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Five Performance Lessons from The Biggest Loser

May 1st, 2010 8:06 PM by Lehel S.

Five Performance Lessons from The Biggest Loser - By Kevin Eikenberry ***
My wife's favorite television show is the The Biggest Loser. If you're not familiar, it's an NBC reality television show that chronicles a group of seriously overweight people from all walks of life as they try to become more healthy - and lose lots of weight.

To give you an idea, the most recent winner, Danny Cahill a 40-year-old man from Oklahoma, went from 430 pounds to 191 pounds in 7 months (that's 239 pounds LOST).

When my wife first began watching the show and telling me how fascinating it was, I wasn't that interested; reality TV didn't seem very real to me, and I didn't really want to watch. After a few more conversations, I decided to watch with her.

The show is "reality TV" and therefore there are elements that don't interest me that much, and I wish it wasn't so long (it's the perfect candidate for your DVR), but overall I really enjoy the show.


I enjoy the show because of the truths it highlights week after week about human performance, success, goal achievement and leadership. And, of course, these lessons are available to us all regardless of how much we weigh.

Here are five of the most valuable lessons you can take from this show and apply in your life.

The importance of vision. How can we arrive at any destination if we don't know what it is? Contestants on the show often say "I'm not ready to go home yet" (most weeks at least one contestant leaves "the ranch" where all contestants live while they pursue their weight loss full time). This statement connects to their vision. Often what they mean but don't say is that they don't yet have the skills, tools, and more to be successful on their own at home in reaching their vision. Their vision is clear and those who stay the most focused on it have the best results.

The power of purpose. As with most reality television, there is a monetary prize for the person who loses the most weight (as a percentage of their initial weight). Yet, if you didn't already know that as you watched the show, you wouldn't learn it from the contestants. Do they want to win $250,000? I'm sure they do. However, that is never a topic of conversation; rather they talk about why they want to lose the weight - to play with their children, to live longer, to be a grandparent, to literally be able to have children, and more. These statements of purpose are the real "why" - the real reason they are putting their bodies and minds through extremes. Those with the strongest purposes, make the most progress.

The need for massive action. You must agree that you can't lose 20-50+% of your body weight in 7 months by eating a few less chips or walking once in awhile. The people on the show aren't timid about their actions. They are doing the extreme! When I watch them I am continually reminded that if you want massive change, you must take massive action.

The value of new habits. During the course of the show, there are episodes where all the remaining contestants go home for one or more weeks. During this time, they need to continue to exercise and eat correctly because when they return for the weekly weigh in, they will be accountable for their actions of the week. Those that are most successful at home are those who have built new habits of thinking and acting; habits that transcend the time away from home. So it is for us - we must consciously build habits that support the goals we want to achieve, and make choices that are consistent with those goals.

The consequences of coaching. The show has two trainers who work with the contestants throughout the show - helping them with diet, exercise and mindset changes. Would the contestants be as successful without a coach to help them with their improvement? Of course not! Few of us would embark on physical fitness change without some coaching; yet often we try to reach other personal or professional goals without informed help. Crazy isn't it? If you want great success, get informed, caring, wise assistance.

Each of these lessons is incredibly valuable, and when intentionally applied can create great change. They apply to those we lead as well. When you take these lessons and apply them to your leadership activities, you can make a bigger difference within your organization.

Am I telling you to watch the new season, or watch past episodes online?

Not necessary; that is up to you.

What I am telling you is that if you want greater results in any part of your life, pay attention to the lessons I have shared above.

Because they work.
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About the Author:
Remarkable leaders know that their ability to master these ideas makes them more effective leaders. One of the ways you can learn the skills related to goal achievement, focus and influence (and much more) is by participating in The Remarkable Leadership Learning System - a one skill at a time, one month at a time approach to becoming a more confident and successful leader. Get $748.25 worth of leadership development materials including two months of that unique system as part of Kevin Eikenberry's Most Remarkable Free Leadership Gift Ever today. Kevin is a bestselling author, speaker, trainer, consultant and the Chief Potential Officer of the Kevin Eikenberry Group.

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Posted by Lehel S. on May 1st, 2010 8:06 PM



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