"Solving"​ the Puzzle: The Performance Pyramid and the Process of Success

Recently, a man I admire very much and to whom I often turn for counsel questioned why nxtU privileges process over results in our practice. Results, he counters, are the coin of the realm. Results matter. How, then, he wonders, can focusing on process over results lead to substantive and lasting success?

For background, I work with young adults between the ages of 14-29, helping them realize their full potential by living more deliberate, disciplined, and balanced lives. Whether improving their executive functioning, coaching them through the increasingly complex and competitive college admissions process, or helping them thrive during life's inevitable transitions, our work helps young adults "solve" the puzzles they encounter in high school, college, and early in their professional careers.

Most of my clients come to me because they are not realizing their full potential. They are not getting results. Why? More often than not, it is precisely because they are focusing on the results themselves - not the process by which they establish the conditions for realizing those results.

By focusing less on interim results and more on the enduring process of developing independence, character, confidence, balance, discipline, and wellness, we help our young adult clients find their passion. This process allows them subsequently to realize personal, professional, physical, and financial success to the best of their abilities.

The process, itself, leads to the results they desire.

Incorporating elements of performance psychology, leadership, and applied domain knowledge, we developed what we call the Performance Pyramid.

It works.

Applying the work of brilliant minds like Daniel Kahneman (System 1 / System 2 Brain), Charles Taylor (Theory of Recognition), Angela Duckworth (Grit), Carol Dweck (Growth Mindset), Jean Twenge (iGen) and others, the Performance Pyramid gives young adults the keystones and non-negotiables to apply as they strive to reach their full potential.

By focusing on the process of controlling the controllable and executing what is right in front of them - and not on whether or not they gain admission to a particular Ivy+ university or secure a position at a Big 5 consulting firm - they establish the conditions for realizing their goals. By doing the next right thing and never allowing today to get in the way of tomorrow, they maintain deliberate and disciplined focus on what really matters.

And they own their non-negotiables. One of my partners, Brandyn Fisher, Ph.D., is an elite-level tennis coach. He has coached players who have gone on to earn All-American status and to play on the ATP and WTA tours. Brandyn often insists, "I can't coach a player to run after every ball - to be hungry for every single point of every single match." Players who do - win; they get the results they want.

They think less about winning a particular point in a tennis match and infinitely more on the process of "feet, eyes, physics, and strategy" that ensures they do. They run after every ball.

We don't ignore results. We realize them.

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