Last week marked the beginning of a new chapter in my leadership journey. The highlight of the week for me was the successful completion of the acquisition of a retail pharmacy unit to add to our existing one. The project was supposed to be completed in 3 months but it took 10 months to materialise. My wife Bola and my friend. Abraham are both part of this journey.
Every step along the way challenged my old ways of thinking and involved me stepping out of what I considered comfortable. My willingness to throw in the towel and give up was put to the test several times.
I guess you may want to ask me about the lessons learnt on this journey?
Yes, I have learnt many valuable lessons on this and previous journeys. So let me share with you my 7 success principles.
#1. Dare to Desire a New Level of Success.
“You will become as large as your controlling desire; or as great as your dominant aspiration.” ~ James Allen
You have to be very intentional about success. It has to be desired, planned for and worked towards.
Indeed, the only thing guaranteed in the world we live in are death and taxes. We will all die and we will all pay taxes directly or indirectly to our respective governments. But we will not all succeed in our endeavours.
What are you willing to sacrifice for success? At what cost? Relationships, your health or your emotional well-being. Desire success but not at any cost.
#2. Dare to pick yourself up from failure
Every new venture is a risk and an adventure into the future. There is always the possibility that your next venture will not succeed. Perhaps your last venture was a failure. Dare to pick yourself up from this unsuccessful attempt and get back into the game.
To succeed, you have to learn from your mistakes. Such learning will only happen if you pause to evaluate and reflect on your decisions.
What went well? What can you do differently next time? Make some notes, learn and move on.
#3. Dare to Embrace Excellence
It can always be done better the next time. According to my friend Marc, you need to find out what excellence looks like and then proceed to exceed it.
Excellence has nothing to do with the resources available to you. It is an attitude that says I will exceed the expectations of my customers, my employees and my shareholders.
Today’s consumers are time poor and choice rich. You will need to take some time to think through what additional benefits you can add to improve the user experience of your product.
#4. Dare to say no
“The only thing that stands between you and what you want from life is often merely the will to try and the faith to believe that it is possible.” ~ Richard M DeVos
We all have self-limiting beliefs and self-sabotaging behaviour that kicks in when we reach our self-imposed limits. It’s also called the “Law of the Lid”.
We will all get to stages in our journey where despite all that you have done, the obstacles that lie ahead seem so challenging that it will seem easier to give up than to press on.
Life will always present to us with the easier option of remaining where we are or going backward. There is no one simple answer to this question of when to give up. But on this occasion, I chose to continue.
#5. Dare to take action on your dreams
I am a great believer in having an ideas vault. This is the habit of writing down or keeping some form of records of your ideas as they occur to you. But an ideas vault or bank serves no useful purpose if you keep making deposits without making withdrawals.
Become a person who regularly reviews his or her ideas and takes action on them. Just think about it. Everything we have in the world today: from the internet to key hole surgery on babies in the womb are ideas acted upon by someone.
Be a game changer and regularly act on your ideas.
#6. Dare to value honesty and integrity
According to Machiavelli, one could fight as a man doing the right thing or as a beast using force and being deceitful as the circumstances dictate. Leadership and personal integrity are not mutually exclusive.
Being honest and having integrity is one of the core elements of being credible. Credibility is believability that is based on trust. To have influence, a leader must be believable. Unless of course you have coercive powers.
#7. Dare to be different
To be different is to be true to yourself. To speak out when others are quiet and to be quiet when others speak out. Go alone if you have to because you believe in yourself and you believe in your dream.
Learn to listen and trust your instincts. If your heart is not for it, let it go. There is always a better deal next time. Patiently wait for it.
If the project or business is for you, then be strong and courageous. Dare to be audacious, to be bold and step up to the challenge.
Do not succumb to the pressure of conforming. Success awaits you if you dare to be different.
The next level awaits those who dare
Think for a moment about what you have read. Wherever you are on your journey, be intentional about your success, learn from your failures, exceed expectations, say no to self-imposed limits, take action on your ideas, be credible and dare to be different.
What will you dare to do to take you to the next level? Please leave a comment.