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Success or Failure?

Updated on July 23, 2012

Success or failure; whether it's work or play, which would you want others to use when describing you or the efforts of your team? Being in a business where people are my greatest assets, it would seem to me that everyone would prefer the first choice. It seems simple enough to me because of my personal understanding of what success means. Yet day after day, I've come up with instances which would seem to be pointing in another direction, and it got me to thinking. In any meeting I've ever attended,whether a manager meeting or a regular employee meeting, the talk was always geared toward upward movement. Discussions were held regarding the breaking of bad habits, the improvement of performances, both as a team and as an individual, and about actively doing all that could be done in order to be successful. Everyone nodded their heads in agreement that we wanted to do all these things for the purpose of achieving success. Yet, upon comparing results a week or month later, there often was very little to show for all our talk. What we were doing wasn't achieving the results we said we wanted to achieve. I wondered why that might be, until I realized that my understanding of success and how it's achieved may not be the same as others'. Unless everyone is in agreement with what success looks like, and how it will be achieved, the only result that can be expected, is working at cross purposes.

The dictionary states that success is the achievement of something planned or attempted. There it is: the two key words being “planned” and “attempted”. Every day is planned through schedules, sales forecasting, and constant reviewing of upcoming events which will affect how we respond to various aspects of running a business. We can make all the plans we wish but without an attempt to take actions which support our goals, we will not achieve success.

Action is the very foundation on which success is built. However, simply going through the motions will not garner the rewards we SAY we are working toward. It is the attitude which sets the tone for our “attempts”. Success doesn't happen without effort. We have to believe in our ability to be all that it encompasses. We have to come in every day with success at the front of our awareness. No matter what has happened on the way to work, or at home, or even on yesterday's shift, we must remain fixed in our resolve to make success our mantra. With our resolve firmly in place, we must then take the mutually agreed upon actions without fail, regardless of what dilemma we may face every minute of every new day.

The idea of achieving success is actually very simple: Do what's right, the right way, at the right time.

It's the effort required that keeps tripping us up most of the time. As employers, we like to believe the staffs we've chosen are the best at what they were hired to do. Completing a full background and credentials check is easy and quick, as opposed to the days before computers. We are able to weed out most of those whom we feel may not be able to perform to our standards. Unfortunately, we often have to find out first hand, the nature of our employees' social and behavioral patterns after they have already been hired.

There is a certain type of employee who should be removed from the employee pool as quickly as possible, once they are discovered, no matter how capable they may be to perform certain tasks. These misfits can bring incredible harm to our teams. The misfits are the ones who consistently “forget” to honor the dress or uniform code on a daily basis. They are the ones who complain habitually about everything that is wrong. They are the ones who consistently point accusing fingers at everyone else and fail to acknowledge their own short-comings. They are the doom and gloom purveyors, bringing everyone down with their lack of faith about what we are able to accomplish in spite of unexpected events. They have a hundred excuses for why something can't be done a certain way, but never offer a better alternative. These people are essentially, vampires who suck the energy out of the rest of us.

As owners, managers, and co-workers, none of us are completely off the hook, because, in order for vampires to thrive, they need a feeding ground. Every time we engage in negative behaviors and conversations with such vampires, we serve ourselves up as a meal. We allow them to feast on our energy, depleting the drive which will move us toward our destination. We are equally at fault every time we allow the behaviors of the misfits to determine how we will respond and react.

Everyone of us should determine whether we are a vampire or a meal. The vampires probably won't recognize themselves. It is up to those of us who are feeding them, to cut off their food supply, by not allowing them to complain or gossip to us. We need to refuse to respond with additional negativity to the behaviors of those we feel make our jobs more difficult. We need to take personal responsibility for our success, and only allow actions and behaviors which support our goal. Anything less can be regarded as a personal failure to achieve those things we've decided represent our personal vision of success.

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    • Terri Meredith profile image

      Terri Meredith 7 years ago from Pennsylvania

      You said a mouthful. Every day I work to turn around the thinking of employees who continually fail to see and utilize the inherent power within themselves.

    • samboiam profile image

      samboiam 7 years ago from Texas

      This was a very thought provoking hub. It has been said success has many fathers but failure is an orphan.