Let’s talk about success

Originally posted October 2017. Success is a topic that comes up a lot in HR, as one of our key roles tends to be an official, or unofficial coach. 

What is it, how do I get it, how do I get there faster?   I mostly deal with people who are a little too hard on themselves regarding success than the “can’t do’s and won’t do’s”. This is because we hire for passion in Retail inMotion. One downside of passion is that sometimes things don’t happen fast enough for those with tons of it! 

I was holding a Performance Review with one of my team recently. He is in his 20’s, and we had a long chat about how hard he was being on himself regarding his view on how far he had come in his field.

Flash back to my 20’s and 30’s and I was exactly the same. I was filled with frustration, so hard on myself, success wasn’t coming fast enough. However, in my 20’s and 30’s my definition of success was one dimensional, I didn’t have a clear definition for it. I just wanted “it”!! 

Cut back to now and I love to help people really define their idea of success so that it is crystal clear to them what they are aiming for. I work with people to recognise what they have achieved already and then coach them to create clear steps to their future definition of success. Learning to see progress, however small, can lessen the feelings of frustration. Having a three dimensional, holistic view of success makes it all the more attainable.

I have no real interest in the traditional definition of power. Having influence is much more interesting to me. For people to want to do what I suggest, because it makes sense and because they are engaged by my vision, rather than having to do what I say, because of my title and position. A nice title does open doors, but is only as impressive as the person attached to it.

If you are doing “it” for the title or perhaps (deep down) think you are “better” than others because of your title and position, then it’s time for some soul searching. Ask yourself this, how comfortable are you having a meaningful conversation with the most “junior” person in your organisation? If in your heart of hearts, you don’t have total respect for this level of person, then you don’t deserve the title you are holding and in my opinion will never get the true buy in from your team. You will certainly never gain a following in your organisation and that is where real influence lies. You don’t get buy in from people until you buy in to them (Kirstine Stewart, Our Turn) 

I decided to change career in my late 20’s, went to college for 5 years at night and started again as a HR Administrator in my early 30’s. What got me through this life changing and wallet challenging experience was that I always had my eye on the prize. My prize was to become a HR Generalist. I will never forget the day I was promoted to that position; the feeling is still almost indescribable. I had made it! All the hard work and effort had paid off.

So, you see, since then everything else has been gravy. The future doesn’t worry me as I have already overshot my ambitions by miles, therefore once I hit my personal markers for success then I am very happy. The great news for my boss is that I do my very best work when I am happy!

In my world success means: 

·        Unashamedly being the best Mum I can be, I know, I know this is an article about work…. right? But my daughter has taught me to be a better leader, to wear my joy on the outside, to manage my time better, to be the best role model I can be for her, to be utterly human, to have Fun with a capital F, to really stay in the moment. (I have an entire blog brewing about work life flow and working parents) 

·        Genuinely and authentically making a difference every day, which can be at either a micro or macro level, preferably both. Helping people, departments and the entire company find its spark.

·        Always growing both personally and professionally. Standing still or boredom means the opposite of success for me. Success means that I have access to people and ideas who challenge and make me better at what I do. It means that I can control my own diary and make time to be inspired and to keep learning. Perfection is boring and dull, it takes the creativity out and slows everything down. Success means that I have the confidence to not be perfect.

·        Having the opportunity to share what I have learnt and am learning (is one of my most favourite things to do)  

·        Creating a movement of like-minded individuals.

·        Liking myself, liking what I do and liking how I do it (Maya Angelou). My moral compass is very clear, success means that I have the confidence to work in my own style and have the power to say no if it does not fit.

What next?

If you feel frustrated that you haven’t achieved the heights of success yet, take some time, do some real soul searching and reevaluate what success really means to you. You might be surprised, maybe you are successful already. 

Help your team, or any one you can influence understand their true meaning of success. Tangible goals and objectives will come from this and you will light sparks everywhere around you. Now if that’s not success, I don’t know what is! 🙂

For more like this follow me on Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn

Further Reading:

Anything by Simon Sinek.

Our Turn by Kirstine Stewart. Not simply a book about women in leadership but a book about the new leadership style that the world is looking for.

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