There are many reasons why an executive might struggle to lift their performance at a key moment of opportunity. I, as an executive coach, have listened to many powerful anecdotes from the mouths of smart, focused, highly effective senior leaders. It might be a practical issue, such as a conflicted, overloaded diary. Lack of sufficient preparation is often recognised in retrospect. And, most common, is a failure to immerse oneself in the intensity of the moment, losing crucial interpersonal engagement or critical, objective thinking.
Very rarely have I heard an executive discuss their physiological condition.Tiredness might be mentioned, linked to an unsustainable workload. The timing of the performance event also seems to have an important effect for many executives.
The growing database at PQ is presenting new insights about issues that are not systematically managed by individuals, who, typically, seek exceptional outcomes and, in most controllable aspects of their professional life, will leave no stone unturned to secure their goals..
The Daytime Recovery/Stress Ratio is one of the fundamental 8 Parameters which build the PQ Profiles of executives. Simply put, this measures the proportion of HRV-measured Recovery that an individual records, while they are awake, relative to the total volume of Stress. The results can carry very important messages. Take the example below:
The chart shows an executive’s profile over a 7 day period. There is a clear pattern of consistent Stress overload with little or no counterbalancing Recovery. An average of more than 14 hours of measurable Stress with an hour of Recovery. On some days there was zero Recovery.
How does this effect performance? This question is best answered in terms of opportunity cost. Clearly this individual was present and functioning effectively (as per existing norms).Were they optimally focused when they made decisions? Was communication as crisp and definitive as colleagues required? We cannot know.
What we can show is another perspective of the same data. When we correlate Daytime Recovery/Stress data with self-reported IQ and EQ Parameters (we call this the 3Q Total Performance environment) a clear picture emerges. In the 3Q Amplifier Dodecagon, we assess the underlying the drive, intensity and confidence that underpin intense Peak Performance.
In this instance, the executive is highly committed emotionally, quitE focused intellectually but unlikely to deliver until the issue of Daytime Recovery and Stress are addressed. Keynes wrote of ‘pushing on a piece of string’. This profile is the physiological equivalent.
The coaching objective is to score 8,9 and 10 for all 12 Parameters. Then true Peak Performance will have been attained.