July 11, 2011

5 things that define your success and failure

What is success is defined by people in different ways. It depends on one's experience.There is no hot selling recipes for success. All that one has to practice is focus, discipline and follow up. These are a few fundamental points that one has keep in mind during his journey towards success.

Michael Feuer, CEO of OfficeMax has launched a number of successful business ventures, the author of the new book 'The Benevolent Dictator: Empower Your Employees, Build Your Business, and Outwit the Competition' says there is not a simple magic bullet that will propel someone straight to the top. He said, "Success in any endeavor, especially business, really comes down to specific character traits and habits. If you have those qualities, you'll excel. And if you don't, you probably won't."

Here are some qualities that Feuer proposes that anyone can practice and can make them work to get success.

Take good notes

Taking notes in business is just as important as it was in your class in college. Your brain is not always as powerful as you think it is, and having a written record of your boss?s project analysis or your colleague's sales strategy can save you from having freak out moments, and can set you apart from the pack and put you on a straighter path to success.

It's better to dictate the notes from a meeting the second you walk out or appoint someone to act as a scribe beforehand. One should keep all of his past notes in a folder on his computer, and also always make sure to jot down next steps. These habits ensure that nothing falls off the radar unintentionally, and that always have a good idea of what needs to happen next.

Do what you say you will

In today's environment, a person's word is not always his or her bond. When one fails to follow through on promises and commitments, one should imply that they lack discipline and perhaps, shouldn't be trusted with more important tasks and objectives. However, if one cultivates a reputation for being completely reliable, they will enjoy more responsibility and success as well as better business relationships.

Give homework assignments

A leader's job is to make people think and discover alternatives. It's a great way to determine who on your team you can rely on and who is capable of taking a project to the next level. You can afford to invest in developing someone who is interested in developing.

Scrap your iron-clad five-year plan

Being able to work with focus and discipline is generally a good thing, unless you're focusing on things that won't help you or propel you forward. To help prevent this, Feuer recommends developing a short-term plan with a six- to nine-month outlook. This plan will help you get through the year. He also recommends creating a longer-term plan with a seventeen- to eighteen-month strategy. It will encompass the goals and benchmarks you need to achieve during this time period.

Use a rifle, not a shotgun

When you fire a shotgun, your shot hits a wider area, but it lacks focused precision. In business, a shotgun approach gets the job done, but usually doesn't yield outstanding results. May be you will hit something with a shotgun, but the price in doing so seldom provides the big payback. Laser-sharp approach will take more planning and forethought, but in the end you'll probably save time and resources. It pays to identify exactly what needs to be done and then focus relentlessly on accomplishing those objectives.

When you take the time to focus, have discipline, and require follow-up, whether you're a business owner, a manager, or an employee moving up the ladder, you're creating a road map that documents what has to be accomplished and by when.

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