The Philosophy of Success…

If you know a successful businessperson you may be in awe of what they have accomplished.    There are many people who strive to be the best they can be and treat their business’ success as if it is a race that needs to be won.   But to truly be successful in a business you must first remove the common pitfalls of human emotion from the equation that can cause you to be unsuccessful.

For those who think success is a race where there are classic individual winners and losers, you are focused on the wrong thing.   A business itself wins or loses.   It isn’t about any specific person from the receptionist to the CEO.  It is about the company.  Period.  The team that executes the business’ strategy.

That success rational is based on nothing other than ego.   While believing in one’s business is something that is necessary for success, being egotistical about it is a whole other thing.   Now, some experts will disagree here and state that in order to be successful there has to be some ego driven mantra.   While that is true a company cannot be truly successful for the long term if it is just based on the founder’s egotistic image of what he or she feels the company needs to be.  A successful business is compromised of multiple different facets that all work together as an efficient team.  If you weren’t paying attention at your last Tony Robbins lecture series, there is no “I” in TEAM.   Hiring skilled managers is done for a reason right?  One wants to have the best talent they can find and then exploit that talent to achieve the company’s goals.  Not unlike a professional athlete is hired to play for a team to assist the team in wining.   Even though that player by himself or herself is not going to change anything.

Ego has no place in business decision making.   People who focus their thought patterns based on ideas routed in the egotistical whims of human emotion are destined to make poor judgments.    This is quite concerning for those of us who have done management consulting as most ego driven decisions are notoriously bad for the company and its business.   Managers and employees who put their company and its business first are those that are a force to be reckoned with.    Those who work together as a well-oiled machine and continually strive for the greater good push a business to new levels.  These kinds of businesses build longevity that start up businesses can only hope to achieve.

Egotistical managers or employees typically are too interested in creating an outcome for themselves not for the company as a whole.   The all for one and one for all nature has been lost in the new world paradigm and is something that is severely lacking in many entrepreneurial companies.

Additionally, experts do agree that fear is a component that holds many employees and managers back from achieving the proper results.  Human beings as a whole become so afraid of failure in the work place that they will make poor decisions.   They will also make the worst decision of all, which is no decision.  Unfortunately most of this can be curtailed by management embracing the potential for fear and fostering an employee’s ability to deal with it.   No one wants to be judged by a scorecard and while managers have to keep ‘score’ if you will, they also have to encourage employees to think outside the box.    Encouraging such creativity allows employees to feel a sense of ownership in the outcome of the process and that gives them a more keen interest in striving for the right answer or solution.  If they are constantly chastised or ridiculed for making mistakes then they will not learn to trust their own instincts or skills.   They will like all other socialized animals simply try to anticipate the outcome of a decision and choose the decision that is most in line with what they think management wants.  Unfortunately, that decision may be bad for the company in the short and long term.

They will also not foster the ability to challenge themselves which leads to worker apathy.   Managers want employees that want to go the extra mile and solve problems before they occur.   Most industries are competitive enough there doesn’t need to be competition internally and loss to fear.   Mistakes are inevitable at some point and time.   A football team cannot always win every game, each and every time.  If that were the case there would be no competition, as each team would just keep winning.

A Wall Street trader isn’t always right.   If they were then they would be better than computer algorithmic trading models, which aren’t always, right either.   Why?  Because randomness takes a part in the every day occurrence of life, including business.  Even the most expensive mechanical timepieces are off by seconds every year.  Why? Because nothing and no one is actually perfect.   Something that managers need to remember.

But to make a truly successful business you have to build your team up with the right skill sets and then support them in any way you can.   Part of that is letting failure occur so it can be learned from.   The other piece to that is not being afraid to fail.   Because the fear of failure can stop a business from growing.   Failures are also amazing lessons for everyone to learn from.   Making mistakes in a business is not something that can be taught either.  Not even at  institutions such as Harvard Business School.    Failing is often times so invaluable for a business that is as precious as success.  As long as the mistake is learned from and it creates another solution that may not have been seen unless the failure occurred.

Always remember, some of the best successes came out of failure….




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