Create the conditions for success

Success ladder

What does it mean to create the conditions for success? On the surface it sounds vague or even a motherhood statement. Nothing could be further from the truth. The purpose is to cause reflection on the situation. It is about leverage, impact and not doing the work of others.

How often as a leader do we get stuck in a behavioural pattern and not recognise it? Or if we do recognise it, do something about it? I constantly observe the leader solving other people’s problems for them. This may be because the leader can, it may be that the leader sees it as part of their valuable contribution or that it is just expedient to do so.

As a behaviour pattern is this the best you can do? It may work for a while but at some level it can be seen as a selfish pattern in that it does not encourage development in others and limits your availability to do the work that you are uniquely placed to do. Eventually it will limit your own growth path. In summary the full potential of the individual is thwarted. You may be OK with that but this is not sustainable long term and results will be under par.

The real leadership work is to ensure that the question is answered with a demonstrable YES.

Yes could mean:

Yes the right brief. The right objective and solving the right problem is obviously critical to success. Defining it in an empowering way will stimulate a better understanding of the challenge and will be approached in a more effective way.

Yes the right resources are allocated. This is both a quantity and characteristic question. Here skill, motivation, knowledge, time etc come into play.

Yes the right measure is in place. it is important to project into the future, picturing real success. Then construct appropriate measures to reflect the  identified success is actually the  outcome. For instance, a call centre . A common measure of success is call duration. This encourages operators to make each call as short as possible. Whereas real success maybe first call resolution and customer satisfaction. Be on the lookout for behaviour distortions.

Yes the right support is in place. The predominant posture will encourage and question, rather than make statements and direct action. This should flow, assuming you have addressed the above effectively.

Yes you are monitoring the situation. As time goes by the nature of the situation may change and therefore the cycle should begin again and the YES retested.

If I had to make a single statement to characterise the above it would be to create and maintain a success system rather than a point solution unnecessarily dependant on your management. Success for you is keeping out of the flow!

Create the conditions for success

4 thoughts on “Create the conditions for success

    1. tscblog says:

      Thankyou for your insightful comment. A key question for me is “who are the heroes in this exercise?” A smart executive will realise it is not themselves and they will work to ensure the conditions for success are in place. If they see themselves as the hero then that will colour what they see and restrict their options to be consistent with their objective.


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