What’s Your Measure of Success?

Posted by Chuck Kocher
On May 23, 2016

Measuring-SuccessLinkedIn recently posted a series of thoughts from a group of successful leaders they call “influencers” that caught my eye. The group consists of people from Suze Orman to Maynard Webb (Chairman of Yahoo! And former COO of eBay), Nicholas Tompson (Editor of NewYorker.com), and others. Their thoughts were grouped under the title: My Metric for Success. You can read these influencer’s thoughts for yourself by clicking on the titles below. I’m only including a few of these thought-provoking titles for your consideration.

Success Is a Moving Target. Here’s How I Know When I’ve Hit the Mark (Suze Orman)

I Thought I Was Short on Time; Now I’m Long on Meaning (Maynard Webb)

Wisdom from My Grandfather: You’re Only in Trouble When Life Stops Being Interesting (Nicholas Thompson)

There’s No ‘I’ in Team. No ‘I’ in Success, Either. (Bob Nardelli)

For me, one of the most interesting things about this list (including the additional posts I didn’t mention here) is that the metrics these people use to measure success are all different. There is no ironclad template for establishing your standards of success. It is up to each individual to chose what success looks like. That’s both challenging and freeing. It’s also an indication that this isn’t something to be taken lightly.

There is, however, a strong thread of commonality in the opinions these individuals voice about what success means. But it’s not so much in the actual definition as it is in how they arrived at their conclusions. A recurring theme in the thoughts expressed is how the individuals’ views on success (and the metrics by which they measure that) changed over years. These people aren’t overnight wunderkinds who exploded onto the scene with instant success. They’ve all been around for a while.

One reason I find this topic so interesting is that I’m often called upon to help companies or individuals achieve success. I have a lot of great tools at my disposal that I can draw upon to help that process. But I don’t give companies or individuals their goals or their definitions for success. That’s something they have to come up with (I do have some very helpful ways to guide them through the process of identifying those things).

What does success look like to you—and what are the metrics you’re using to measure that success?