Plan for Success in 2017: Developing That Extra Effort

POSTED: Dec. 16, 2016

2017 Goals"Applying one extra degree of temperature to water means the difference between something that is simply very hot and something that generates enough force to power a machine — a beautifully uncomplicated metaphor that ideally should feed our every endeavor — consistently pushing us to make the extra effort in every task, action, and effort we undertake.”
 —S.L. Parker, 212°: The Extra Degree

As we approach another end to the business year and, hopefully, are planning for the coming business year, I genuinely encourage you all to reflect upon the past year’s successes and failures to determine where that one extra degree of effort either made the difference or could have made the difference in your businesses.

Did you make tough choices and decisions each and every day that led to organizational success or did you choose the easy route? 

Did you exhibit the characteristics necessary for courageous leadership – authenticity, giving and receiving feedback, and only surrounding yourself with the best possible people – or were you content with the status quo, where self-protection and minimal risk-taking were more comfortable and certainly required less effort?

Did you demonstrate the passionate commitment to each of your goals that you were so enthusiastic about at the beginning of 2016 or did you rationalize to yourself at some point that it just wasn’t worth it?

Every successful business leader will tell you that there is no magic wand, no silver bullet and no quick fix to obtain great results. The real key to their success is self-discipline and the ongoing willingness to drive persistent, maximum effort in each endeavor. Without this determination and energy, lasting success cannot be obtained.

So how do you achieve the self-mastery of engaging in the extra effort necessary to reach your vision of success? The answer is two-fold, and while it appears to be rather simple, it’s not always so easy.

First, it takes 100 percent commitment. Total commitment to achieving your goals will enable you to put forth that little extra effort that will mean the difference between succeeding and remaining the same or possibly worse off than you were before.

Second, you must cultivate powerful, positive habits that become part of your lifestyle, not just some of the time, but all of the time. Keep in mind, however, that poor habits are just as powerful and destructive and can destroy your leadership capabilities. Don’t mix up the two.

So as you plan for success in 2017, try planning to make extra efforts in the following critical areas of importance found in all organizations:

  • Client services ( internal and external)
  • Financial performance
  • Process and systems
  • Staff alignment and development

As S.L. Parker says in 212°, “How many opportunities have you missed because you were not aware of the possibilities that would occur if you applied a small amount of effort beyond what you normally do?”