Don’t Get Derailed: 5 Success-Hindering Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
Success doesn’t come easy. Your hard work and dedication along with your unique set of talents and skills have taken you to great heights. You’ve achieved goals and made a difference in your career, and you’ve shown those around you that leadership is your strong suit. For most effective leaders the path continues to rise as you climb your ladder of success.
5 Common Mistakes on Your Path to Success
Here are five common mistakes that even those who are considered experienced can fall victim. Before you make one, or a combination of, these errors, learn what they are.
Being able to recognize these five common mistakes can help you to avoid costly missteps, stay the course, and become a more empowered and impactful leader.
Failing to Change Course When Necessary
It’s not uncommon to allow the pursuit of a goal to consume your focus. You set things in motion, but sometimes something changes along the way and attaining that particular goal no longer makes sense. Your all-consuming focus needs to shift, and you need to change course. That’s not always an easy thing to do, especially when you’ve put so much time and effort into your project.
Learn to pull back from time to time and look at the big picture. How does your current goal fit into your life? Your career? Is this relevant and is the impact of achieving that which you set out to do still worth the effort?
The best way to decide whether or not it’s time for a change in your strategy, or whether you need to devote your energies to another pursuit altogether, is to gather a consensus. Turn to those you trust and respect and seek out their honest opinions. Sometimes simply giving voice to your concerns allows you to see for yourself that the direction needs to change.
Failing to Hold Yourself Accountable
Day to day life can quickly interrupt long-term goals that you’ve set for yourself. But, realistically, life happens and will continue to cause you to veer off the path if you aren’t vigilant.
Set mini-goals and have a focus for the week ahead. Send yourself reminders throughout the week to help you stay on course. No one ever has a perfect path to achieving their long term goals, but by keeping yourself accountable, you will stay the course even as the happenings of day to day life seem to interrupt your goals.
Failing to Ask Why
When you keep trying to get results, and they just aren’t happening for you, find out why. As simple as this sounds, most people fail to ask the why’s when something doesn’t work. They just move on to another tactic or scrap their plans altogether. It’s essential to your success to persevere, but it’s equally as important to understand why something didn’t work according to plan.
Examine your unsuccessful outcomes from every possible angle. This practice can help you get to the cause of why something didn’t work and help you recognize and avoid future mistakes. Asking why can also lead you to develop better problem-solving skills and solutions.
Making Knee-Jerk Decisions
While being able to make the right judgments at the moment, and standing behind that decision is a hallmark of a successful leader, it can also contribute to an overconfidence that can lead to some unfortunate outcomes.
Learn to pull back and think about the decision you’ve been asked to make. Learn to avoid rash decisions when the big stuff is on the line. There’s nothing wrong with telling someone you need to “sleep on it” and then doing so.
Once you’ve weighed all of your options and taken the time to think things through you’ll be ready to make an informed decision, and that’s always a decision you can stand behind.
Focusing on Achievement and Not Performance
Focusing your efforts on your performance rather than achievement will put you in control. The results depend on your input and hard work, and that helps you to keep on track. There are many stages to performance and succeeding in carrying out each of those stages is an empowering reward in itself.
Performance is the result of careful planning, putting that plan into action, and realizing accomplishment. Even if you fall a bit short of your intended achievement, you have learned some new things along the way, probably about yourself, and self-awareness is an immeasurable tool on your path to success.
Tying It All Together
Without a well-thought-out plan and attention to detail your “success express” can easily become stuck, or be derailed entirely. When this happens, you can have a tough time getting back on track. You may even feel as though you’re doing everything in your power to move forward, but you can’t seem to get there.
Review these five common, mistakes and find out if you’re unwittingly falling victim to one or a combination of them.
Tim Crowley, Ph.D.
Motivational Keynote Speaker, Leadership, and Resilience Expert
Dr. Tim Crowley is a well-known speaker with a passion for growing agile leaders, teams, and organizations that produce extraordinary results. For more than 25 years his services have touched the lives of leaders in some of the most recognizable companies in the world. Including AT&T, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Ernst & Young, Hallmark, Johnson & Johnson, Lockheed Martin, Marriot, Microsoft, Nestle-Purina, along with numerous organizations, universities, state and federal agencies.
When not speaking, leading workshops, or writing he looks for inspiration through mountain biking, volunteering, and spending time with his family and friends.
Invite Tim to speak at your next event. You can learn more about him and how his services can help you and your team at drtimcrowley.com. Connect with Tim on LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook, and Twitter.