10 Ways to Build Success in 2015
- Over-respond to courage when you see it in others. Bold screw ups are better than timid success.
- Spend 20% of your time acknowledging problems and 80% creating solutions. The 80/20 ratio is usually reversed. Successful leaders find a way forward. Pessimists can’t lead. Hand-wringers inspire hand-wringing.
- Create environmental solutions. Play happy music if you want people to feel up, calm if you want relaxation, for example. Environmental solutions prevent nagging, bossing, and persistent intervention. Place a barrier to the left if you want people to turn right.
- Go outside your organization to deal with personal discouragement. No exceptions. Don’t be “up” all the time. But, when darkness closes in, find light outside.
- Mourn with those who mourn and rejoice with those who rejoice, at least for a while. You don’t get it, from their point of view, if you don’t acknowledge it. See big problems when others see big problems. Don’t minimize. But, don’t sit and play in the mud. (See #2)
- Build on progress more than fixing. All leaders deal with mistakes and failure, but darkness expands when fixing is your focus.
- Get people in their sweet spot. Don’t press through repeated failure and nagging frustration. Promote people into their strengths.
- Respond to resistance with gentle persistence. Focus on big goals – adapt on short-term methods. Say, “Here’s what we’re trying to accomplish. What can we try that moves us forward?” Bowling people over drains their motivation.
- Answer persistent resistance with vision-clarification and realignment. “Are we pulling in the same direction?” Short-term goals won’t help if they’re pulling North and you’re pulling West.
- Create and celebrate small wins all the time. Long-range is fine for the board-room but disappointing where the rubber hits the road. Momentum is a series of small wins.
Bonus: Answer less – ask more.
Which item is most important to you? Why?
What “Must do” would you add to the list?
Ask more and building on progress. I believe that talk is cheap so it’s better to talk little and walk the talk! Building on progress means for me celebrating small successes together and finetuning there were possible to maximize opportunities for future. Thanks Dan!
Thanks Dennis. Building on progress is one of my favorites. I find it easy to get sucked into fixing problems. Frankly, fixing stuff is more dramatic and makes me feel more important than building on progress because progress is more about others. 🙂
Yeah, have never seen it like that. Others are important with successful leaders, caring for others and improving other person’s skills and maybe at the end also their perspective. That’s what defines a true leader. Happy Holidays. Thanks again for sharing your insights, very interesting.
“Place a barrier to the left if you want people to turn right.” Love that. 🙂
Thanks Stuart. Happy New Year
My favorite is “Respond to resistance with gentle persistence.” We see to many times where leaders think their followers should “just get it!” They don’t want to spend time working on understanding and getting buy-in. The march forward, running right over the members of their team. And then they wonder why they are not successful and their people are not motivated.
Thanks Jay. Of all the ideas in this post. This one is one that took me a very long time to learn. Because it took so long, I ran over people. Guess what? Running over people isn’t good leadership. 🙂 Here’s to toughness AND tenderness.
Love it – Answer less – ask more!!. Why do we as leaders think we have to solve evrything? At the same time asking questions can make folks uncomfortable. This is where leadership humility sets it. Those you work with need to to be 100% confident the questions are a means to understand, educate and advocate. If I don’t know then I can’t understand so how can I walk alongside you and be an encouragement s solutions are sought?
Thanks Ken. It’s true. Questions can be a form of manipulation.
Every answer we give moves ownership in our direction. We need to give the answers only we can give. Perhaps it involves resource allocation or future direction, for example.
When celebrating short-term wins, taking time to relate those wins to achieving big goals is a good way to aid “vision clarification” in a natural way and in a positive context.
Thanks Jim. Bingo!
Keep building on progress is a real game winner as there is a sign of growing in the right direction as compared to stagnant discussion s with no sense of growths. Actually they are all good as always! I use music to calm and uplift when I need mind refresh, along with get up and walk away briefly opens the mind too!
“Bold screw ups are better than timid success.” Love that sentence. Now is the time to get out there and do something and don’t be scared to “fail”.
I found all suggestions important. 80/20 rule I got specifically important. We must focus more on seeking solutions than finding problems. The reason is simple- when we look for solutions we become optimistic and forward looking.
I would add here ” courageous humility” in the list.I mean we should have courage to face challenges. We should have courage to show simplicity after getting success. We should also show humbleness while behaving with others. Courageous humility is about being truthful to our effort, having right intention, power will and and showing great sense of humility. It means we should not harbor boast or arrogance in our attitude and behavior after getting success. Success is individual and behavior is about others. So, it is important to understand that people are interested more how you behave with them rather than what you achieve,
All the points you have mentioned are valid through out the journey of our life and through good and bad patches of leadership journey, I find all the points you have mentioned relevant and related to day to day life, only things, whether we are practicing these skills in toto and in right spirit.I find point no.4 and 6 more appealing and encouraging , find light out side and build on progress. life is full of ups and downs , we have to find the ways to overcome these upheaval. As a successful leader there are certain principle and ethics which we need to follow and practice in our daily routine. certainly the insights given by you if being followed in true behavior, will certainly bring happiness and joyness.
“Create and celebrate small wins all the time. Long-range is fine for the board-room but disappointing where the rubber hits the road. Momentum is a series of small wins.”
Dan, that is very smart advice. We love the finish line but not so much each single step that gets us there. Why delay our sense of satisfaction and happiness until we cross the finish line? When we celebrate and honor the entire process we avoid the exaggerated highs and lows created by focusing on the grand finale.
Dan, wonderful post, especially the part about going outside the organization for the dark times. Too many managers share their frustration and disappointment with team members, become too close to the team. It’s one thing to be approachable and another completely to become a part of the problem. I also especially liked the idea of celebrating the small successes all the time; it’s the small successes that lead to achievement of the big ones. Another great post!
Misery loves company. So if you find yourself in a perpetually miserable condition, then do what ever you can to leave it, because you can build a positive empire as those who are miserable live miserably.
I like #1 as it reminds me a maxim that I learned years ago, namely “Sin Boldly.” I know very well that this is part of a longer statement by Martin Luther, and that his statement dealt with our relationship with Christ, not progress in the business world, yet, the underlying essence of what he expressed, namely that one should act on their beliefs with conviction, is something that I have always to be applicable to any endeavor, including those in the business world.
Thanks again for your continued great insights. I enjoy your daily emails!
Dan, the point that resonated must with me is the idea of celebrating small wins. There is a danger associated with being highly achievement oriented that one misses out in taking satisfaction on achievements.
I like the statement, “Bold screw-ups are better than timid success.” It is not always better to play it safe and sound in business. It’s wise to assume some risks with new ideas or projects, because nobody ever achieved success without confidence in an idea and some trial and error. Failure happens a lot, but with a good attitude and determination, and the willingness to try new things, success is always just around the corner.
I would like to add the following-
Do not be a problem. Instead be a problem solver.
Be proactive .
Do not micro manage. Instead delegate and trust your team.
Encourage free expression of opinions.
Allow others to commit mistakes so that they get a chance to learn from it.
These are all old adage but not followed to the tee.