People who have fought hard to achieve success are, by nature, competitive. So, once they have what they want, they typically do not rest on their laurels. They re-calibrate and determine what they want next. For some it is growth. For others, it is improving on what they have. And for some it is moving on to achieve something totally different. Success may be a moving target.
Those that are fortunate enough to achieve great success at a young age may be fooled into believing that it is easily repeatable. They believe things can only get bigger and better, and many are disappointed when that belief does not come true.
As a rule (because there are always exceptions), success must be earned. It is a function of vision and execution; of making the right decisions at the right time to achieve desired results. In most cases, it involves a compilation of small wins, all moving the organization in the chosen direction.
There are a number of attributes that can be key to replicating success. Everyone can make a list of their top five or six, so the following is not a definitive list, but it is one that makes sense.
- VISION: Having a vision and always keeping it in sight. The vision is of the ultimate goal. What do we want this business to be when it matures and reaches its potential? Remember, if you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there. (thank you, Lewis Carroll.)
- FOCUS: Staying focused on the vision and on what advances one toward it, avoiding distractions that might be fun or interesting but not productive. Focus should be multi-faceted- on the big picture on the details, on the key performance indicators, on the culture, on whatever you deem to be critical to your success.
- INNOVATION: Being innovative in information gathering, in considering options for new products and services and how they are handled and delivered; and in viewing the future of the marketplace
- COURAGE: Having the courage to do what is right and to make the right decisions at the right time, This includes doing things you don’t want to do but that are right for the company.
- ACCOUNTABILITY: Holding oneself and others strictly accountable to get there, wherever there is. Let accountability slip in one place, it will begin slipping all over the place.
- HUMILITY: Refusing to believe your press clippings- knowing that every deal has to make it on its own merits and not some belief in your “golden touch.” This also involves not only an understanding of what you did well in your previous success, but what you did not do well. Knowing your failings and weaknesses and addressing them can be key to future success. This means learning from your mistakes and not repeating them. Humility also means believing that you do not have all of the answers. It will enable you to be inclusive and seek the opinions of others and allow others to use their creativity and innovation.
Being a success the first time is tough. Repeating it is even tougher. And sustaining a success over a long period of time may be the toughest of all. This is serious business and not for the faint of heart. Learn what it takes and don’t forget it.