The Downside of Success: Departure from Disciplines

Posted by Chuck Kocher
On May 11, 2015

Dowside-of-Success-Departure-from disciplinesThere’s a classic movie from 1957 called, Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? It had a pretty impressive cast, including: Tony Randall, an up-and-coming Jayne Mansfield, and even a brief cameo appearance by none other than Grouch Marx.

If you’re wondering if you’re reading the wrong blog, don’t worry: I’m not going to critique the film. The title of the film, however (and even the theme), is something that applies to those of us seeking to grow our businesses.

Success, after all, is something we strive for. We work hard, we learn, we sacrifice, in order to be successful. And that’s a good thing. But there can be a downside to success. In the movie I mentioned, success turned Rock Hunter’s world upside down. It took him into a world he didn’t really want. But for those of us seeing to scale our businesses—who want to keep growing—a little bit of success can be dangerous.

Where’s the danger in succeeding? What often happens in business is that success—achieving some of the goals we have set—can make us forget what got us there in the first place.

Companies that are looking to grow try to push the pace. They want more leads and more sales. When their efforts pay off and they get them, they’re busy. That’s good, right? Sure, but when people get busy, it’s easy to ignore the disciplines that brought you the success in the first place.

They get too busy producing to have their regularly scheduled (and really important) meetings. Not a big deal, right? After all, would you rather be cranking out business, or meeting to talk about it?

But those meetings are where business leaders keep their fingers on the pulse of the business—and the marketplace. Without those meetings, quality control can slip without anyone being aware of it. New market opportunities can slip by unnoticed because the business is focused on meeting today’s (or yesterday’s) demands. Issue that affect company moral can fester instead of being dealt with.

Those are just a few of the small-but-essential disciplines that you need to keep—even when your success has you hopping. Success is a good thing. It’s part of what we work for. We should celebrate success! But we can’t let the busyness that comes with success make us forget those disciplines that brought us our achievements in the first place.

Keep taking care of your business and it will take care of you. Hang on to those disciplines and they will help you continue to have success.