Leadership Minute: The Problem with Success

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“Success can close a mind faster than prejudice.”

As a Marine, I was used to moving in and out of assignments every 2 to 3 years.  2010 was another one of those transition years.

Einstein-SolveAs I checked into my new duty station, I started my initial observations and began to discuss my thoughts on a few areas in need of change or update.  However before I made any adjustments I wanted to ensure I understand “why” we did certain things.  As I spent time inquiring as to the reasoning behind certain decisions and policies, I ran directly into what I call the “But Sir” Proverb, “But Sir, that’s the way we have always done things.”

Over the last 19 years I have noticed that although a great thing, success can actually obstruct an organizations growth.  As noted by Peter Drucker, “No one has difficulty getting rid of total failures.  Yesterday’s success however, lingers on long beyond its productive life.”

The major danger with lingering success is that it doesn’t require new critical thinking.   If left unchecked, the easiest course of action for any problems that may arise is usually the one previously taken . . . . especially if it was successful.

What about you, are you allowing yesterday’s success to cause tomorrow’s failures?

5 thoughts on “Leadership Minute: The Problem with Success

    Richard S De Witt said:
    July 25, 2015 at 8:33 am

    Great word Brad!

    Every Blessing,

    Dick Richard S. De Witt



      bflurry responded:
      July 25, 2015 at 3:11 pm

      Thanks Mr. De Witt. Blessings to you and your family!


    Richard Brunton said:
    July 25, 2015 at 11:03 am

    Thank you. I liked the, “But Sir, that’s the way we have always done things.” Or in my world it was said, “If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always gotten.”


      bflurry responded:
      July 25, 2015 at 3:10 pm

      You’re exactly right. Can’t always do the same thing and expect new results!


    tyrrel said:
    July 25, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    thinking…. unusual pastime these days .


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