7 Powerful Ways to Clear Your Path to Success
It’s easy to point out mistakes and problems. Offering solutions is another matter.
A Leadership Freak contributor writes on yesterday’s article, “I was hoping for the “how not to make these mistakes” version of “The Top Mistake of Team-Leaders.” Any tips regarding how to curtail the mistakes on that list?
In other words, don’t just point out mistakes. Bring positive value.
Success based on avoiding:
To be fair, sometimes just knowing, naming, and avoiding mistakes enables success.
Marshall Goldsmith pointed out that leadership success may be achieved by stopping behaviors that aren’t working while maximizing positive behaviors that already exist. (What Got You Here Won’t Get You There)
When negative behaviors obscure the benefit
you provide, stopping them may be enough.
When avoiding isn’t enough:
If you don’t provide positive benefits,
avoiding negative behaviors won’t help.
Bring positive benefit:
- Find your positive value and consistently, passionately bring it.
- Stop diluting your value by being all things to all people. Trying to be all things to all people makes you nothing to most.
- Deliverables and products are important but the needs you meet demonstrate your real value. How is life around you better because you are there? Make life better for others.
- Say no so you can say yes. Not everyone values the value you bring. Focus on those who do.
Clearing the path to success:
Trying not to fail won’t create success; sometimes you should fail more. However, diminishing the likelihood of mistakes helps maximize the likelihood of success:
- Test as you go.
- “Be quick but don’t hurry.” Coach Wooden.
- Establish procedures.
- Search for root causes.
- “Begin with the end in mind.” Covey.
- Demand clarity. Few things are more powerful.
More on Facebook.
Even more on Success:
Top 15 Strategies for Leadership Success
16 Things Successful Leaders Never Do
What strategies or behaviors make success more likely?
Among all valuable suggestions, I like this- search for the root cause”. Many times we make effort and work harder but since the problem lies somewhere else, we do not succeed. Finding root cause provides information, what works and what does not work. I believe that setting ” Deadlines” for work, task or project based on its possibility and difficulty could be helpful. Without deadlines we tend to drift outside. Even the more important is following strictly deadlines or time table once set.
I appreciate your point that when people do not provide positive values, avoiding negative behavior does not help. People need to bring values before pointing out something. I also believe that Success lies in our belief. If we believe that we will succeed, everything keeps on moving in the direction that helps us to succeed. I have learned that between weakness and strength, we should believe more on strength and work harder to strengthen it. And in the process, weaknesses either get diluted, overlooked and remedied.
I always get influence by strategy and behaviors that address concerns that ultimately lead to overall development of people, community and enterprises. At the same time, I question myself, how my behavior affect, influence and impact my surroundings and colleagues.
Ajay, I agree with you. Searching for the root cause is a “quadrant 2” use of time that ultimately cuts down on “quadrant 1” crises.
Thanks for intensifying focus on searching for root causes. Sincerely working hard isn’t the problem for many, if not most, leaders. It’s pointing our energy in areas where it makes the most difference. Being effective. Cheers.
Would add that just because you found a cause, it may not be the root cause (often it isn’t)…keep mining as deep as you can because you never know what rich veins are under the proximate cause.
I absolutely agree with you. Many times the roots are somewhere and we blame something else.So, to find out root, we need to introspect, analyze, confirm to find out root cause. I had the similar opinions about me. I thought that root cause of my failure/success was something but actually it is something else. There are also some moments when root causes are beyond our controls. But to find out root cause is drilling down exercise with open mind.
Dan, I would add the strategy of REST. Call it, “Leveraging Down Time”. Prolonged nose-to-the-grindstone produces a diminishing return. When we think differently about rest, we can use rest to our advantage.
“We rest from our work” – is ok
“We work from our rest” – is better. Rest becomes an investment in future output/productivity.
Scott, I sure hope LF readers appreciate the distinction your making. Powerful
Would that we valued siestas more in this culture!
Re making mistakes I thought this might provide a useful perspective, i.e., another way to look at them. Don’t let a good business crisis go to waste! http://frymonkeys.com/dont-let-a-good-business-crisis-go-to-waste/
Mistake making is a huge topic. Thanks for extending the conversation.
“Bring positive benefit” points 1-4 … great stuff! I respect those who naturally put their talent to work in a targetted way. It’s not as easy as it sounds especially in this era of lean staffing.
Also ‘Begin with the end in mind’. You say it a lot, Dan, and it always makes sense and helps me re-focus and try harder, and to bring it to my small team. In my situation, I believe that’s the key to our success. Otherwise it’s just going for a stroll through your business day, a loss of precious time.
My group set some goals for a new business area, and at first it was slow going – our progress was measured in meetings, phone calls, information… slowly we identified those customers we could work with that matched this target … slowly we did small pieces of business, now a year later we have a litle track record and the next step and the step after that are coming into focus !
Thanks for the good word Catie and for sharing your leadership journey. Wonderful!
Thanks for highlighting the challenge of targeting our talent during lean times. In some ways, everyone has to do everything. Perhaps we need to say, do less of everything as much as possible.
Congratulations in your pursuit of progress…continued success to you.
sometimes fear of making a mistake results in lack of making a decision. The “inaction” (if that’s a word…) probably has greater negative impact than a mistake.
Kapow! What a powerful sentence… fear of making a mistake results in lack of making a decision…. The other side of this conversation is, “Go make more mistakes”
Will riff off of Scott’s advocation of ‘rest’ but shifting it slightly to ‘risk’ or even ‘recreate’.
For growth, energy, and positive mental health you might try to risk a bit every day. Yep, getting out of bed in the morning is a risk, but a deeper risk, done with wisdom and skill keeps you vital and charged. Even if you fail, if you risked safely, there will be much that can be learned.
And it can be risking outside of the work arena…it can be risking by going to a new church, reading a different type of book, or even something low key as a crossword puzzle with an ink pen. It can also be risking in the physical realm, again with wisdom and some skills built up.
So the other ‘r’-…re-create yourself. ‘Do’ something totally different than your work that gets your mind off of work. With the winter weather heading to this hemisphere, there’s nothing like that tree you are carving down a slope toward to make you stop thinking about about work dramas from the day before. (Don’t forget your helmet!) Shifting all those neurons gives you a new perspective on many festering issues.
My Achilles’ heel: taking on too many commitments. Your writing makes me look at this from a different perspective. Bring positive benefit: #2 Stop diluting your value and #4 Say no so you can say yes. Thanks.
Great read, I especially liked the part that reads, “Say no so you can say yes”. This is one of my biggest weaknesses, trying to please everyone while I sell myself and my family short of valuable time. Thank you!
Sincere, tender-hearted people who want to help others, often over-commit. It’s a tough one for sure. Best to you