Every leader I know wants to be successful and leave behind a legacy. However, not all successes are created equally. Some successes quickly vanish away, others stick around for a while then slowly fade away, and other last long after you are gone. There are certain things that will increase the chances of achieving lasting success. They include character, competence, and drive. Let’s discuss each of them.
Character greatly determines the level of success you will obtain. Strong character leads you forward while weak character only hurts you in the end. Retired general Norman Schwarzkopf stated, “Ninety-nine percent of leadership failures are failures of character.” This is also true with any other failure. Lasting success only happens when you are a person of character.
One of the main ways to ensure that you are being a person of character is to focus inwardly. The person you are on the inside will greatly impact who you are and what you do on the outside. Start to reflect and manage yourself: your attitude, actions, mood, emotions, thoughts, and intentions to make sure they are leading you in the direction you want to go. Make sure those areas are positioning you to be a person of good character. Let your inward work show brightly on the outside.
Successful leaders are highly competent. Competence is having the knowledge, experience, and skills to excel in your role and consistently deliver superb results. Successful business has competent people scattered throughout the different levels of the business: From the executive suites to the front lines. Competence takes you toward success.
For you and me, this means we should sharpen our skills. Think about if you were to cut down a large tree and had two axes to choose from. One of the axes was sharp and the other was dull, which axe would you chose? Of course, you would pick the sharp axe.
When you sharpen your skills through personal growth content you will remain sharp and highly skilled. You are more likely to achieve lasting success faster than those who are attempting to cut down a tree with a dull axe. Take time to daily sharpen the skills that will allow you to be successful.
The leaders who achieve lasting success have a strong drive. They keep pushing forward and have a never give up attitude. The truth about lasting success is that it takes longer than expected and requires a lot of hard work. Drive causes you to persevere toward the success you desire. It takes you through the good and bad times.
Whenever a driven leader has a failure or makes a mistake, they learn from it and keep moving forward. To discover a strong enough drive consider finding and focusing on your life purpose, passions, and areas of strengths. Those areas will bring inspiration and create endurance.
Questions: How have you applied these three areas into your leadership? What have been the results?
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