High Performance Habits, by Brendon Burchard is defined by this summary from the author:
"After extensive original research and a decade as the world’s highest-paid performance coach, Brendon Burchard finally reveals the most effective habits for
reaching long-term success. Based on one of the largest surveys ever conducted on high performers, it turns out that just six habits move the needle the most in helping you succeed. Adopt these six habits, and you win. Neglect them, and life is a never-ending slog where plateaus, distractions and emotional turmoil are the norm."
This seemed like an audacious claim for a book, but since I was in the mood to read about habits (largely thanks to recently finishing the excellent, Atomic Habits) I decided to give this book a chance. Before we jump into my three takeaways you should know that you can get the audio version of this book for free in the apple podcast center. This was something I didn't know until after I had paid for the book. If you decide to read High Performance Habits be sure to do so the free way.
Here are my three takeaways from High Performance Habits:
1. Do not create for your critics.
I was recently listening to a podcast that had charity: water founder, Scott Harrison on as a guest. The topic was effective fundraising and Harrison shared something profound. The interviewer asked him if he got a lot of flak from the fundraising community for their unique methods. In essence, Scott said no because charity: water fundraisers to provide clean water to the world not to please professional fundraisers. Bam! Don't create for your critics! Let those who will not understand criticize you, while you accomplish your mission. Do not sacrifice effectiveness so that you can avoid industry embarrassment.
This principle was made clear to me through this book. Not because the author spoke on the subject, but rather because he spent gobs of time defending his view in an effort to guard his reputation instead of just boldly proclaiming the principles.
2. Just because you make it longer, doesn't mean you make it better.
This goes along with number #1, but this book just contains so much fluff. In the audio version it takes over an hour for the author to get to the first of the 6 habits presented in the book. This book really does contain some awesome information. It just doesn't need to be 10 hours (400 pages) long. A bigger book isn't always a better book.
3. Clarity is key.
The biggest takeaway from the actual content of the book is that clarity is the key to high performance. Brendon talks about "PQO" which stands for prolific quality output. He suggestes that we pick the 5 essential things we must do to see our dream become a reality and then to ruthlessly focusing on these things. This was so helpful for me as I have a lot of different opportunities, but I need to just focus on those things that will really move the ball forward and say no to the rest!
The audio version times in at 10 hours and 36 minutes. The book is read by the author with excellent production.
The print version of High Performance Habits is comprised of 400 pages. If this book was half the length it would be one hundred times more useful.
Buy or pass:
Pass. Honestly, this book has a lot of great information, but if you are only going to read one book on habits this year please choose Atomic Habits by James Clear. I would suggest that you check out the fear audio version of the book in the podcast center and just skip to about an hour into the book.