- Success cannot only be the goal we must achieve or the “thing” we have to own. Success is more about the entire journey we take to reach what we aspire.
- Success is about (1) what we learn along the way about ourselves, (2) what impact we leave behind on others and (3) what hardship we fight and overcome, when others declared to be impossible for us or themselves.
- Being successful is not in a single moment of achievement but about practicing some guiding principles and behaviors along the way. These behaviors are about Continuous Planning, Being Proficient, Practicing Patience and Showing Persistence.
Success in the professional world is much more than achieving a milestone (e.g. a promotion or a high bonus) – although important, but it is more about the steps we take to reach what we aspire. Success is about the impact we leave behind, the hard work we put in achieving our momentous victories and the challenges we fight and win along the way in our careers.
The principles of success can be found in many stories including: working towards a promotion, exploring a different career path, helping someone be on the path they want to pursue or even being passed a well-deserved promotion.
To achieve our outrageous dreams, we can adapt a set of distinct principles. These principles guarantee a successful journey that revolves around the path and the actions we take and not necessarily fixate on the outcome. When I started my first consulting job in 2007, I have learned there are 5 principles or behaviors we can adapt to ensure our success: Continuous Planning, Being Proficient, Practicing Patience and Showing Persistence.
- Success starts with a Plan. A plan is a must because it influences the actions we need to take in our career. Everyone must have a vision of where they want to be, what they want to be known for and how they can get to their goals. This plan can be high level or detailed, however, having this vision prepares us for the journey and the difficulties we will encounter.
- Over time, we need to make sure we are moving towards our goals. We need to make tangible progression against our plan. Monitoring our progression (i.e. continuous planning) is our way to be self-aware where our efforts should be focused on. This also helps us reshape our actions along the way.
- Without developing the skills needed to achieve our dreams, we will always come short in achieving them. Curiosity and learning are the core attribute of being proficient. As part of the continuous planning process, we need to always learn the skills and the knowledge needed to advance forward with our plan.
- Being proficient comes with a great benefit too; it helps us inspire others to follow. Leading people is about having the ability to convince others in believing the vision we have for ourselves (and the vision we have for them too). This is important because it allows others to follow our path and help us in our career journey. The help of others is the catalyst driver of achieving our wildest dreams.
- Making progression against our plan takes time. Progress can certainly be very fast, steady or slow. It is known that the last 5 pounds are always the hardest to lose. Patience is key to stay committed to the plan.
- Achieving success is about working hard and working smart over a long period of time; this takes a lot of effort, commitment, dedication and focus. Patience is about recognizing that making progression is more of the long journey than an instant turnaround.
- When it is done right, showing Persistence is about being very stubborn, while staying humble and actively listening to others. Persistence is our internal drive that allows us to fight hard when it feels everything is going against our way. It is our way to practice discipline when we want to let go.
- Persistence is crucial because as we progress towards achieving our goals, there are always some internal and external events (e.g. self-doubt or lack of support from others) that will steer us away from progressing forward. Fighting against any setback will help us building a career resiliency and a strong career foundation. Persistence guarantees that we will ultimately achieve our plan.
Bringing it all together
Success is defined by each one of us but the outcome is really dependent on how we approach our career. The most important behavior is to live your way, believe in yourself and pursue the journey with optimism and passion. This will guarantee that no matter what mountain you face, you will overcome it and eventually greatness beyond your dreams will be waiting for you.
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