Tag Archives: success

3 steps to shift from success to significance by Gerry Lewis

 

I wish I had paid better attention as I was growing up. There are so many lessons I had to learn by trial and error as an adult that happened right in front of me as a youth, but I wasn’t interested.

I expressed that thought to my stepfather in a recent conversation. One of those handy guys who can figure out how to fix just about anything, he could have taught me a lot in those early years. However, I was too busy and didn’t see the relevance of all that stuff, so it was faster and more efficient to do it himself. Unfortunately, the pattern continued and my grown-up son is having to learn things that I didn’t take the time to teach him either.

I’m not experiencing any regrets or angst over this; just acknowledging lessons I wish I had learned earlier. I think I learned—and passed on—the things that matter most. But, if I had it to do again …

There are other lessons I wish I had learned earlier, especially as a young pastor. Now that I spend time coaching and consulting pastors and church leaders, I am trying to pass on some of those. I think they are also applicable to a broader vocational spectrum.

Everyone I know wants to experience vocational “success.” We want to achieve and be noticed. We want to be “in.” I am at the point in life where the desire for success has been replaced by the desire for significance. As I’ve been thinking about that today, I’ve thought of a three-step sequence of significance that perhaps seems a little counterintuitive, but stay with me to the end.

To be a part of the significance IN crowd:

Step 1 – Make yourself IN-dispensable. Become the go-to person, the one who can be counted on. Exceed expectations. Under-promise and over-deliver. Demonstrate integrity and build trust. Someone will be watching you and learning.

Step 2 – Make yourself IN-cognito. Getting noticed feels really good. It can be intoxicating, but those who remain IN-dispensable risk fatigue and burnout. They can become control freaks who never elevate those around them. The idea of making yourself IN-cognito is that you are elevating and empowering those around you to the point that you are giving leadership, stepping in when necessary, but sharing both responsibility and recognition.

Step 3 – Make yourself IN-visible. You know your effectiveness as a leader when success may be accomplished without your presence, when recognition goes to your team, and when those you have taught advance beyond your abilities.

Second Timothy 2:2 (New International Version) says, “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.” 

Our lives matter so much to God that He wants us involved IN His eternal purposes. That’s a good crowd to be in.

Question: Where are you currently IN-dispensable?  IN-cognito?  IN-visible?

 

Gerry Lewis
From Biblicalleadership.com

What do you do with the bricks thrown at you? Stepping Stones or Stumbling blocks. 

 Sometimes the simplest things are the most profound.

“A successful person lays a FIRM FOUNDATION with the bricks others throw at her.” The quote summarizes the life of Sara Blakely. 

Billionaire CEO Sara Blakely Says These 7 Words Are the Best Career Advice She Ever GotSometimes the simplest things are the most profound.
Sara Blakely founded Spanx in her late 20s. The company made $4 million in sales in its first year and $10 million in its second year. In 2012, Forbes named Blakely the youngest self-made woman billionaire in the world.
She is clearly massively successful. Yet when asked what the best advice she ever received was, she doesn’t talk about success.
Instead, she talks about how, as a child, her father would sit her down at the dining room table and ask her the same question:

“What did you fail at this week?”

He didn’t want to know how many As she’d gotten. He wasn’t interested in how many girl scout cookies she’d sold, how many goals she’d scored on her soccer team, or whether she’d gotten a perfect score on her math test.

No, he wanted to know what she had failed at. And when she told him, do you know what his reaction was?

He high-fived her.

Think about that for a minute: Every week growing up, her father made her reflect on something she’d failed at, then showed her that not only was she still loved after failing, but she was celebrated for it.

In an interview for Fortune, Blakely said, “I didn’t realize at the time how much this advice would define not only my future, but my definition of failure. I have realized as an entrepreneur that so many people don’t pursue their idea because they were scared or afraid of what could happen. My dad taught me that failing simply just leads you to the next great thing.”

Speaking of that, Blakely herself failed the LSATs twice before founding Spanx. On that particular chapter of her life, she says, “It was one of many tests that showed me how some of the biggest failures in our lives just nudge us into another path.”

Those who’ve made it big repeat that one of the main reasons they got to where they are is by taking risks. Over and over, they talk about the importance of taking leaps, which sometimes means falling down:

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” –Robert F. Kennedy

“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” –Winston Churchill

“Failure is another steppingstone to greatness.” –Oprah

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” –Thomas Edison

Yet, for as many times as we are told that taking risks is good and failing is OK, we tend to shy away from it in our own lives. Why? Probably because we grew up in schools that tended to only reward “success” (getting the answer right). We were trained to become perfectionists.

If you’re going to rewrite that script, it’s not going to be by convincing yourself of it intellectually. It’s going to be by actually doing things you’re not sure of or good at, then being proud of yourself for failing. It’s not just the failing that’ll help you get there–it’s the encouragement for trying in the first place.

So: What have you failed at this week?

If you can’t think of anything, go find something to suck at. If you can, give yourself a high-five.

Then go fail at something else.

Resurrection comes after a death. Success is embedded in failure. You may fail at it but you not a failure until you stop at it. 

Article first appeared at Inc.com