Leadership Skills: 4 Common Success Conditions and Strategies to Succeed in Each

When pursuing success in any endeavor or relationship, there are at least four easily identifiable situations in which you routinely find yourself.

For each, there is a set of tactics that can increase your chances for success.

But only people who are actively monitoring their success will see the changes and know how to respond.

Other people will not see the situational changes and may instead keep doing the same thing they’ve always done while hoping that the results will improve.

Four Situations and How to Deal With Them Successfully:

I. Newness

The first situation to identify is that of “newness.” This situation occurs any time you are new to a job, role, task, or relationship. When new, there is no success yet in that situation.

Former success may lead to a new opportunity but never determines success in that opportunity. When you find yourself in the circumstance of “newness,” consider the following proven formula:

  1. Establish communication lines to stakeholders and use them to know and be known.
  2. Discover what’s wanted and needed that you can provide, and then provide it.

If you are realistic, newness will be short-lived and you will soon find yourself providing value and succeeding. No matter how often you find yourself in the situation of newness, these two tactics will always serve to move you through it.

II. Increase

When you are providing what’s wanted and needed to those who value it, you will find yourself experiencing success and enjoying increased opportunity. At this point label your situation as “increasing success” and engage in the following tactics:

  1. Save; do not spend. Many people do just the opposite and find themselves critically over-extended when their circumstance changes (remember, circumstances will change).
  2. Find out what is causing your success and keep doing it. Conduct experiments to see what will further increase success and what will decrease it.
  3. Build infrastructure that supports your increasing success. For instance, if a cell phone or a laptop computer helps you add more value that translates into increasing success, then invest in them. Make these investment based solely on added value rather than on symbolic status, luxury, or entertainiment. 

III. Decrease

When your success decreases, immediately acknowledge it and know that there are specific tactics you can follow to change the situation.

  1. Find out what changed and correct it. Two things might have changed: (a) what you are providing, or (b) what is wanted and needed. Evaluate both possibilities.
  2. Market yourself. Make sure that other people are aware of the value you are able to provide. 
Note that we conserve when experiencing increase (i.e., save for a rainy day) and spend (on promotion) when experiencing decrease.

IV. Plateau

When in a situation of neither increasing nor decreasing success, if you want more success, then its up to you to “raise the bar.” To do this, make a firm commitment to dramatically increase the value you provide and the corresponding success that you experience.

While these situations and associated tactics may sound obvious, many professionals could be far more purposeful in identifying their current circumstances and applying the best tactics to increase success.

Get Started With This 5-Minute Stretch

Think of three current pursuits that you most want to succeed. For each, ask yourself what your current situation is (either newness, increase, decrease, or plateau).

Then evaluate what you need to do to respond accordingly.

Leaders and coaches: Get Christopher’s best team building and leadership strategies collected over two-plus decades of solving teamwork problems for smart people. Attend the acclaimed Creating Results-Based Teams workshop, or get this FREE Special Report while it lasts: The Five Flawless Steps to Building a Strong Executive Leadership Team.

Christopher Avery, PhD, is a recognized authority on how individual and shared responsibility works in the mind and an advisor to leaders worldwide.

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