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Prime Business Alert! Prime Business Pyramid

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As I discussed in my last post, Prime Business is defined as "performing at a consistently high level under the most challenging conditions." Prime Business is a goal toward which everyone in the business world strives, the result of which is maximizing performance, productivity, and profitability. But few individuals or companies clearly understand the information and strategies they must use to achieve that goal. Nor do many have a structure or a process for working toward Prime Business. And even fewer have the wherewithal to implement such important change. The Prime Business Pyramid provides both a framework and a means for identifying and developing the key contributors to individual and organizational performance.

This post will create the foundation of knowledge on which you can optimize performance and strive effectively toward your goals. The Prime Business Pyramid is comprised of seven psychological factors that most directly impact performance in the business world -- and, in fact, life in general:

  • Self-knowledge
  • Motivation
  • Confidence
  • Stress
  • Focus
  • Emotions
  • Ego

These factors can either facilitate or interfere with performance. Your goal is to understand your relationship with each of the seven factors and develop strategies and a plan of implementation for alleviating the weaknesses and building on the strengths, thus allowing Prime Business to emerge.

Prime Business Progression

The Prime Business Pyramid is ordered in a purposeful and logical manner. Its order is based on the sequence in which the factors impact business performance. The first three factors (self-knowledge, motivation, and confidence) have a preparatory influence that readies you for performance, while the next three (stress, focus, and emotions) provide a direct effect as performance begins and proceeds. Ego has an overarching impact on every phase of performance and has a particularly strong influence during periods of challenge, conflict, and teamwork.

Self-knowledge. At the base of the Prime Business Pyramid lies self-knowledge, which is the first factor because without an in-depth understanding of who you are, your strengths and weakness, (i.e., what makes you tick), personal and professional growth will be, at best, haphazard and, at worst, nonexistent. When you gain a keen sense of "what you bring to the table" as a person, high-level performer, leader, and team member, you can use that information to implement necessary change to achieve your goals.

Motivation. Motivation is the second factor on the pyramid because without the determination and drive to take action in pursuit of your goals, all efforts would stop and any other contributors to performance, whether the acquisition of information, skill sets, resources, or physical health would be moot. Motivation ensures that you do everything you can to be totally prepared to maximize performance. Essential to developing motivation is understanding what motivates you to work hard toward your goals.

Confidence. From motivation and preparation in pursuit of your goals, you will gain the foundation of confidence on which success is built. Having put in the necessary time and effort, you will have a strong and resilient belief in your ability to perform at your highest level. You will have confidence in your:

  • Knowledge, experience, and expertise,
  • Ability to fulfill your roles and responsibilities, and
  • Capacity to overcome obstacles, handle setbacks, and react constructively to challenges.

Stress. From confidence and an abiding faith that you can succeed, you will have the ability to respond positively to the significant demands and high stress that are an inevitable and constant part of the business world. This healthy reaction means seeing stress as a challenge, not a threat and, as a result, wanting to face it head-on rather than avoid it. Part of your confidence comes from a metaphorical toolbox you develop that you can reach into for information, strategies, and tools to help you turn stress into an ally when it is an enemy for many around you. Your goal isn't to just manage stress, but to master stress and use it as a tool to propel you forward rather than hold you back. The benefits of emotional mastery can be found at every level of your business efforts including psychological, physical, and interpersonal.

Focus. With a clear mind that comes with a calm mind, you will have the essential ability to stay focused and avoid distractions while others are consumed by the chaos that often exists in the business world. Effective focus means being able to concentrate intensely on the task at hand, shift focus when the demands or the tasks change, and block out performance-interfering distractions that are ever present in business. Focus is especially important when faced with complex responsibilities, multiple tasks, deadlines, and uncertain outcomes.

Emotions. When you have fully developed the five previous Prime Business factors, you will have the foundation for emotional mastery, perhaps the most challenging of the pyramid's factors. Emotions lie at the top of the Prime Business Pyramid because I have found that they are the ultimate determinant of your ability to perform consistently under the most challenging conditions. Emotions also contribute significantly to your abilities as a leader and a team member. The business world can provoke a broad spectrum of emotions, ranging from inspiration, pride, exhilaration, and contentment, to fear, frustration, anger, and despair. Emotional mastery doesn't involve not feeling these emotions--as human beings, that's impossible--but rather identifying, understanding, and expressing the emotions you feel in a healthy way. Most powerfully, emotional mastery gives you the power to use emotions as tools to facilitate individual and team performance rather than weapons that hurt you and others.

Ego. Overlaying the entire Prime Business Pyramid is ego, an attribute that is the most intriguing and misunderstood, yet least talked-about, contributor to corporate performance. When most people think of ego, they think of bad ego--megalomaniacs, narcissists, and control freaks. I offer a different and more nuanced perspective on ego as an essential quality that all people possess and that can be either affirming or destructive. Acknowledging bad ego takes courage and strength, yet is an essential part of achieving Prime Business. Developing good ego involves self-exploration and a profound desire to not only be a great performer, but also great person, leader, and team member.

What it All Means

With an understanding of the most essential psychological contributors to individual corporate performance, you now have the framework from which to explore them in your own personal and professional lives. The Prime Business Pyramid should now act as the foundation for the process of change and growth that will allow you to maximize your own performance, productivity, and profitability, and, in doing so, achieve your professional goals.

If you have questions or comments about this post, feel free to email me at