Seven Ways to Succeed Again

house fire

Failure is hard, but maintaining success is harder. Things get clear when the house is on fire.

Obstacles pull strong teams together. Crisis creates focus and urgency. There’s nowhere to go but up.

Adversity brings out the best.
Success brings out the worst.

Success, apart from skillful leadership, is deadly. There’s nowhere to go but down.

7 dangers of success:

  1. Pettiness, gossip, greed,  and jealousy.
  2. Protectionism. You used to try stuff. Now you don’t dare.
  3. Elitism. We are so awesome!
  4. Repeatism – trusting in the past to create the future.
  5. Overconfidence and self-congratulation.
  6. Easing up and letting down.
  7. Distraction.

7 ways to succeed again:

  1. Integrate new, young leaders. The good ole boys club revels in past assumptions. New leaders kick assumptions in the pants.
  2. Make decisions. Decision-making slows during success. How much time would you take if the house was on fire?
  3. Eradicate whining; seek solutions. It’s easy to whine when things are going great.
  4. Engage in cross-functional activities. Create teams of people who haven’t previously worked together.
  5. Focus on values. Fear of losing ourselves keeps us from pressing forward. Values keep organizations grounded during heady days of success.
  6. Passionately pursue the future by establishing new goals and defining new wins. Resist the temptation to ease off the gas.
  7. Take more risks not fewer. You can afford it. Protecting what you have preserves the past.

Crying wolf:

Leading after success is your greatest leadership challenge. You completed a successful project. Profits are up. But, people let down. You’re yelling speed up while they’re saying ease up. You sound like the boy crying wolf.

Thanks to Bill Hybels, who got me thinking about this subject with his presentation at the Global Leadership Summit.

What are the dangers of success?

How can leaders best lead when things are going great?

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