Success and Influence

You can build a throne with bayonets, but you can’t sit on it for long ~Boris Yeltsin

This quote can be interpreted in many ways. For me, it refers to progress and how we measure our own success.

How we get ‘there’ is as important, if not more so, than the end result.

How do you measure success and progress? Achieving ‘Success’ and career progression through aggression, politicised behaviour, putting self-first and stepping on others to reach great heights, has a limited life expectancy. I have found the most satisfying and rewarding outcomes mostly derive from interactions with others, along with an ability and willingness to give more than take.

The opportunities to succeed often come from your efforts to support as many people as you can through:

  • Engaging thought and conversation
  • Seeking counsel and being willing to act as counsel
  • Listening genuinely with no bias
  • Understanding your own values and how they align with others

Affirming success as a direct outcome of your influence with and through others is not only more gratifying, but is of greater benefit to all. How you are judged by others depends on many things, including how you treat people and how you make them feel. Especially those who matter most to you.

Consider the key relationships in your life and how they have supported you and whether you have been supportive of them achieving their own dreams and desires. Have you reinforced and backed in an encouraging way?

Are you genuinely comfortable in that position or are you wondering how long will it be before you have to move on – or, to put it another way, what is your throne made from?


Filed under Motivation, Values

4 responses to “Success and Influence

  1. Your post raises a point so often overlooked in career advancement coaching. It is very hard to overachieve on technical skills alone. How much better can a finance person determine future value than another? How much better can one developer code over another? The difference in success rests in our ability to bring others with us. Thanks for the reminder.


    • Susan – thanks for you reply and comments. I guess there is a loose reference to the ‘servant leadership’ type of mindset, but it is more than that, defined differently by everyone. You are right – the ability to bring along others relates strongly to our ability to relate to and understand them…as individuals, prior to making assumptions or taking action. This is key to both leadership effectiveness and coaching.


  2. I like your blog. Seth Godin says “it takes a community.” Your article supports that we are in this life together. Patricia


  3. I like your blog a lot…Seth Godin says “it takes a community.” Thanks for sharing. Patricia


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