HOW SUCCESSFUL CAN YOU BE?

Success is defined by you. It is defined by the individual not by someone else on their behalf. However, an unfulfilled friend or a one-dimensional leader can be a drain on everyone.
<br> We all have different definitions of success and we all individually expect different outcomes from our lives. We all take different steps to get there. We have been very fortunate to work with many great people and as you’d expect from life, occasionally we have also worked with some less appealing people.
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In the great category, I have had the privilege to work with many impressive candidates, clients and colleagues, all business leaders in their own right. One in particular is a Partner of a Financial Services Advisory Firm. He is a mentor to many and has assisted a wide variety of people to achieve more than they expected. Philosophical considerations, sound-boarding, contrarian views all regularly form part of discussions. The benefit of this type of free thinking and challenge to existing thought processes can be enormous.
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Baring in mind success can be a very personal topic but affects those around us, by defining the attributes or attitudes that exist in those who are successful compared to those who are less so, we are all able to make our own success a reality.
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There are likely to be many inputs and elements that could be provided. However, the six below have been consistent and core in those people who reach their goals and find a level of happiness, contentment and satisfaction when compared to others.
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1. Exposure: Taking time to see, feel and sense the differences between people, cultures, thinking, processes etc. is critical to create the opportunity to broaden our minds. Knowing what it could be helps to challenge existing biases, and beliefs. Exposure can be unconscious or deliberate – the important thing is to not miss the opportunities to see what it can be.
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2. Experience: The process of personally observing, encountering, or undergoing something. Clearly, experience is closely related to exposure, although to me there are two key differences. Exposure provides the opportunity to consider alternatives; experience comes from playing with these options in your own world, helping to make it real and turn the concept into a reality. Combining the two, exposure and experience assist in challenging and growing our levels of self-esteem. They also have a strong relationship to effective leadership, contributing to the belief that you exist as a leader because of your team, not the other way around. In other words, seeing what it can be provides a more well-rounded set of alternatives. A conscious competence or conscious incompetence of putting these concepts, learning and ideas into practice provides the experience.
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3. Practice: The importance of practicing the learning and a willingness to try something new. Of course, the importance of turning what we know into what we do is easy to say rather than do but without putting the concepts and ideas into practice it is simply good knowledge.
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4. Step out of your comfort zone: To be comfortable in stepping out of your comfort zone is not that common. As humans we like to feel comfortable. We enjoy the knowledge of routine and the safety of ‘knowing’ what is coming next. Change is often uncomfortable. Risk sometimes provokes fear which promotes hesitation in many people. The personal skill required however is to balance the challenge of acceptance and putting new ideas into practice with spending time within what you know and what you are comfortable with. Too much time out of your zone of comfort can be stressful and ultimately harmful to your credibility, brand and confidence. Only the individual can make that judgment but allowing fear to promote too much hesitation or worse, the actual missing of an opportunity must be avoided!
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5. Persistence: A willingness to ‘push through’ the times when all seems lost and/or it feels a bit ‘clunky’ is key to the success of embedding change and turning what you know into what you do. Learn from them. Be grateful for the successes and learn from them too. Taking the time to reflect and think through what is working well and what is not is key to growth.
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6. Values and Self-Awareness: Arguably the most critical of all these points, and possibly the only point that provides the glue to all points. Knowing who you are, your core values and their link to your motivations helps to understand why you do what you do and provide greater acceptance and understanding of yourself and others.
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Challenging your own beliefs, being prepared to reflect and put in the effort to develop can only be a good thing both for you and for everyone around you, professional colleagues and personal friends alike.

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