No matter how you define success, we all strive for and want to be successful. Why is it for so many people success seems to be illusive and out of reach? I have been using a tool called “The Success Formula” in Exponential Training for over a decade and would like to share it with you.
Success Follows a Pattern
In my younger days, I was in a hurry and wanted success instantly. This often left me feeling frustrated and wanting to find short cuts to success. I read books and went on training course after training course. Through experience, I eventually realised that success is a mind-set and a habit; it is a journey rather than a destination; and more importantly it is a sequence of actions that can be replicated. As for understanding that success is not a destination, but a journey, I now appreciate that success is just a stepping stone towards the next success rather than a final destination.
The really key revelation for me was when I realised that irrespective of the nature of the success, the process leading to success looks remarkably similar. This lead me to using what I call “The Success Formula”.
As with all great tools, the simplicity of the Success Formula belies its effectiveness and the value you can derive from using it over and over again. It has now become a habit that I take for granted and use on a daily basis.
The Success Formula
There are five simple steps which make up the Success Formula. The first step is to define your ‘outcome’ and the second is to define your ‘why’. Knowing precisely the outcome you want to achieve is critical.
Defining Your Outcome
Defining your outcome means becoming crystal clear about what success looks like and how you will know when you have achieved your outcome.
A well-defined outcome gives purpose, clarity, energy and focus. In contrast, vague and ambiguous outcomes create uncertainty and doubt. Becoming clear requires you to dig a little deeper than most people do. Failure to clearly define your outcome in Step 1 can and will lead to lots of inappropriate and ineffective action.
“People may spend their whole lives climbing the ladder of success only to find, once they reach the top, that the ladder is leaning against the wrong wall.”
The Wisdom and Wit of Thomas Merton.
If you do not want to be busy climbing the right ladder of success and being disappointed when you reach the top, take time to define your outcome.
Define Your ‘Why’
To keep you focused and motivated on achieving the outcome, you need to complete Step 2: Define your ‘Why’. Whether the outcome is a personal, team or organisational outcome, knowing this outcome is important.
Knowing and understanding why it is so important and what it will mean to you, your team or the organisation is what will motivate and sustain performance. Step 2 is what will get you ‘out of bed’ on a cold morning and overcome obstacles and challenges that come along. It provides you with the drive and determination to keep on track.
A common reason why people do not achieve the success they want is they do not know their outcomes and why they are important. Can you relate to this?
I use these two steps all the time with my clients when I am coaching them. I use it with my team members when agreeing performance objectives and helping them to resolve problems. I also use it when working with managers, coaches and consultants working towards one of our professional qualifications.
The return on the time invested in Steps 1 and 2, will be repaid five, ten and even twentyfold. Getting these steps wrong is often the root cause of lot of frustration and disappointment later more often than not leading to comparative failure.
Steps 3 – 5:
In the same way that Steps 1 and 2 are critical, implementing Steps 3, 4 and 5 effectively and in the correct sequence makes a huge difference to your ability to achieve the level of success that you want.
To learn more about all of the steps: