The Secret to Success

I have high hopes that the title of this blog intrigued you enough to have you click on the post and read it. I hate to do this, but I need to confess something right now. If you decided to read this because you thought I might actually offer some philosophical wisdom that would blow your mind, you need to know this is not that blog. There really isn’t some magical secret to success. In fact, what I have to offer here is incredibly simple in logic, but challenging for so many to execute.

Success isn’t about personality, popularity, or your ability to “play the game.” It has nothing to do with being most liked, admired, or even dressing the part. It’s my opinion that too many folks have the wrong perception of leadership, attaching things like charisma, charm, and the ability to schmooze with the right folks to it. Leadership is not an act. It is who you are, what you believe and stand for, how you behave and treat others, and what you are not willing to accept. It’s about having a standard of expectation for yourself, no matter who your boss is, where you work, or what you do. It starts and ends with you.

Highly successful leaders get the simple things right and they do so consistently. Here’s my list of things that I believe make the biggest difference in how we succeed in anything we do, personally or professionally:

1. Work hard. Take pride in what you do because it is a reflection of you, your character, and your values. Be diligent, conscientious, and proactive. Most of all be consistent in your performance. Excellence isn’t a sometime thing.

2. Deliver high quality work. Never confuse getting something done with doing something well. Speed is not a factor in success unless you are on a track running a race in which you must sprint. In leadership, delivering quality work is far more important than showing that you can do something quickly. Every time you produce something, assess it for quality. Make sure the quality meets the standard of excellence that you want associated with your professional reputation.

3. Be consistent. When you work hard and deliver high quality work over and over again, you cement an expectation from others that you can be trusted to not only do the work, but to do it well. That’s what sets some people apart from others. While some individuals treat their work like a list of tasks to check off, others see quality as much more important than compliance. Doing it well, whatever it is, matters more to them than getting it done, and because of that they work to do their very best on a consistent basis.

4. Go above and beyond what is expected of you. Successful people don’t obsess over the minimum requirements for anything. They live their lives in a way that exceeding the baseline is their standard. They live and work above average, going beyond what is required of them because they value doing their best. Let me be clear. They do not benchmark their performance against others. They are only in competition with themselves. Their goal is to draw out the very best of themselves. Their only competition is the person looking back at them in the mirror!

5. They are positive. I’ve yet to meet a successful leader who complains about everything, or can turn a joyous occasion into a miserable one with negative energy and commentary. They understand that optimism is a key to being successful. They seek out joy and find the bright side even in a challenging situations. This isn’t because they are into toxic positivity. It’s because they know and understand that negativity-in attitude, mindset, energy, or behavior, has never resulted in something great and powerful happening for an organization. Grouchy and grumpy people don’t make anything better or anyone feel better. It’s really that simple.

So that’s it. That’s the secret in my opinion. As simple as those things sound, they are incredibly challenging to execute on a consistent basis. My challenge to you, and me, is to show up and nail 1-5 every day. If we can do that, success will meet us at the top of our potential! I’ll see you there!

Until next time-be you, be true, be a hope builder!


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