“Success” WOW... what a thought-provoking word. To get grounded for this month's blog I looked up the definition of success.
Success: noun; the accomplishment of an aim or purpose, the act of succeeding. Example: “there is a thin line between success and failure"
We all know how Wall Street defines success, but as individuals, we have been through so much this past year. The entire world has changed, and so has our definitions of success... As we all continue to evolve during these challenging times, I have found myself evaluating my own definition in order to keep me moving toward my vision of longevity for my life. My intuitive measurement of success is when I get “tears of joy” while looking at my family… my successful sons who are well-grounded in life… my thriving granddaughter… “joy” is clearly my definition of success! And knowing I only got here to have these joyous tears because of my vision for my life and surrounding myself with individuals to help me get there…
"My aim or purpose". Ultimately, my definition of success for me;
FUN (engagement in enjoyable activity) + HAPPINESS (a state of well-being characterized by emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy) = JOY (A feeling of great pleasure “tears of joy”)
I believe I’m not alone in questioning our personal definition of success.
How have I gotten through the toughest of toughest times (most challenging times)? It was always with the element of fun. My philosophy is that to make change happen in your life one must remain grounded with a clear vision while including an element of fun in what you are doing, which allows one to enjoy the “pursuit to
happiness”. If someone would ask why I think the organizations I work with are so successful in just one word, it would be the word FUN! Because no matter what the business was, no matter what the challenge was, I have always found a way for my organization to have fun. Fun + Happiness = Joy (my definition of success) In reflecting on Webster's definition of 'success' I found it very interesting and I actually laughed out loud when I saw the verbiage "there’s a fine line between success and failure." Why did I laugh at that? For years I have been coaching my leadership teams that their job is to keep the team, the organization, the business on that very fine line (while always including an element of fun)! My definition of success for an organization or direction for a leader would be to keep the organization on that “very fine line of stress and challenge”! Why? Because that’s when your people, I believe, are truly at their best. They’re the most productive they’re the most engaged and they thrive. But what also is important is that when your team/business/organization is over the line into the stress zone, that they have a clear vision of where they’re going and that element of fun can help get them through. (Make sure your leadership team is celebrating the smallest successes, wear the fun hats, blow the horns, take a moment and play BINGO.)
It’s also important to let them know that there’s hope, that we will get through the challenge together even in times of uncertainty. Hence the power of an engaging vision for an organization and creating tools that can be tapped into during these stressful times, when they’ve gone over that line. On the flip side, is still critical to keep them on that line of stress and challenge. Because if they’re not staying challenged, they’re having perhaps too much fun in your organization, then your productivity will go down, they will not be at their best, and your turnover will go up. A team that is not fully engaged is then not being challenged to be their best. And that is our job, that is where
the art of leadership comes in, that’s where the hard work is as a leader - to keep your team, business, or organization on that very fine line of stress and challenge.
I’ll get back to the basics, I’ve led teams in all types of organizations for the past 30 years. Reflecting back to examine what really worked for me, and knowing I’m a pretty normal average person, if it’s worked for me for decades, then there is a high probability it will work for others. Soooo how are you defining success? What will success look like for you, and your business… what is the one word that describes your organization’s success…your success as an individual? Are you building a leadership and support team of people who have the same idea of success as you?