The Most Important Thing To Focus On For Team Success

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How do you measure success? Money? Fame? Applause?

As a leader, how do your team members measure success?

How do your #team members measure #success? #leadership Share on X

It’s a deceptively difficult question, but one that’s critical to keeping your team productive, loyal, and engaged.

The question is deceptively difficult because it seems there would be as many answers as there are people on your team, or in your organization, or even in the world. Surely every person has his or her own criteria for success, right?


It turns out that there aren’t millions of answers. Not even thousands. Or hundreds.

There are four.

Four “irreducible components of enduring success,” according to researchers Laura Nash and Howard Stevenson, and as reported in Harvard Business Review.

Now at this point, I could keep you in suspense, but that would be cruel, and I don’t roll that way. At least, not all the time. So here they are, the four irreducible components of enduring success:

  1. Happiness: feelings of pleasure or contentment about your life.
  2. Achievement: accomplishments that compare favorably against similar goals others have strived for.
  3. Significance: the sense that you’ve made a positive impact on people you care about.
  4. Legacy: a way to establish your values or accomplishments so as to help others find future success.

So why is this important to leaders? It’s important because if these four components really are the way people measure success, then they are also the way your team members measure success. And so it makes sense, doesn’t it, that the more you and your organization can create a context in which your team members experience these four components, the more successful your team members will feel. And the more successful you can make your team members feel, the more you’ll be able to attract great team members, the less absenteeism and turnover you’ll experience (and pay for), and the better results you’ll achieve.

Those sound like worthy outcomes to me.

Still, it’s a rather tall order. I mean, happiness, achievement, significance, and legacy are lifelong goals. Where do you begin?

I suggest you begin with significance.

As a leader, make sure your team members understand and appreciate the significance of what they do. Make sure they “get” that they are a vital part of the bigger picture. We all want to feel like we’re a part of something bigger than ourselves. It gives us a sense of purpose.

When you help your team realize their sense of purpose, they automatically feel more significant. This, in turn, feeds their sense of achievement, happiness, and legacy.

Make sure your #team understands where they fit into the bigger picture. #leadership Share on X

What can you do this week to make your team members feel significant—to make them feel that what they do matters?

Take a few minutes today and give that question some thought. Your team members will thank you—and you’ll see the results!


About the Author:

29-time Emmy Award winner and Hall of Fame keynote speaker Bill Stainton, CSP is an expert on Innovation, Creativity, and Breakthrough Thinking. He helps leaders and their teams come up with innovative solutions — on demand — to their most challenging problems.
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