managing and dictatorial approach, which sometimes maybe referred to as ‘it is my way or the highway’ approach. It is a common approach that leaders fall into when the pressure for success in business or sport is enormous and a win-at-all-costs mentality is allowed to fester. In certain circumstances this mentality may result in bullying behaviours and a ‘culture of fear’, which are not appropriate our society.

We are seeing the command and control hierarchial approach being replaced in the work place and on the sports fields over time, but there are still many instances of this type of behaviour occurring in society. As people’s awareness, rights, confidence in ability to speak up and community acceptance that you should bring issues to the forefront, acts of bullying are being raised and stamped out. However it is still prevalent in politics, sport and the workplace.

Over the past two decades or so, we have started to see leaders evolve their approach as they understand that their are more effective ways to reach higher levels of performance and productivity. The Self-Determination Theory provides a great platform to understand how we can perform at our best and bring out the best in the people we work with.

Self-Determination Theory is built on 3 core elements; autonomy; relatedness; and competence.

Autonomy is feeling you have a choice, that what you’re doing is of your own volition. Relatedness is to care for and be cared about by others, to feel you are contributing to something greater than yourself, to have your values align with the goals of the team or programme. Competence is about skill levels but athletes also need to feel they are learning and growing, not just reaching a set level.” (Donaldson, 2018)

If we are building a high performance environment, we need to allow our people to feel valued, be able to speak, have a sense of purpose and be true to themselves. We need to provide an environment where people feel highly motivated, feel like they belong and are happy, which the components of the Self-Determination Theory provides.

To build a feeling of autonomy in our people and ensure they are highly motivated and engaged, it is important that we reduce and refrain from approaches that involve dictating, incentivizing and applying heigh levels of pressure. We need to trust the abilities of our people and work on alleviating the fear inside our heads that we won’t achieve the desired results.

One of the most powerful skills a leader can possess is listening. To bring out the best in people, they need to have a voice and be involved in a collaborative way. That doesn’t mean as leaders that we can’t make the tough decisions, it eludes to ensuring that the feelings, values and thoughts of our people are taken into consideration to ensure they are closely aligned to the goals.



Donaldson. M. (2018). New Zealand Sport Model ‘Outdated’. New Zealand Herald, 24 June 2018. link

Roger C. Mayer, James H Davis, and F. David Schoorman (1995). An Integrative Model of Organizational Trust. The Academy of Management Review, 20 (3), July 1995, 709-734.



FUTURE 8 – 2X2X2X2


4 Ways To Improve Your Productivity. You are what you repeatedly do and what you repeatedly do ultimately forms the person you are. It defines the things you believe in, your personality and the way you move.

Every day we make small decisions and perform actions that form habits. Our life is the sum of our habits and research by Duke University has shown that 40% of our behaviours every given day are a result of them.

Habits are formed through a simple neurological loop pattern of a cue, routine and a reward, as discovered by MIT researchers. The cue is a result of a trigger that initiates the behaviour. The routine is the action you take and the behaviour that is formed. The reward is the benefit you gain from performing the behaviour.

“Success is the sum of small parts, repeated day in and day out.”


It is vitally important to use your positive habits to be in the NOW and focus on what you are currently doing. However it is more important that you develop new habits, by planting new seeds, to ensure that you are continuing to GROW every single day.

We have developed a formula that is based on growth habits that allow you to improve your well being, expand your knowledge, build your networks and make a difference to people. The Future 8 daily formula involves performing a minimum of 2 actions of the following four areas each day:

  • 2x CONNECT – contact someone new or reconnect an old acquaintance
  • 2x ENERGY – action something that supports your health and fitness.
  • 2x PERFORMANCE – learn something new
  • 2x SHARE – pay it forward by sharing your knowledge, thoughts and wisdom


It is important to build your network and work on your relationships. Pick up the phone, send a text or write an email to someone you would like to connect with, whether it is to enhance your knowledge, skills and understanding or to speak with a prospective consumer. We quite often forget that it is important to put time and energy into those who are already consumers or friends of your network. Reconnecting with those who already have a connection with you leads to retention, which is the best form of growth. Who are you going to call today?


When we get busy, we become tired and start craving unhealthy options. These options might be fast food, no rest breaks during the day, deciding to put off that run or going to bed late. Your mind and body require energy to be exerted and rest to recover for it to perform at its optimum each day. It doesn’t matter whether it is productivity in the workplace, you have a personal fitness goal you are aiming for or a relationship, you want to be able to perform at your best. Start the day with a 30min run or gym session, go for a walk through the park at lunch, have a bowl of fruit, take the time to play with your children before dinner or do a 15min meditation session at morning tea are all ways to recharge and allow both your body and mind to perform brilliance. What will you do to energise your day?


For you to continually grow you need to add some water each day. It is very common for most successful people to read every day. Bill Gates reads a new book each week, Oprah Winfrey started the Oprah’s Book Club, Mark Cuban reads three hours a day and many successful people now tune into podcasts each day as a way of learning while resting the eyes. Pick a new topic to learn something new each day. Try reading an article, listening to a podcast, discussing with a colleague, or watching a video on something that either improves your work performance, healthy lifestyle or broadens your intellectual horizons. What will you learn today that you didn’t know yesterday?


The more you give, the more you get. Focusing on helping someone else first will mean you gain more in the long-term. Planting a seed in someone else is more powerful than watering our own seeds. Write a blog post, share an article on your LinkedIn page, call someone who would learn from your wisdom or talk to a stranger on a plane. What is even more powerful than sharing your knowledge, thoughts and wisdom, is to make them laugh and smile while you do it. Make it fun and enjoyable and they are more likely to remember and learn from their interaction from you. Who will you share your knowledge, thoughts and wisdom with today?

It is as easy as starting the day as you would like to finish it. To begin with it is really useful to write down the 2x2x2x2 15min before you go home from work each day to ensure that you have checked everything off. If not, you still have time to complete the day in style.

FUTURE 8 Formula – 2x2x2x2

  • Who are the 2 people you are going to call today?
  • What are the 2 things you will do to energise your day?
  • What are the 2 things you will learn today?
  • What are the ways you will share your knowledge, thoughts & wisdom with today?

Start contacting, actioning, learning and sharing two thing each day and you will be surprised at how much your performance and productivity improves.




Have We Got The Hiring Process Totally Wrong? Link
Are You Leading A High Performing Culture? Link
Are Leaders Born? Link
It’s Your Story Link
Be A Rookie Link
Why Change? – Change Series Part 1 Link
I Make No Apologies This Is Me! Link


Craig Johns SPEAKER
Craig Johns BLOG
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