Victories are special moments that we all savor.
Whether it’s winning an athletic contest, getting an “A” on a test, or closing a deal…a victory moment is validating. Such moments are like road signs signifying that you are on the right path to success. But, like those set-back moments of defeat, victory too needs to be put in the rear view mirror in order to keep growing.
Right out of college I put my economics degree to work by entering the financial industry in a sales role. Early in my training I was taught that you need to put habits of success to work each day in order to finally catch the carrot of financial freedom that dangled at the end of the stick. If you’ve worked in financial sales, you know the habits of success that I’m writing about have less to do with secret professional development tools and more to do with cold calling a long list of leads each day.
The long awaited victory may have launched his reputation, but unfortunately it short-circuited his drive.
One day, my fellow newbies and I witnessed an associate haul in a whale of a sale that we dreamed of eventually landing. As the days followed, my co-worker’s reputation became renowned, while his time in the office grew scarce. Apparently, his big sale had become an arrival point for him, instead of a data point. Eventually, it became apparent to us all that his big win had derailed his process for success. The long awaited victory may have launched his reputation, but unfortunately it short-circuited his drive.
In the book Great by Choice, Jim Collins writes about this unfortunate impasse of success by observing that, “success comes from different behaviors, not different circumstances (2011).” If we allow the circumstance of victory to alter the behavior that led up to the outcome, then it’s all a loss.
Take Note All You Champions: When it comes to our professional growth, if not careful, yesterday’s successes will make us tomorrow’s memories if we don’t bounce back from victory.