Opinion (14/9/2020): The Secret Of Peak Performers – By Ladi Ayodeji


Who is a peak performer? Let me answer this question with a question: Do you know the famous footballers, Ronaldo and Messi? Do you know William Shakespeare, the greatest English playwright of all time? Do you know Jeff Bezos, the owner of Amazon, now the richest man in the world? These are peak performers.
Any extraordinary performance in any area of human endeavour is achieved by a peak performer. I want you to be a peak performer like Albert Einstein, whose theory of Relativity in physics revolutionalised science. I want you to be a performer like Mark Zukerberg, the Facebook owner. I want you to be a peak performer like King Sunny Ade, who’s in his mid-70s, but still performing on stage with the vibrancy of teenage musicians.
Peak performers are not just stars, they are superstars. They are not just performers, they are outstanding performers. They stand out because they outclass their peers completely. No controversy, if Messi is not the greatest footballer in the world in the last ten years, Ronaldo surely is. Between them, they have shared the World player of the year award a record eleven times! That’s not a joke! No player ever won it more than three times, until Messi and his archrival, CR7 rival arrived the world’s soccer stage.
Folks, you know what? They are still here banging in goals with reckless abandon, even when they are both over 30, an age when footballers are known to begin to decline, having reached their peak. But these two guys are different because they are peak performers. Peak performance is not hampered by age. Messi and Ronaldo are over 30 yet, they’re still on the centre stage.
What makes a peak performer? Self belief is the No.1. Belief in yourself gives you the impetus to keep going strong when your peers have burnt out. Even when some folks are physically challenged, they keep strong in places where even the fully fit fear to tread. Franklin Roosevelt ruled America from the wheel chair. He won the presidential election an unprecedented four times. He forced the US legislature to set presidential term limits at just 8 years.
A peak performer ignores limitations set by nature, age, qualifications, or any man-made barriers, to achieve the seemingly impossible. Peak performers are up at their desk, on their turf or practice pitch while others are sleep. Legendary boxing champion, Muhammed Ali said he fought his best fights with sparring partners in the gym. Every peak performer is a perfectionist. They have zero tolerance for errors, mediocrity, failure, enemies, withcraft, and parental failure. Peak performers don’t care about Buhari’s ruling cabal, Hausa-Fulani hegemony, tribalism, or other lame excuses we give for our own inadequacies.
Most peak performers stay on top of their game inspite of everything or hinderances that stand on the way of other people. Young people gather at the newsstands every morning to hurl insults at President Buhari and Mr. Bola Tinubu or Governor Babajide Sanwo – Olu, exactly as they did to former rulers. They blame their leaders for everything from unemployment, Covid -19, and crime, to the plight of alleged marginalized ethnic/religious groups.
Well, politicians don’t develop nations anymore; only creative people do. Look at Jack Ma in China who owns Ali Ababa; Mark Zukerberg owner of Facebook, Jeff Bezos, Amazon owner and all the other global tech giants who control the world economy; they are not government people. They’re peak performing young folks who set a standard and went on to change the way we live and work.
Peak performers abound everywhere. You find them even among products. Some products have enjoyed brand leadership for ages and are still topping their billings. Coca cola, peak milk, Royce Royce, Rolex watches, Mercedes Benz, Guinness Stout, Milo, etc. These are high performing products with very long shelf lives. Longevity is crucial to peak performance; it’s not about being a flash in the pan. You have to be a winner for a considerable length of time.
Our youth should think about how to grow and prosper, not just how to get rid of the APC or PDP oppressors from the political space. They won’t leave because that’s where they can survive. Politicians in Nigeria live on public funds; that’s why our economy is public sector-driven. Everyone in power here lives on government.
Boko Haram and their sponsors live on the terror war; national lawmakers earn N25 million every month, apart from other allowances; Governors live on N500 million security vote; how can they leave government? Why do politicians use youth to kill and main just to win elections if not for financial gain? Is it about you and I? Never! Think about it.
Any young person who wants to survive in Nigeria should aspire to be a peak performer. Find your viable platform and meet something in-demand. You’d find patronage on the virtual space. No excuses! Just do it. Move against your obstacles. At 66, and in spite of Covid-19, I have written four new books. I perform under pressure, and despite APC/PDP governance deficit, I still achieve my goals. That’s how peak performers manage to get by. Learn from them.
Weekend Spice: Some people come into your life as blessings, others as lessons– Mother Theresa.
Ok folks, thanks for being here. Covid – 19 is real. Stay safe, stay motivated!

– Ayodeji, Author, Rights Activist, Pastor and Life Coach, can be reached for mentoring and counselling on 09059243004 (sms & whatsapp only)

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