Performance expert encourages CPAs to ‘win the moment’

Written on May 11, 2016

By Gary Hunt, senior content editor

Professionals today need to master their personal skills if they are to develop “elite performance” in their organizations, careers and even personal lives.

Job skills are simply the tip of the iceberg, said Tim Kight, founder and president of the Dublin-based consulting firm Focus3. The vast majority of a person’s skills are below the metaphorical water line – and are much more important.

“People are hired based on their job skills and fired based on their behavioral skills,” Kight said today during his presentation at OSCPA’s Business Excellence Symposium.

Kight, who has been in the news recently for his work with the Ohio State Football program, left the crowd laughing at some points Wednesday and reflectively silent in others. For example, he wondered why professionals who so often present their best selves in the workplace are content at the end of the day offering their tired and grumpy leftovers to loved ones at home.

“I think part of my job here today is to push you a little bit,” Kight said. “What is the one area where you want to get better?”

His process starts with mastering what he calls your “20 square feet” – the immediate areas of your life you can control.

“If you want to maximize your influence outside your 20 square feet, first you need to maximize your 20 square feet,” he said.

From there, it’s about mastering your reactions to events and being intentional in your responses, an idea he expresses as E+R=O: Event plus response equals outcome. The alternative – blame others, complain and defend yourself – makes things worse. Those who eliminate it and focus that energy on solving problems will become more effective in their organizations and their lives.

Rather than doing what might seem convenient at the moment, professionals should step up and “win the moment.”

“I learned a long time ago my comfort level isn't a good reference point for what I should do,” Kight said.

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