Humans are by nature goal-striving beings. And because they are built that way, they cannot be happy unless they are operating as what they are originally built — as goal-strivers.
I think we can undoubtedly state that executives are humans.
And the most successful executives have deeply internalized this insight. They are successful because they exactly know where they are going.
And they don’t know this by chance.
No. Successful executives have consciously made a decision to pursue a certain goal. They thought about it carefully and chose it wisely.
Let’s see what this exactly means.
Definition of Success
Noah Webster defined success as
“the satisfactory accomplishment of a goal sought for.”
Earl Nightingale put it this way:
“Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal.”
It doesn’t matter where you look – in one way or another all definitions point to the same thing:
Success means goal-striving and goal-achieving.
Creative striving for a goal that is important to you as a result of your own deep-felt needs, aspirations and talents brings happiness as well as success.
So you can clearly see that the kind of goal you pursue has a huge impact here.
It is not enough to just have a goal. You must have worthy, valuable and deeply aspired goals. Goals that give you a feeling of excitement about what you do and that help you sticking with what matters through hard times, living a life you can feel proud of in retrospect. These kind of goals.
A goal is “worthy” if it expresses your personal core values in some way. The values you want to manifest and create in life to be the person you really want to be in this world.
But how can you find those core values ?
There is a very easy and effective way to do this. It is based on two simple steps.
• Step 1: Identify and write down 5 – 10 people who you admired as a child or still appreciate today and who were or still are great role-models to you.
Identify those human beings you always felt a deep connection to.
• Step 2: Think of the values these people embody and write them down.
Values in this context can be all the qualities and character traits these people represent for you. Perfection, Authenticity, Elegance, Humility…all these are values.
Don’t overthink at this point and let your creativity flow. Anything that fascinates you about those people should be considered and noted. Sometimes it may be a little challenging to express those things in words. But don’t be frustrated.
Just keep on doing it.
Now repeatedly go through that list of values and try to sense which one are the most important ones for you personally. There is no true or false here. No other human on this earth could perform this task better than you, because your values are inimitable and very unique.
The effect of this little executive coaching exercise can’t be overestimated. You will learn a lot about the driving forces of your life. To verbalize the character traits of a person you deeply admire gives you fundamental insights into your own personality.
But as if this would not have been enough benefit, with this exercise you also built the foundation for all your prospective personal goals.
As we already mentioned above: Being successful as an executive means to progressively realize worthy goals and worthy goals are the expression of your personal core values.
It is of such a great significance for your success what kind of goals you pursue.
But once the foundation is built by knowing your personal core values, nothing can stop you from becoming the most successful and excellent executive in your field.