Here’s A Wild Idea: Max Daily Exertion

I’ve recently started working with a powerlifting coach. John, my coach, is a man who brings the kind of realism to training that only comes from lifting hundreds of thousands of kgs over his career.

To paraphrase John here: “Not everyday is the same. Sometimes you’ll come into training with low sleep because your kids kept you up. Or work is stressful. Or you had a big weekend out on the drinks. And other days you’ll feel awesome. Your lifts will be in the groove, and it’s on those days you can push more… But we need to be able to cater for this variance. We will do so by building flexibility into our daily targets.”

What John is talking about is using a method called Rate Of Perceived Exertion (RPE) for measuring and setting daily targets. In short, it’s a 10 point subjective scale. 1-5 being little to no effort. 7 – there’s a few more reps in the tank. 9 – you could have pushed for one more rep. 10 – you maxed out, and had nothing left.

Daily targets are based on finding and dwelling around that day’s 7-8 RPE. This allows you to push the right amount for your body that day, no matter how you’re feeling.

So here’s the wild idea:

What would your daily checklist look like if you added a subjective ‘Ability to Push’ score to it?

…Would patterns emerge?

…Could you reprioritise things to push harder on days you knew you could?

…Would you forgive yourself more?

…Could you do this across your entire team?

To Ponder: The Way We Do Things Here

Is the much overused idea of ‘transformation’ done?

Maybe. Maybe not. But one thing is for sure, I’m seeing more and more organisations looking to shift away from ‘transformative change’ to ‘change is just how we do things here’.

Ultimately it’s a shift from externally driven to internally driven.

To embrace this change, I’ve found that 3 things need to be in place:

  1. Leadership need to be open to new ideas, and be persistent in asking for them.
  2. Teams need to have clarity of what they’re actually trying to achieve here, not just the work as it currently stands. (That is – metrics are based on the WHY, not the WHAT)
  3. Individuals need to feel safe to take risks, and make mistakes.

What’s the greatest opportunity for growth in your teams – New Ideas, Strategic Clarity, or Safety to take Risk?