Am I Being All That I Can Be?

Posted: September 1, 2015 Written by: W.B. “Bud” Kirchner.

I don’t use the word impossible. At Kirchner Group we work on innovative solutions like our recent advising on due diligence to one of the largest ever Series A fundings for a biotech startup. We like to believe anything is possible. We push ourselves to do what others consider the unthinkable.

As I mentioned in a previous article – performance is an area we consider inherent in our Business Brain Model principles. Performance is particularly (at least initially) visible in the arena of world-class athletes where the one thing that separates 1st place from 2nd place is who has the best mental performance.

You’ve heard of the “impossible” 4-minute mile right? Until Roger Bannister broke the barrier (3 minutes 59.4 seconds to be exact) on May 6, 1954, it was unthinkable that a human could run a mile in under 4 minutes (wish those people could see Usain Bolt, the fastest man in the world, today!).

But do you know how long Bannister was the only sub-4-minute miler in the world? 46 days. That’s right – not even two months! Once Bannister tore down the mental barrier, that everyone accepted as a given, the sub-4-minute mile became an attainable goal in everyone’s mind.

“Performance is Reality”

Harold S. Geneen, who in nine years grew ITT from $765 million in sales to $17 billion in sales, once said:

“In business, words are words, explanations are explanations, promises are promises, but only performance is reality.”

Not long ago I met Dr. Tonya Hoffman – a pioneer in the area of performance coaching. She has great anecdotes about what business people can learn from athletes. We have connected across several aspects of the Kirchner Group’s Business Brain Model and I encourage you to get to know her work.

Like me, she sees business performance as a combination of outside influences that go well beyond having an MBA. She believes in the science of the mind and how the mixture of economics, psychology and biology affect thinking and in turn, performance. Her Leading Minds team excels at delivering peak performance strategies and you can learn more about her work at

Better Reading, Better Yourself

Given I see performance as one of the better served (in addition to neuromarketing and behavioral economics) areas of interest I want to point you to additional people at the forefront. I must also say, while the below list is mine, the quotes come from descriptive Amazon reviews that I have confirmed reflect my personal views well.

There are (typically) some eclectic areas of interest in these recommendations (cognitive prosthetics as a performance tool?) but like a great theatrical play, many characters complement and reinforce the others. And like any play, it gets better with each performance.

A recent poll in the U.K. ranked “Practice makes perfect.” as the #1 Most Influential Saying. But the quote I like to toss around is from Aristotle:

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

You know what I like best about that quote? It is not about practice – it is about performance.

About the Author: W.B. “Bud” Kirchner is a serial entrepreneur and philanthropist with more than 50 years of business success. He is not a scientist or an academic but he does have a diversified exposure to neuroscience, psychology and related areas. Generally speaking, the ideas he expresses here are business-angled expansions of other people’s ideas, so when possible, he will link to the original reference.