Have you ever wondered when you know you are successful? And why can you feel successful one day and then the next feel unsuccessful?
Success is one of those elusive terms that is so hard to pin down because it means something different to each person. For a person making $70,000 a year in sales, jumping to $300,000 in sales is successful. While for someone making a million in sales, bringing in only $300,000 is unsuccessful.
Success is something personal that each person needs to define for themselves. Ironically your success if often evaluated by you based on what is most important in your life at that moment. So let’s say you value work really highly and you drive yourself to become the CEO of a major corporation. You would feel very successful. But the next day you find out your wife is leaving you and you realize you should have valued family higher- now you probably feel unsuccessful.
So why am I even writing about this? Because I want you to realize that success is a journey, not a destination. THE SUCCESS is HOW you take that journey not just the results of the journey. I find much more success in figuring out my flaws then in just wrapping myself in my results. Finding the flaws, owning them and then trying to fix them is a much harder journey but one that usually brings me to a much better spot. I just have to trust in the journey.
Each day define your success for that day. Realize it is a moving target but it is definitely in your reach. Reach high, don’t be afraid to fail and continue to challenge yourself to grow.
John Hopkins Carey Business School in Baltimore just did a study that showed that people with a trusting nature tend to come out with the best outcomes when negotiating.
Because their trusting nature leads them to think and assume the best of others. Thus their body language, word choices and ways of thinking focus on the opportunities rather than on counterproductive behaviors that have both sides doing a protective dance rather than a collaborative dance.
I point this out because how you THINK is imperative to how you ACT. The one superceeds the other. Outcome Thinking is all about how to change the way you think so that you see opportunities where others see barriers and your energy is always on making things happen.
Next time you go into a negotiation start with the assumption that the other party wants a fair and equitable solution. Then watch how your brain shifts to thinking about how to make that happen rather than focusing on how to STOP them from stripping power from you. Turn your negotiations around so they are building blocks, not stumbling blocks.
Eric Clapton has remained an icon in the music industry for years. In debates on who is the “greatest guitarist of all time” and Clapton’s name is one that constantly comes up.
So what lesson as leaders can we learn from Clapton about staying power? About what makes you great? And what makes you the top in your field?
It is interesting to note, that even though Eric has done of the truly legendary guitar pieces, he is also one of the greatest collaborators of all time. He has collaborated with B.B. King, Bob Dylan, Robbie Robertson, J.J. Cale, Wynton Marsalis, Steve Winwood, Duane Allman, Jeff Beck, George Harrison, Leon Russell, Stephen Stills, Roger Waters, Tina Turner, Frank Zappa, Elton John and Sheryl Crow. Wow what a list!
As a leader, who have you collaborated with lately? Do you run in a silo or do you get your team to spread their wings and join up with other teams? Do you hide your weakness or do you partner up with others who may be an asset to your weakness?
Ken Blanchard is a great collaborator. When you look at his books almost all of them have been co-authored.
When you collaborate you are more creative, more productive and usually better at overcoming barriers since you have more than just you committed to the deadline.
Take Action- Look at three projects that you could collaborate on and then seek out those individuals to move past good to greatness.
Is there really a sure fire way to protect your job? Well as we have all seen with this economy the blunt answer is no. However, there is a way you can ensure the greatest success for you and it is more in your control than you think.
So how can you ensure your success?
Well, a recent study of over 2000 employees and 800 managers across four generational categories – Gen Y, Gen X, Baby Boomers and Matures show that the key to success lies in your outlook. Not the Microsoft kind of Outlook but rather your own personal outlook and attitude.
Eight out of 10 employees attribute their ability to stay motivated and focused is due to their positive attitude. They found that their ability to stay focused and positive has allowed them to find new avenues of growth in their company.
Today companies are placing a higher emphasis on communication and accountability. So here are some ways you can shift your outlook or further develop your positive attitude to make you a more valuable asset at work.
Look for additional responsibilities you can take on. There is an enormous difference in how you are seen as a team player when you seek out new responsibilities versus when you accept new responsibilities asked of you. The latter is passive while the former is strategic. You want to be seen as strategic.
Look for collaborative opportunities. It is becoming more and more important to be innovative and collaborative. Look for ways you can stretch and intertwine two or more teams together on a project.
Work to put yourself out of a job. I know that one seems ridiculous but I will tell you in 20 years of working with top level executives I have found that the people who are continually systematizing their job, shortening processes and making their position “irrelevant” are exactly the people who become relevant to the organization. They see you as efficient, effective and completely relevant.
Look around and see what you can do to improve even one small process or to even eliminate it in the next 30 days. Once you have accomplished that, pick another one. Each time you become more efficient share what you did, how you did it and what the impact has been. People will notice.
PS: Join us for our next no-cost Impression Management webinar, The Key Ingredient To Executive Presence – The Secret Sauce That No one Tells You About!