Greetings. I’m up bright and early this morning and sitting at the Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport. For my US friends, I suspect not many of you know that the Canadian election will be Monday.

I wish the US Presidential election was more like Canada. I am already tired of the TV coverage and we have 13 months more of it. Ugh.

Whenever I’m in Montreal, and dining alone, I go to Alexandre et fils. I like it because I can sit at the bar and strike up conversations with the regulars and the bartenders.

Years ago, I asked the bartender for a suggestion on something different to order. She suggested the Cassoulet Toulousain. I would have never ordered it on my own.

I once asked Nancy to fix it for my birthday and learned how challenging it is to make. I have written about it a couple of times, including here.



So, what is the point of all of this, and what does it have to do with the subject of my blog today?

I believe one of the traits of top performers is they are innovators. They are willing to try new things before others, even if they aren’t sure of the result.

If you are a regular reader you likely remember that when VHS cameras first became available an engineering professor and I created 8 hours of video for construction contractors. I tossed the last of those when Nancy and I moved in March.

What are some other traits of top performers?

I recently read: Are You A Top Performer Or A Workaholic? I recommend reading it, especially if you are working really hard rather than working smart.

Among other things to take away from the article is the importance of establishing priorities and planning your work and personal life around them.

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Daniel Teitelbaum is the author of The Ultimate Guide to Mental Toughness. In the book he suggests that top performers:

  • Expect to win.
  • Always keep their minds focused on the best case scenario.
  • Know exactly what they want out of life, both short-term and long-term.
  • Have a high level of self belief.
  • Know how to keep themselves focused and motivated.
  • Stay out of their comfort zones.

Teitelbaum also describes a Harvard School of Psychology study focused on the differences between three levels of achievers:

  1. Low achievers tend to focus on the past and can’t get their minds off of past defeats.
  2. Average achievers focus on the present, on just getting done the work they have. (for lawyers the billable work they have to do.)
  3. Top achievers stay laser focused on the future, on the specific victories they are planning to make happen and they consistently think about and visualize those victories.

As lawyers, you each have lots of demanding day to day work that occupies both your time and attention. Yet, I believe the top performing lawyers have each of the characteristics listed in the article and book.