It’s not rocket science when it comes to being successful.
With over 30 years experience of turning around failing projects and underperforming departments, I have come to realize that the dividing line between success and failure is often very narrow. Not only is it very narrow but the causes of failure are common, and it doesn’t matter whether you are a large multi-nationals or a small entrepreneur. The issues that cause us to fail are the same. What I have also learned is that by taking these seven steps, we can often mitigate that their impact keeps us on the right side of that line and be successful.
Step 1 – Writing Your Goals Down
Any goal we have is just a dream until we write it down. Studies by Dr Gail Mathews show that we are 42% more likely to achieve our goals when we write them down, and we increase our chances by over 70% when we share our goals and send regular progress updates.
Step 2 – Define Your Own Goals
Too often, we let others set our goals, and when we do that, we have no ownership of them. The best way to ensure that we will meet our goals is to define them ourselves, as the adage goes: no involvement, no commitment. When we lack commitment, we are truly on the slippery slope to failure.
Step 3 – Paint a Picture of What Success Looks Like
The more we can imagine what success looks like, the better the plan we can create to achieve it. The more detail we create, the more understanding we will have of what we need to do. When we can clearly visualize the result, it’s much easier to visualize the plan to achieve it.
Step 4 – Focus on Being Effective
Many people focus on efficiency, but efficiency is about doing a good job, however, if we’re doing the wrong job, all of our efforts ends up being wasted. No matter how well we do it. We need to focus on being effective; effectiveness is about doing the right job, ensuring that everything we do progresses us toward our goal.
Step 5 – Keep Things Simple
We have a natural tendency to complicate things, but the simpler we can keep things, the more successful we will be. Remember, simplicity leads to understanding; understanding leads to confidence, and confidence leads to success.
Step – 6 Create a Plan For Progress
Don’t just create a plan of action. Create a plan of what you believe your progress will be. This allows us to know at all times whether we are on track or not, and if we’re not on track, we know that our efforts are not effective, and we can look to change them. It’s like having a GPS that guides us towards our success.
Step – 7 Celebrate Quick Wins
Build quick wins into your plan, and reward small successes; this helps build motivation and momentum. Remember what gets rewarded gets repeated.
There is no rocket science when it comes to being successful, and it doesn’t always require heroic effort. Often having a clear idea of where we are going just requires taking simple steps at the right time, celebrating our wins, and then repeating that process until we achieve our goals.
Photo: Flickr/ Geraint Rowland