Sustaining Success

stairway to success

When it comes to sustaining success, we often believe that once we have achieved success, that we will continue to be successful.

But it doesn’t always work like that, sometimes once we have achieved our goal we lose the hunger, we lose our edge, our eye of the tiger, the drive which made us successful in the first place.

As the picture below shows, the reality is often completely different from the fantasy.

sustaining success

After achieving success our performance plateaus, or possibly drops.

Then we need to find the motivation to keep on going, to sustain that success, to keep the arrow going upwards.

Often this is tied to our aspiration, if our aspiration, what we truly desired, was to just achieve some success, then once we have tasted success, it is possible that we will be satisfied, our aspiration is met, and our motivation drops.

What we need to do is to feed our aspiration, reignite our desire, this will then give us the motivation and drive to keep on going.

To do this, we need to elevate our goals: it might be something like wanting to be the first team to win the league three times, or achieving an even better on-time delivery than we achieved  last year.

If we don’t find the right goals, then our performance will suffer.

I know that before I ran my first marathon I was training 5-6 times per week, I knew that if I didn’t do that I wouldn’t be able to hit that goal.

However, once I had completed my first marathon, my training fell off, it was so much harder to get out of bed at 5.30 in the morning to go for my training runs.

Excuses not to run, seemed so much more plausible, and hell I’d run my marathon, so why did I need to keep training so hard.

Consequently my training dropped, even though I was scheduled to run another marathon in 6 months time. It just didn’t inspire me to get out of bed.

I needed a new target, and not just running another marathon, or running my next marathon faster, this didn’t inspire me, it didn’t feed my aspiration, I needed something bigger, better, bolder.

Finally, I decided that I would look to run a Marathon in each of the 5 major continents, Europe, Americas, Africa, Asia, and Australia.

My goal now is to run in

  • Cologne        –  Oct 2013
  • Vancouver   –  May 2014
  • Cape Town  –  Sep 2014
  • Hong Kong  –  Feb 2015
  • Sydney         –  Sep 2015

This was a goal which inspired me, it seemed like it would be fun to accomplish, something different, something bigger, and I would look to get to visit some great places into the bargain.

Now I am getting out of bed at 5.30 and am starting to run 5-6 times per week again.

This is what we need to do with our team, we need to find new goals for them, to keep pushing them onwards and upwards.

It’s not always easy to do, but we need to give them success, reward them, make them hungry for success, and then just raise the bar so they feel that they are achieving more.

As leaders this is one of our key tasks.

Anyone can achieve success once, it is more difficult to repeat it; they say that maintaining the number one position is often much harder than becoming number one.

Great leaders achieve success repeatedly.

So if you want to be a great leader this is a skill that you need to master.

Gordon Tredgold

Leadership Principles.