What happens when your strategy works? What happens when what you set out to do actually comes together and comes off the way you planned? Or even better than you planned? Do you enter the zone of problem free? Or do you wake up and realize that you’ve landed in a whole new set of problems?
Peter Drucker said, "success always obsoletes the very behavior that achieved it. It always creates new realities. It always creates, above all, its own and different problems."
One of the toughest problems created by success is the increasing difficulty in carefully restating and clarifying the business you are in and what you will call success. In our business it isn’t just numbers. It can sometimes be hard to describe. And it’s always a challenge to quatify. But it is essential if you want to continue moving in the direction you intend.
Why is it such a challenge to continue to ask what is our business and what are we going to call success? According to Drucker success breeds a kind of smugness and a false sense of security that takes eyes off the path. Drucker’s prescription? Never forget to clarify your business. Never neglect those challenging discussions that lead to a renewed definition of success.
I heard a good one this weekend: "If you succeed on your first try, pick something harder." That could easily be the takeaway. When you are winning, continue to stay focused on the mission at the heart of your mission. Continue to talk with your team about the business you are in. Continue to talk with your team about what you are going to call success.