High Performance Happy

Thoughts from Cliff Oxford

HR Happy says we should do what pleases people, High Performance Happy says I will fight for every inch. Think of an olympic athlete jumping into the pool for those 4:30 am laps. The latter includes the understanding that we are on a mission bigger that any one of us. We find our happiness in being on a world class team that is making a difference.

High Performance Happy means giving employees tremendous responsibility, and employees happily showing that they are the best. You don’t have to con them into doing things with a flavor of the month methodology that suggests they will only perform if you make them happy first.

Respect is based on what you’re are giving, not what you’re taking.

Guideposts for building a High Performance Happy culture:

If high performance is level 10, then “duds” aren’t the two and threes who are quickly shown the door. The “duds” are the fives and sixes — they bring the high performance elite down to the middle or push them out the door. The duds have to go. Today.

Here’s what you tell the high performers. Come spend time with us if you want to do something special. You can say whatever you want to whomever you want when the decision is up for discussion — and this will be encouraged in many formats, from quick huddles to day-long strategy sessions. But when the decision is made, you march with the decision and not with what makes you happy.

High Performance Happy does not like a lot of unnecessary processes and rules, which is why entrepreneurs have to let high performance people make decisions. If you trust them with your mission and with hundreds of important daily choices, you can also trust them to handle their vacation schedule, their paid time off, and the tools they need to get the job done.

The toughest part of High Performance Happy is dealing with the exit of a high performance employee. What do you do when one of the chosen chooses to leave? First, you ask if there is an issue that you have not discussed. Then you ask if there anything you can do. If the answer to both questions is no, and the employee is just leaving to go to another team, the person exits with a thank you. No good-bye parties. No farewell dinners. The person is gone, and the quicker the better.

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