If any year told us how we’d react under pressure, 2020 was it. And one person who understands the intricacies of working under stress is Rich Diviney, a retired Navy SEAL-turned-author.
In fact, Diviney used 2020 as an example in the first chapter of his latest book, The Attributes: 25 Hidden Drivers of Optimal Performance. In the three introductory scenarios of uniquely stressful situations, Diviney says, “Each has plunged you into the depths of uncertainty, into a dark and unfamiliar place where panic rises with every heartbeat or confusion bleeds into fear.”
In those moments, he claims, skills aren’t necessarily important. Attributes are. Attributes are wired into our internal circuitry and dictate how we behave, react and perform.
Diviney explains that beneath obvious skills are hidden drivers of performance — what he calls core attributes. These determine how resilient or perseverant we are, how situationally aware and how conscientious. Core attributes inform how we approach and handle stress, challenges, and uncertainty.
The methodology that Diviney used in the military can be used in our personal and professional lives, and understanding these attributes can allow readers and their teams to perform optimally, at any time and in any situation.
These core attributes include grit, drive, teamwork ability, mental acuity and leadership. Diviney breaks them down even further within the sections of the book, including things like task switching, empathy, cunning, open-mindedness, even narcissism.
As one reviewer put it, Diviney’s book explains how some people thrive even when things get hard.