Bob Burg on Becoming a Person of Value
I asked Bob Burg if he felt like a success; it’s a slippery topic that requires definition so we slipped back into how he defined it.
At first Bob talked goals. “On the most basic level, success could be achieving a tangible goal, but of course it goes much deeper than that.”
Then Bob quoted, Earl Nightingale, “Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal.” Trajectory rather than arrival makes this definition more satisfying. Progress, also makes this definition slippery. We continued talking about success and ultimately landed on a definition Bob fully embraces.
“Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming,” John Wooden. Bob spoke of success as living up to potential. This definition is the slipperiest of all. So I asked Bob, “How are you doing with your potential?” He brought up Einstein.
“Try not to become a man of success but rather to become a man of value.” Bob said he didn’t think Einstein actually said the quote because it identifies success with only money.
Bob explained, “Reaching my potential is becoming a person of value.” So I asked, “How are you becoming a person of value?”
He talked to me about encouragement. His dad encouraged people; that’s what Bob wants to do. The obvious question, “How can we encourage?”
Burg’s six ways to encourage others:
- Envision their potential.
- Help them define and reach their goals.
- Communicate you believe in them, with an emphasis on communicating. It’s not enough to feel a thing, you must communicate it.
- Positive expectations without attachment.
- Highlight the good. Bob said, “My dad knew how to make others feel good about themselves.”
- Correct in ways that don’t create defensiveness. Correct with appreciation.
How do you define success?
What are you doing to achieve success according to your own definition?
Part one of my conversation with Bob: “Bob Burg on Life and Leadership”
Part two of my conversation with Bob: “Finding Freedom While Developing Leaders”
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Oooh… good post, and you ask one of my favorite questions at the end! Haha…
Here’s are excerpts from my Website, on how I define success to some of my clients:
“True Success (big S, as in “my life is a success”) is about feeling great about where you are and where you are going. That means success is more about habits of thought, than merely goal achievement, or how much abundance you have in a particular area of your life.
We all can appreciate and abundance of wealth, time, health, love, etc., but let’s not confuse abundance with success. There are many who are wealthy in one or more of these areas, yet report not feeling successful at all.
Success involves enjoying the process of getting there as much, or more, than arriving. Success includes appreciation of past “failures” and “mistakes” as well as our wins.
Success is attitude. It’s a plane that’s climbing, nose up, even through a bumpy ride, but one that will stay in the air, and that enjoys flying—even through the contrasts of weather and scenery.
Achieving this kind of successful outlook may mean adjusting some habitual thoughts and beliefs, and the payoffs are well worth the examination and change!”
“We can all benefit by reclaiming authority that up until now, we’ve practiced giving away in order to gain the approval of others — or for this or that imagined reason.
There’s real power in the knowing that our happiness and success are not about someone else’s actions or solution, but about finding what works for us, and practicing that with focus and positive expectation.”
I also have a more metaphysical description here.
I also believe that everyone is a “person of value” just being who they are, and it’s all about added “action” value after that.
We all know folks who aren’t a big deal in any business or public way, but who add immeasurable value to our lives just being in a room with them. It is very often not about what they do or have done (except in that what the did or have done came from WHO they are) and very much about the essence of them… I consider these folks successful.
Thanks for bringing up this important topic…
Agree completely that success is about how you feel about yourself and how you enjoy your days. Also agree wholeheartedly that people have intrinsic value and then add to it with their actions. Great additions to a great post – thank you.
Greg, thank you so much for reading and commenting on my contribution. Dan is a great guy to let me chime in here with my often lengthy responses! 🙂
How do you define success?
A difficult question with no cut-and-dried answer. I remember reading how Nicholas Sparks, mega-best-selling author, found out about his first large advance (it was HUGE – like $500,000) and going straight to a meeting where he did his pharmaceutical rep duties, which he continued to do for a period of time, because deep down inside he was wary of the longevity of his success. Here’s the reference to the book where he discusses all of this – in case I misrepresented facts and figures! http://www.nicholassparks.com/books/three-weeks-with-my-brother
What are you doing to achieve success according to your own definition?
For a definition of success, I’ll forego my story in deference to Jess’s story of Brooke (who has autism) overcoming her aversion to dogs to welcome the family pet – a success that transformed a little girl – http://adiaryofamom.wordpress.com/2010/09/14/a-girl-and-her-dog/
Dan, this is an awesome topic, because it gets to the core driver of behaviors. I wonder how much unhappiness is because of people accepting some-one else’s standard of success. That leads to mismatches in employment, material purchases, relationships . . .
For me, success is both simple and complex. Simply stated, successful living means becoming what I was meant to be and doing what I was put here to do. Obviously that’s closely related to my worldview. I believe I was put here to serve people, and that what I was meant to be is revealed as I continue to maximize the use of the things I do well. The complexity comes from all the nuance such a loose definition can cover. It would be a lot easier if my measurement of success was a million dollars.
An example of where my line of thinking brings you: My definition of financial success is that amount of money that allows me never to think about money. In other words, lack of money doesn’t limit me, but I don’t have to spend a lot of my time managing my wealth either. Those kinds of goals are tough to measure.
Success has a different meaning for different person , some sees achieving the numerical position as a success some sees the value addition as a success , the business person sees growth of business as success the saint /sage find the growth of ethical values as a success , different set of people have different set of success deffination and also this depends on personal perception , perceived image about success , imagination and ability to achieve that sets the benchmark of success , A genuine leader feels the fruit of success by making other successful ,success is not a commodity which can be bought and sold , success is not a story which can be told and can be adopted , success is all about the perceived image about the success , I may be satisfying by getting something , same the case may not be with others .The great success I must get by making other to get success , that require a lot of guts , stamina and will power , As you rightly mentioned that you have o envision yopur potential ,expecting positive without attachment and without greed .
Definition of success varies from person to person. There is no universally acceptable single definition of success. It depends upon individual belief system. For me, Success is a journey of achieving that provides a sense of pride and affection even after you have left the world. Success is about remain connected with lower people when you reach higher. Success is accomplishment extra ordinary goals with extra effort. Success is not about reaching to the higher position while disconnecting and dis balancing other things. So, success is about humility, empathy and sacrifice.
I am learning to understand what I can change what I can not change.It means, I try to understand universal dynamics over which I do not have any control. Man made limitations are the great hazard and obstacle. And I want to understand and challenges those beliefs.
I try to explore new paradigm of our cognition and belief. And I have found out that our belief is the greatest strength and greatest weakness as well. When we think we can, that is our strength, and when we say we can not, that is our weakness. And unfortunately, that is created by us.
Another great post, Dan! I wrote a blog about the definition of success a little while back (http://turningpointcc.com/2010/04/success-defined/). As I pondered this question, I realized that my definition of success changed as I matured both physically and philosophically. Blazing my trail to my own definition of success enabled me to grow, which then altered my values and my own definition of success. I truly believe that values and success are closely linked.
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