Defining Success

by | Aug 26, 2022 | Change |

expectations vs reality

How do you know when you have succeeded?

Seems quite easy, until you get into the detail of it. Is success getting what you want? Or what you need? Or is it accomplishing the objective of the project? Is it defined by you, someone else, a group, or society? Or perhaps none of these and something else entirely? And perhaps, most importantly, what is the timeframe in which you are making the decision?

Success usually involves some sort of growth. However, beyond this it can come in many different forms. It rarely looks like a hockey stick. More often than not, it looks more like a ball of string unwoven by a cat. With hindsight, you may be able to draw a straight trend line, but reality is more higgledy piggledy, back and forward, up and down, and lot of knots.

Instinctively we know this and yet we tend to want or communicate the simplistic straight line, gentle curve, or hockey stick. And then, when reality happens we (or our teams, organisations) are discouraged. Being clear on how you define success can help you move forward. As well as measuring how far you have come rather than how far you have to go.

The choices you make, both in defining and communicating success, contribute to defining and maintaining the culture in which you live and work.


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