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Peak Achievement Training of the Top Executives of a Fortune 500 Company: Improvements in an EEG Measure of Concentratio PowerPoint Presentation
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Peak Achievement Training of the Top Executives of a Fortune 500 Company: Improvements in an EEG Measure of Concentration. Col. (Ret.) Louis Csoka , Ph.D. Maximum Performance Group Jonathan D. Cowan, Ph.D. Peak Achievement Training. Background

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Peak Achievement Training of the Top Executives of a Fortune 500 Company: Improvements in an EEG Measure of Concentration

Col. (Ret.) Louis Csoka, Ph.D.

Maximum Performance Group

Jonathan D. Cowan, Ph.D.

Peak Achievement Training

slide2
Background

A Fortune 500 company has created a Peak Performance Center as part of their leadership development program. It was patterned after the program at the Center for Enhanced Performance at the United States Military Academy at West Point, the U.S. ‘s largest performance enhancement center, which was started by one of the authors (LC) in 1989.

Methods

The top 23 executives ata large corporation participated in a 20 session program, which included training on the FreezeFramer; respiration, EMG, and skin conductance preceding EEG training to enhance concentration, performed on the Peak Achievement Trainer. The executives participated in five hour-long sessions of Peak Achievement Training, consisting of individual coaching based on (with elaboration) the Peak Achievement Trainer's workbook, including about 35 minutes of practice on the InAll wideband suppression protocol per session. In the first and the last session, they were tested by measuring how long they could hold their InAll levels below 30 microvolts.

slide3
Results

During the pre-test, the first trial averaged 19 seconds, ranging from 10 to 40. The first trial in the post test was more than twice as long, 44 seconds, with the range running from 25 to 65 seconds. The average duration of the best trial per session almost doubled from 65 seconds at the pre-test to 128 seconds at post test. The ranges were 18 to 180 and 48 to 220, respectively. This is clear evidence of very rapid learning.

Conclusions

This is clear evidence of very rapid learning. Response to te program was overwhelmingly positive, with notable improvements in their ability to attend in crucial meetings, engage in critical performance appraisals with employees, and deliver exceptional presentations. These executives have returned voluntarily for many additional sessions, primarily using the Peak Achievement Trainer's ConAlert protocol, and the program is being expanded to 39 more executives. They are writing an article for Harvard Business Review.

the performance enhancement
The Performance Enhancement

The systematic application of performance enhancement skills has long been accepted and successfully applied in the world of sport. Its application in other arenas is yet to be fully realized. This brief overview reports on the successful development of a Peak Performance Center in a Corporate setting created to provide education and training in peak performance skills to business executives. The systematic and progressive approach to their training and development was based on a program developed at the US Military Academy at West Point in 1989 by this author. 23 executives participated in the first phase of the program including the CEO and his Executive Management Team and selected high potential executives key to the business’ success. The 20 one-hour sessions provided a basic understanding of the principles behind peak performance and the acquisition of five fundamental skills: positive/effective thinking, goal setting, stress management, attention control and visualization. Pre- and post-training assessments on the skills was accomplished through self-assessment and monitoring of various biofeedback and neurofeedback modalities. A post-training summative evaluation and testimonials by participants and by their managers and direct reports on observed behavior and performance change were obtained as measures of success. In addition, actual business results are also being tracked for improvement. These are lagging indicators and will be available at the end of the Company’s fiscal year. The data indicate significant impact on the behavior and performance of participants.

today s business environment has lead to
Today’s business environment has lead to . . .
  • Overload, stress and diminished performance from relentless productivity demands
  • Eroded confidence and self-esteem created by rapidly changing skill requirements and job assignments
  • Increased demand for personal responsibility and accountability arising from empowerment and emphasis on teams
  • Uncertainty about the balance in work and life because of the transformation of work through technology
  • Blurred vision, purpose and direction stemming from discontinuous change
overview of peak performance training
Overview of Peak Performance Training
  • Objective of Peak Performance Training
    • Educate and train in key peak performance skills that change behavior and enhance performance through increased self-mastery.
  • What Are the Key Skills?
    • Goal Setting - setting those goals and performance objectives that make the critical difference for an executive
    • Positive/Effective Thinking - establishing a continuous mind set of success through controlled positive self-talk
    • Stress Management – achieving voluntary control of emotional and physiological responses to stress that otherwise inhibit best performance
    • Attention Control – focusing and concentrating in a way that the most critical stimuli for any given performance situation are the point of attention
    • Visualization and Imagery – being able to literally see in your mind’s eye the desired performance and outcome
training progression for each module

Visualization & Imagery

Stress Management

Attention Control

Goal Setting

Cognitive Foundations

Module

Introductory

Session

Assessments

Equipment

Orientation

Training

Sessions

Training Progression for Each Module
  • Initial session (1 hr)
  • Test Battery (1 hr) : ASQ (Seligman)
  • ACSI (Smith, Smoll, Schultz, & Ptacek)
  • 5 peak performance skill modules
  • (Approx. 4 hrs each)
  • 60 minute sessions; once a week
  • 20 hours total time in Center over a 4-5 month period

