Ask any number of people what they plan to accomplish this year and how they plan to top that next year, and you’re likely to hear about business goals and organizational changes, team building and so on. In many instances, you’ll find its full speed ahead, strike while the iron’s hot, no looking back, keep your eyes on the prize.
Planning to outperform this year with bigger and better goals next year certainly keeps an organization headed in the right direction, but is that what success looks likes? Or are those achievements we call success the byproduct of success?
What Makes Success a Success?
Many leaders invite people to join them on a journey of a lifetime, everyone signs up with all the excitement of a group of children headed for an amusement park. The trip begins with great anticipation and the momentum builds as everyone recalls past experiences at a park.
Imagine the surprise and confusion that overtakes the driver when they arrive at their destination alone. They arrived at their planned destination, but is it what they desired?
So, they ask themselves “what happened?” “Where did everyone go?” Without people, the amusement park isn’t very amusing, neither is leadership rewarding without people taking the journey with you. Like planning a trip, leadership is all about the people who travel with you.
Success Is Never Achieved Alone
Christopher Grey writes, “To identify what success is, we need to ask some basic questions about human behavior and what motivates people, such as: Why do you do what you do? What are the goals you’d like to achieve?” (1) Whatever your answer may be, one thing is certain, you will not be successful without the help of a good team.
Successful people are never successful without people. John Maxwell says, “teamwork makes the dream work” because it’s true. Building anything of value without people is impossible. If you’re driven to succeed, develop a humble attitude of gratitude because the higher your level of success the more people you’ll have to thank for achieving it.
Dwayne “The Rock,” Johnson says, “Greatness is never achieved alone. Surround yourself with hungry, brilliant individuals who not only buy into your philosophy but who are all willing to work just as hard as you. The Power of teamwork, and don’t ever forget where you came from.” (2)
Relax and Reflect
“Stopping to think about where it’s all going will save us from having to stop and think about where it all went.” -JSP
To relax and reflect may appear unproductive, but it’s a powerful revitalizing tool. Good leaders know the danger of being too busy, they make quality think time a priority because, it stirs your creativity, readjusts your thinking so your vision comes into focus with greater clarity and new ideas.
Take some time to reflect on the gifts and talents of your team members. Ask yourself:
- How well do you communicate with them?
- Do you know how they view you as a leader?
- How well do you prepare them for new initiatives?
It takes self-discipline to slow down and take some time to think about what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and how will it help you get to where you need to be. You’ll discover that utilizing quality think time is an invaluable investment in your future.
Prepare and Produce
John Maxwell says, “Preparation doesn’t begin with what you do. It begins with what you believe. If you believe that your success tomorrow depends on what you do today, then you will treat today differently… If you are preparing today, chances are, you will not be repairing tomorrow” (3)
As a leader what you do with your time flows from your priorities. If your priorities are out of order, everything else will follow. How you handle yourself today gives you an accurate forecast of how well you’ll do tomorrow.
(1) Hacking Your Future: What is Success? By Christopher Grey https://goo.gl/f8raZf
(2) Article Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Gives The World Invaluable Advice To Achieve Success, by Jenelle Taylor July 14, 2016, https://goo.gl/jfRCvM
(3) Talent is Never Enough by John C. Maxwell (“Preparation Positions Your Talent” Chapter 5)