What’s This One Quality All Top Performers Share?

Lison Mage
4 min readMay 24

When it comes to performance, they are two big aspects I like to discuss: how to elevate it — and how to sustain it.

The importance of each depends on the context.

If you are competing at the Olympics, you want to peak during the event to get the best outcome possible. However, for most corporate jobs, short spikes followed by long resting periods don’t seem the right way to go.

Still, many follow this pattern. The deadline is approaching, and nothing is ready yet. Quick, let’s work overtime. On the weekend, in the shower and while picking up the kids at school. Let’s not forget to skip dinner and barely sleep.

That’s it! We made it, everybody! We met the deadline! Time to hibernate for the next three weeks, to recover before the next rush.

Obviously, it doesn’t sound sustainable.

There has to be a better way — a way to do things differently. And the answer is consistency.

Consistency tells a story and makes it a reality.

Consistency is an underrated skill. It feels boring. We are far from a Hollywood movie where a strike of genius or a heroic feat turns a dire situation around. Yet, more often than not, consistency is the actual difference maker.

At work, who would you trust most? John, who spikes as the deadline approaches or Diane, who steadily and consistently delivers?

It feels like John is always an uncertain bet, a coin flip, and you are unsure if you will get the Olympian performance or the bear hibernation. But Diane, she is reliable. You can trust her estimates, and you can plan around her performance.

Consistency creates certainty.

And this certainty eases our minds. We know things will be taken care of. We can close a mental tab. Diane is the rock. She always gets things done. No backsies; she always keeps her word.

But consistency is hard.

It’s tough because we have to be consistent in a world that is not. And there are days rougher…

Lison Mage

I help people & teams lead strategic change and make better decisions. Read my book on Overthinking: https://lisonmage.com/act-before-you-overthink-buy/