Education

Acquisition

Intervention

Application

setting up a center and program
Setting Up a Center and Program
  • Establishing my qualifications, expertise, experience and credibility.
  • Identifying an organizational need (West Point: develop cadets to their full potential in all areas: academics, military leadership, athletics. Corporate: develop leadership talent)
  • Demonstrating the relationship between what I have to offer (peak performance training) and the need (enhanced performance in all areas)
  • Presenting lots of data, data, data of success (mine is desirable, or at least by others)
  • Presenting a complete program capability to key organizational decision makers. (West Point: football Coach first. Corporate: CEO)
  • Identifying key performers willing to “pilot” the program. (West Point: started with several key football players. Corporate: Executive team and high potentials)
  • Advertising any and all success – immediately and often.
  • Getting successful participants to spread “the gospel”.
  • Revisiting with organizational decision makers and laying out a detailed plan for developing and implementing a full-fledged program and/or Center.
business success experiences
Business Success Experiences
  • Full-scale Peak Performance Center created. First of its kind in the corporate arena.
  • Participants:
    • First Wave: CEO and his executive team; 11 high potential executives (23 total participants)
    • Second Wave (just starting): 39 executives and managers
  • First group of participants showed
    • significant improvement in peak performance skills
    • observed behavior change and enhanced performance
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Attention Control Progress:Focused Concentration on the Peak Achievement TrainerImprovements from Sessions 1 to 5

Range:

48-220

sec

Range:

18-180

sec

Range:

25-65

sec

Range:

10-40 sec

Length of Uninterrupted Concentration

extent to which i have improved in the peak performance skills
Extent to which I have improved in the peak performance skills…

No

Improvement

Significant

Improvement

N = 23

extent to which peak performance skills are relevant and applicable to my performance requirements
Extent to which peak performance skills are relevant and applicable to my performance requirements…

Not Relevant

nor Applicable

Highly Relevant

and Applicable

N = 23

extent to which the peak performance training has enhanced my performance and development
Extent to which the peak performance training has enhanced my performance and development…

No

Change

Significant

Enhancement

N = 23

testimonials and anecdotal evidence of peak performance skill application attention control
Testimonials and Anecdotal Evidence of Peak Performance Skill Application: Attention Control

“The module on attention control was a major breakthrough for me. The distinction between focus and concentration really clicked. I have learned a great deal about myself from these exercises and believe there is much for me to mine in this area. I have begun to be much more self-aware of how I am ‘paying attention’, in both group meetings and in one-on-one interactions. I have learned how to voluntarily change my field of focus to increase awareness of many things going on around me in a large meeting, for example.”

“This was my second most significant area of positive personal impact. Enhanced concentration skills developed in the Center seemed to really pay off in the number of individual, intense meetings held over the last few months. I have sensed a greater effort on my part, especially in listening. Just heightened awareness of the need alone has brought greater personal satisfaction”

“This is an area in which I had a strong need for improvement. I have been able to focus my attention in meetings much better, resulting in less repetition of topics covered. I can shift from one topic to another related topic more easily.”

“I have really become aware of where my focus and attention need to be in any given situation.”

“During ‘dry’ (but important) presentations, I can now concentrate much better.”

“I have learned the waste of trying to multi-task. I just don’t do it anymore.”

“Understanding the difference between focus and concentration was eye opening. I have been very aware of attending to one thing at a time and completely immersing myself.”

“I have focused on improving this in the [ ] project and in dealing with individual relationship building.”

dr csoka s comments
Dr. Csoka’s Comments

“Training attention control begins the entire process of developing peak performance, in the military and elsewhere. The Peak Achievement Trainer provides an excellent tool for developing enhanced skills in focus and concentration. We have been working with business executives at a Fortune 500 company on their attention skills as part of a broader peak performance training program that is an integral component of their leadership development program...”

measurable improvements from peak achievement training
Measurable Improvements from Peak Achievement Training

“We have been able to demonstrate measurable improvements in their ability to attend in crucial meetings, engage in critical performance appraisals with employees, and deliver exceptional presentations. The Peak Achievement Trainer provides the critical feedback during attention control training needed to develop this skill to a level equal to what elite athletes have been able to achieve.”

Col. (RET.) Louis Csoka, Ph.D.

program is very successful
Program is Very Successful
  • Adding 39 more executives to the 23 already trained.
  • CEO and 5 others have continued training, most all on the Peak Achievement Trainer’s ConAlert protocol.
  • CEO and Dr. Csoka are writing an article about this for Harvard Business Review.
  • More information about this multimodality program is on the tape of Dr. Csoka’s talk on Day 1 of our seminar at ISNR in Houston. Available as Tape WS-2a from http://isnr.org/2003/tapesvideo.htm