What to Do When Things Are Going Well Don’t Stop Doing What's Right
As students of leadership, our focus is most often avoiding and managing challenges. But I have discovered it is equally important—or even more important—to know what to do when things are going well. Why? Many times successes of families, teams, organizations, and even nations are short lived because leaders do not know what to do or what to focus on once success is reached.
In this article, I share a few things we must do to maximize our successes and make the momentum work for us. I encourage you to start with this list and add to it your own points. When things are going well in your life and leadership, make sure you are checking yourself against your list.
Don’t Stop Guarding Your Values
I see this all the time in families, one generation is successful, the next is not. One period of life is successful, the other is not. The values that initially brought success were not guarded once success was reached. For some reason, once we feel we have “arrived” we tend to relax in the core values, principles, and disciplines that got us there. We take things for granted and we regress. This is the same for teams and organizations.
Core values and principles are not only tools to get us out of poor lifestyles and leadership. They are also instrumental in helping us maintain our successes. How do you guard your values? Make sure they are written and discussed. Don’t let your guard down. Be more proactive to keep your values alive when things are going well. Otherwise, members of the team or family will forget why these values are important. People may begin to think a great team, a great culture, or a harmonious family just happens.
My friend, nothing good just happens. So, acknowledge the values that consistently bring you success and discuss them. Keep them alive constantly; a weekly conversation may inspire everyone to continue acting on them. Forgetting your values, or allowing your family or team to do so, will be the inception of your decline.
Don’t Stop Leading
I have to admit, I have to guard against this all the time. When things are not going well, I am on the front lines fighting and defending, coaching and inspiring. But when things are well, there is an insidious voice in me that says, Okay, you made it; now you can relax. You are home free. Just slip into the background, and things will run automatically because you lead us to a good place.
This is a dangerous voice. If we hold a leadership position, we must lead in bad times, and in good. Of course, if the team is doing well and you have trained others to lead, you may be in a position to delegate and permit others take the helm. However, you must never go to sleep. The team or family is your responsibility. No matter how successful you become, you can come tumbling down quickly. We must resist going into our offices to preside and administer, but no longer actively lead.
What does it mean to lead? First, be there. Show up. Be engaged with your people. Find the next battle to fight, cause to pursue, and goal to achieve. Inspire, empower, and encourage others alongside you. My friend, moments of success are a prime opportunity to connect with your people, impart fresh visions, and lead them to new places.
Don’t Stop Growing
A trend I see when we are doing well is neglecting to invest in ourselves. We stop seeking personal growth. After all, we made it. Why do we need to grow? For two reasons: First, if we don’t grow, we regress. Usually, if we are not moving forward, we are moving backward. Second, because growth keeps us sharp to prepare for what is coming next.
Don’t Stop Helping Others to Grow
Another dangerous trap when things are going well is to stop investing in others. Again, we relax. They relax. And things gradually take a turn for the worse.
Don’t Ignore the Trends
IBM was riding high building large frame computers. They missed the personal computer shift, and Microsoft took over. Microsoft was riding high building personal computers. They missed the smart phone and Internet revolution, and Apple took over.
These fumbles happen all the time in the business world, even to top-notch companies and leaders. When we experience success, our natural tendency is to overlook the up and coming trends in our industry. Our successes may initially overshadow small trends. But these new developments often become the mainstream, and we are left behind, or worse, become obsolete.
Don’t Take the Glory
If you are a person of faith, you know that everything good you have is from God. Don’t take the glory; give it to God. We must offer Him our thanksgiving and seek His direction for our next steps. Never stop giving God the credit.
Don’t Stop Praying
Most of us are quick to pray when things are going poorly, but stop praying when things are going well. Pray and seek God’s guidance in every circumstance.
Finally, know that life is cyclical. Give generously of yourself in each moment. Whether you are experiencing success or defeat, or just working hard to reach your goals, don’t stop.
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