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Human Performance Institute Co-Founder Jim Loehr Wants You to Know Your Limits

In this episode of our Corporate Competitor Podcast, Maxwell Leadership Thought Leader Don Yaeger sits down with Jim Loehr,  co-founder of the Human Performance Institute and renowned performance psychologist, to discuss how leaders can tap into wider ranges of human potential. 

Some people are so good at what they do, and what they do is so important to so many people, that everyone wants to hear what they have to say. Jim Loehr is one of those people. His groundbreaking energy management training system has gained worldwide recognition and has been featured in prestigious publications such as Harvard Business Review, Fortune, and Time. He has also made appearances on major television shows like NBC’s Today Show and the Oprah Winfrey Show.

These are all very good warm-ups for his appearance on our podcast in which he talked about the interconnectedness of our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual lives, and the leader’s vital role in helping his team keep these elements in a self-sustaining balance.

In the podcast, Loehr described the fine line between optimal performance and shutdown. “I’m a big believer in data,” said Loehr, who has worked with more than 250,000 top performers from various fields including professional athletes, military special forces, and Fortune 100 executives. “And the single biggest takeaway is that the healthier someone is physically, emotionally and mentally, the more likely it is that their level of genius for their work will rise to the surface.”

Loehr is well aware that traditionalists may think such a philosophy is a bit too touchy-feeling to be effective; but he’s having none of it and says the data backs his belief that while mental toughness is important, it is also relative. “Every person has a limit to how much they can handle – how much adversity, stress and loss they can take before everything starts coming apart,” Loehr explained. The leader’s job, continues Loehr, is to “ignite the genius of their employees” by challenging them up to the edge of their capacity to keep them sharp and focused without going over the line.

The tricky part is that each team member will have a different line. But Loehr believes it’s imperative that leaders discern where those lines are and help individuals reach their potential by “raising the bar on health.”

In the podcast, Loehr shares his philosophy and practical approaches to building healthy and high-performance teams, including:

  • Listening to the most important coach no one hears but you.
  • How to reset your energy to be fully present and positive at work and at home.
  • Keeping that engagement-promoting hormone oxytocin flowing through your team.

Loehr says “a good team is a healthy team,” although he admits it can be hard for business leaders to look beyond talent. “You work hard for me, and you’ll make a nice living and the rest of it is up to you” is a mantra too many leaders still follow, noted Loehr, before delivering the punchline. “But the more you care about your team, the more they will care about your business. And if you have a good business, it will flourish.”


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