What does success look like?

‘We are successful because we are a huge company employing hundreds of staff turning over £100 million a year ‘

Society has dictated that we define success in a very simple way. When people talk about success they talk about careers, positions, salary, wealth, houses, cars etc etc. There are heads of businesses all over the globe defining success everyday. How much money they have made being the focus point. This is how we do things and have done for generations.

A football coach may define success with trophies and anything less is classed as failure. This is despite the thoughts and developments of others within the team. If the coach has defined that success means trophies from the off then he or she has not really taken the time to understand what success looks like in the minds of the people that will ultimately drive that success.

Success comes in many forms, most of which are never discussed while in pursuit of the end result. These successes are the building blocks that make up the ultimate goal. Despite this, we do not look after them as we should. Our foundations are not celebrated and even when our end game is realised, they remain things we had to go through to get there.

An extremely famous leader once said…

‘If you want to be successful, you have to know what success means’


In business, it is very often the case that only a handful of people get to define success. Usually its the CEO, MD or anyone else that sits at the top of the tree. They are busy analyzing what its going to take to keep the business going. Our teams mirror our vision when asked as that’s the company way. They ensure they play the corporate game and show themselves in the best light.

Having been part of a team in one form or another for almost 20 years, I can tell you that despite the impression we give, our ideas of success are often different from that of which we are made to believe. When it comes to work life, team members will want to celebrate much smaller wins as success. A colleague reaching a new milestone, a confidence barrier overcome, a work anniversary and so on. Things that mean a lot to a team member but in the big dogs mind play no part in the bigger picture and ultimate glory.

At Home…

At home success comes in many forms. However because of what we are made to believe, not celebrated as they should be. Getting married, buying a house, having children, learning how to decorate etc are all things I and millions of others have gone through with little or no recognition as they are just ‘Things we do’. In reality these are bigger milestones than achieving any financial target at work that will be forgotten on the 1st of the following month anyway, however we put more emphasis on the later.

The reality is to truly achieve success we must first determine what it looks like. You may make a million pounds but if the team around you have no respect for you and your staff turnover is through the roof, is it really success?

If we form part of a team then collectively we must agree our milestones to celebrate along the way and look after those building blocks. Our people, coupled with our strategy make up our foundations. They will crumble if they are not celebrated and maintained.

‘Success only comes to those who define it first’

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