This is the single best discussion I’ve ever had on pursuing high-performance as an individual!

I can’t say enough good about my interview with Marc Effron and the science-backed content in his new book, 8 Steps to High Performance: Focus on What You Can Change (Ignore the Rest). Ironically, I didn’t expect it to turn out that way.

When I first saw the title of the book, I expected another “listicle” focused opinion piece much as we find in the 4 quadrillion or so articles and blog posts written about pursuing high performance. I changed my mind pretty quickly as I started to take in the science and research Marc backed this book with and how hard he worked to distill it down to something we can all understand and apply.

Enjoy this interview with Marc Effron, President of Talent Strategy Group, and then buy the book and put it to work developing as a high-performer. Just remember, it’s hard, time-consuming work (16:10).

Art's Signature




Show Notes with Marc Effron, Author of 8-Steps to High-Performance

  • Marc’s intention for the book. (0:45)
  • The difference between Marc’s book and his “8-Steps) and the many, many resources out there. Hint: it’s all about the science. (1:15)
  • There are many resources that suggest many things you can do. What are the few things you can do to achieve high performance. (2:15)
  • Marc defends his polite jabs at some of the fads circulating about high-performance. (4:10) And why if you’ve spent an hour power posing, that hour is lost forever!
  • The quick pitch on who the book is for and what it’s all about. (6:15)
  • Art shares Marc’s 8-Steps and asks where any are more important than others. (7:15) Hint: it’s all about the big goals.
  • The three big things you’re going to deliver! (8:45)
  • It’s not about SMART goals…it’s about SIMple (Simple, Important, Measurable) goals. (10:00)
  • Theoretical Maximum Performance (11:50) and What’s possible. (13:15)
  • The other 50% you need to focus on because the first 50% is fixed. (13:45)
  • Marc shares his definition of a high-performer. (15:12)
  • You’re going to work a lot if you want to be a high-performer. (16:10)
  • The importance of networking and politics in pursuing high-performance and if it helps, call it “relationship building.” (20:45)
  • Is there a limit on the positive outcome from flattery? (22:45)
  • Choose the right behaviors or be prepared to sub-optimize. (23:40)
  • The three ways we mess up our careers—the dark side derailers. (25:35)
  • It’s true: most people respond better to being told what to do. (28:20)
  • What Marc means by “fake it” and why it’s so important to us in our careers. (29:30) Yes, sometimes you need to fire the “authentic you.”
  • Sorry, exercise isn’t a differentiator in developing as a high-performer, but sleep is. (32:50)
  • How to get started with becoming a high-performer. If you’re not sure where to start, focus on the big goals in chapter 1. (35:50)
  • Marc’s guidance for managers looking to coach from this book. (37:20)
  • What Marc learned from writing the book. (40:25)
  • Marc answers “New York Times Book Review/Dinner Party” question