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Getting There

filed in Success

In my mother’s day, ‘getting there’ meant finding a partner, having a roof over your head and family you could afford to feed. That’s still the reality for many but probably not for most people reading this today.

Now ‘there’ is now the elusive place where accomplishments are built ever higher, boxes are ticked and accolades rain down. A transient state of worthiness we achieve when we finally have proof that we’ve done enough, achieved enough, been enough. ‘There’ is a metric that quickly loses it’s shiny allure once it’s met. A journey we are encouraged to feel we should be on and a destination where many of us will never feel we’ve quite arrived.

The truth is we are ‘there’ in every moment we live without comparison, or spend our time wisely. When we give of ourselves generously and create intentionally. It’s not some distant or better horizon, but a grounded state we can give ourselves permission to inhabit.
You’re already there if you choose to be.

Image by Stephanie Onderchanin

How Our Actions And Results Align

filed in Entrepreneurship, Success

If we want attention, we must deliver value.
If we want to be innovative, we must practice empathy.
If we want loyalty, we must give respect.
If we want to be believed, we must earn trust.
If we want rewards, we must embrace risks.
If we want to matter, we must create meaning.

We not only reap what we sow but also how and why we sow.

Image by carnagenyc

Metrics For A Job Well Done

filed in Brand Strategy, Success

Every business has metrics for a job well done. We know when our sales are up and complaints are down. We can measure our organisation’s performance and success in a myriad of ways.

For many businesses, success is measured in efficiencies and financial targets. Others choose to pay attention to customer’s success stories. The old axiom that ‘what’s measured improves’ holds true. When we clearly define the path we want to take we have a better chance of following it.

Three Success Assessment Questions For You

What do our customers expect from us?
How can we help our customers to reach their goals?
How exactly will we know when we’ve succeeded?

Your customer’s success story is your story too.

Image by Brandon Binkwilder Santana.

Success Is…

filed in Brand Strategy, Success

Not surprisingly there’s been a lot of talk in the news lately about winning. It’s a subject that’s never far from our minds, especially if we’re leading or building a business. Conventional wisdom dictates that someone has to come out on top, and if we believe this is true we want it to be us and not the other guy. We don’t want to be caught short, overtaken or left behind—so we allocate resources (both material and emotional) to make sure we win. Sometimes we do this without articulating why winning is important and what it looks like. We seldom calculate what the real cost of pursuing a win above all else will be—not just on our balance sheets, but to our values, reputations, legacies, and well-being beforehand.

If we play to win is our goal to make sure that others lose, or is it something bigger? When we forsake traditionally, narrow metrics of success—things that can easily be weighed, measured and carefully graphed, we are free to embrace a much broader definition.

As business leaders, entrepreneurs and creators, we have a choice to make. We can aim to dominate and defeat, or we can choose to build and serve.

You might remember the 70s comic strip ‘love is…’ by Kim Casali. Even as a young child, long before boyfriends and broken hearts, I adored that comic strip. It showed me that there was no one way to define love—that there was more to it than a single long-stemmed red rose version of the truth. It taught me that we each get to choose what’s important and what’s worth working towards.

The same goes for success. We get to choose how to contribute and serve, how to achieve and lead.

Winning means different things to different people. It pays to be clear about exactly what your (and your team’s) definition of success is, and to know what you’re prepared to do to achieve your goals. Because unlike loving, winning for winning’s sake is overrated.

Image by Simon.

The Upside Of Ignoring Your Competition

filed in Brand Strategy, Success

In his memoir Bryan Cranston (the actor who plays Walter White in the cult drama series Breaking Bad), describes a mental shift he made about auditions twenty years ago. He and the other actors would smile politely at each other while they sweated it out waiting for their turn to audition. Every person in the room was attached to the outcome. They were all there competing to get something.

Everything changed when Bryan began to focus on the process instead of the outcome. When he stopped thinking of his audition as a means to an end and became less invested in the outcome, he was free to enjoy and serve the work.

“I wasn’t going to the audition to get anything: a job or money or validation. I wasn’t going to compete with the other guys. I was going to give something.”

This new mindset meant Bryan freed himself up to give his best.

Whenever we’re trying to succeed at anything—going for a promotion, getting funding or closing the sale, we become attached to the outcome. That focus on a future we can’t control stops us fulfilling our potential in the moment.

We don’t win by trying to beat our competition. We triumph and thrive when we are motivated to do our best work, irrespective of what the competition is doing.

Image by Raphaël Labbé.