It’s “Solution Saturday.” Bob sent a private message asking about coping with success.
Failure might hurt, but success might be deadly.
4 dangers of success:
Failure opens minds; success closes them.
- Self-deception. Success fools you into believing you’re better than others.
- Complacency. Success invites you to feel you’ve arrived. Innovation stops.
- Arrogance. Exaggerated self-importance is the reason leaders lose perspective. Successful leaders often excuse themselves from behaviors they expect from others, for example.
- Protectionism. Growth-thinking slips into protectionism when you succeed. Protecting gains is useful, as long as pressing forward drives daily behaviors. Organizations that don’t press forward always fall back.
Success hardens hearts; failure softens them.
7 ways to cope with success:
The only person who can humble you is you.
- Mention others when you talk about success. “We have a great team who….”
- When others talk about your success:
- Be thankful. Gratitude answers arrogance.
- Don’t make a big deal about it.
- Don’t think they are asking you to explain how you succeeded.
- Find a brag buddy, someone who can celebrate your success with you, and not feel threatened. (Thanks Jon Acuff.)
- Keep a journal of lessons learned from personal failure.
- Confront yourself before confronting others. Are you letting yourself off the hook, while putting others on it?
- Open your hand to others. You know you’re heading in the wrong direction when you close your fist. Enjoy success by sharing it.
- Celebrate the success of those who are more successful than you.
Bonus: Keep asking, “How can I serve?”
Success is not who you are its what you do.
Coping with success is coping with a persistent bent toward arrogance. Humility doesn’t eliminate a puffy heart, closed mind, or elitism.
Humility is a practice that answers, but never eliminates arrogance.
How might leaders cope with success?
Every Saturday I invite you to join me in offering solutions to issues/problems leaders share with the Leadership Freak community. I’m sending a Leadership Freak coffee cup to Bob because his question was chosen. Thanks Bob.