One of the questions I like to ask someone I am coaching is how they define success. This may seem simple at the outset as the standard answer tends to be about how much we earn, our career growth, etc.
However, deeper reflection on this question often causes people to pause. They reflect more deeply on what success really is all about for them. You see without clarity about what we are aiming for we get sidetracked. We focus on areas that are unfulfilling and will not bring out the best of what we can create.
Recently, I was listening to a comedian, Michael Jr. He was talking about a life changing moment before going on stage one night. In that moment he realized he had been doing comedy to get laughs from people. Michael Jr. suddenly realized that his goal or definition of success was to provide people with an opportunity to laugh. He reframed his perspective on success! I would encourage you to read those sentences again. There is a world of difference between the first and second.
Many leaders begin their journey because they want to be CEO or to be able make the decisions. That can be exciting for awhile until you realize how much work goes with being in charge. You wear so many hats and you are responsible for creating momentum and the financial stability of your company. These leaders tend to burn out quickly or move from project to project in rapid succession.
Instead, some leaders realize that their success as a leader has far more to do with equipping and serving their team and clients. The money you earn, the title you are given, the awards you receive are really the by-product of developing the people on your team and investing in them. This in turn fuels growth and the accomplishment of huge goals.
How you frame the answer to the question, “What is your definition of success?” will have profound impact on your journey, on those around you, and the longevity of any success you achieve. Reflect on your definition of success and consider if that goal is really work the investment of your time, energy, and abilities. Let’s make a real difference for those we lead and serve!