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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

What does it take to be successful - 6 Factors

This blog is a short one…

What does it take to be successful? Let’s make a quick list…

1. Motivation – call it a dream, call it a vision or call it a “chip on your shoulder”. Doesn’t matter what you call it, it’s that inner (or outer) “voice” that keeps telling you that something must be done.

2. Initiative – you can’t win if you don’t play. Everybody daydreams of glory of some kind or another. How many people have the courage and drive to take action on those daydreams?

3. A solid,  but flexible/adaptable, Plan of Attack – Some people/teams like very detailed plans with “SMART” goals and clear accountabilities and lists…lots and lots of lists. Others have a certain disdain for that sort of thing and prefer to be more “entrepreneurial” and/or fly be the seat of their pants but even they have some concept of how they’ll move forward.

4. Practice and preparation – Even the fly by the seat of their pants type get better at what they do with preparation. After all, experience and “street smarts” are developed through practice.

5. Fight – Regardless of how good your plan is, if you’re not willing or able to fight it out in the trenches (execute your plan) you won’t be successful.

6. Luck/Fortune/Fate – Generally speaking, for every winner, there must be a “loser”. Fortune, whether good or bad, always plays a role too.

Don’t believe me? Watch tonight’s game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals (NHL hockey) and remember that each of the individual athletes was once a child at the local ice rink just learning to skate. Further, at the start of this season, both of these teams started with 0 wins, just like all the other teams they both knocked out of the competition earlier. Which team will be the one to capture glory? It will depend largely on the 6 factors listed above, no?

And by the way, it's not just about hockey or sports. Consider these 6 factors in any pursuit of success, from business, to art to environment, to social goals. It's the same factors, just a different context.

How is your organization/business doing in the context of these 6 factors? More importantly, what will you do about it?

Now I have to go…the game is about to start!

PS Regardless of who “wins”, I have a lot of respect for all of these athletes, coaches and the team people behind the scenes.

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