WATCH: How Sustainable Are Your Results?

In this episode, I’d like to talk about ‘The Paradox of Sustained Results’. Which is, how we apply our motivation being self-motivated while minimising stress. And it’s one of the 12 behavioural Paradoxes developed by Dr. Dan Harrison. If we look at a paradox as being two statements, which seem to be contradictory but are in fact both true. We can look at a behavioural paradox, as being two traits, which seem to be opposing one another are contradicting one another yet when they come together form something synergistic.  



So, in ‘The Paradox of Sustained Results’, we’ve got two traits one is being ‘Self-Motivated’. That’s the ability and enjoyment of taking initiative, enjoying a challenge and being really clear and enthusiastic about your goals.

Stress Management

And ‘Stress Management’. Which is being able to be calm and relaxed at work and managing stress when it occurs. Now, if we have both of these together that’s great, but if one of them is out of balance, then we can get unintended consequences.

Stressed Achievement

So, for example, if we’re very high on ‘Self-Motivation’, but not so good on ‘Stress Management’. We can end up with ‘Stressed Achievement’. Which means, we may achieve great things but it’s not sustainable over time because we’re neglecting our health. We’re neglecting our well-being and, that may lead to burnout and exhaustion. It can also mean, that while we might achieve great things in the team, the team can actually also suffer from stress, because of your stress. So, you need to be very careful about balancing this and looking after yourself.

Tranquil Inertia

However, if we have ‘Stress Management’ we are really good, relaxed and calm at work. And, really great at managing stress but our ‘Self-Motivation’ is low then we fall into ‘Tranquil Inertia’. And, while we might enjoy our work, actually that can undermine performance, it can remind our own career progression. And it can lead to disharmony in the team because people may feel that, you know, you’re not motivated enough to produce the results that are required.

Poised Achievement

So, what we’re really looking for is both traits strong, so that we get ‘Poised Achievement’. And that allows us to be clear on our purpose and achieve personal satisfaction. It allows us to achieve results with minimum amounts of stress. And it means, that we look after our health and prioritise our health as well as our results. Which is very inspiring and motivates others through example.

So, when it comes to ‘Sustained Results’, Stay curious!


With best regards,

David Klaasen

Talent4Performance help business leaders clarify complexity. We inspire people and drive continuous performance improvement, so they can convert thinking into action and results.

©David Klaasen – 2022