Coming up next... "Success or Significance in 2013?"
As we begin a new year we need to ask ourselves if we want merely to be successful or to strive for the significance that my friend and colleague Dan Clark (danclarkspeak.com) advocates. Clark says successful people get what they want and can win on any given day, but those who live lives of significance want what they get by creating dynasties that can outlast them. In his powerful, upcoming book The Art of Significance-Achieving the Level Beyond Success, Clark tells of a teammate who was an NFL second round draft pick, but who quit after four years. He liked being a football player, but hated playing football. He got what he wanted, but hated what he had to do to get it.
Clark challenges our belief systems by replacing lower preparatory principles with what he calls the "Twelve Highest Universal Laws of Life-Changing Leadership" that champions obey. For example, Clark teaches that patience is overrated, reinforcing passivity, allowing us never to begin. Perseverance is the higher law, presupposing that we will take our turn, and thus see the result of our effort. It is not enough to say "I will do my best". We must succeed at doing that which is necessary!
We certainly have an example with the Indianapolis Colts, who began their 2012 season with a rookie quarterback (Andrew Luck) after losing one of the best-ever quarterbacks. While rookie quarterbacks usually do not have a running start at a successful first year, Luck and his teammates did, without their head coach Chuck Pagano, who was diagnosed with leukemia in September, 2012 and forced to take a leave of absence. The Colts rallied behind their stricken coach, many players shaving their heads in solidarity with him as he underwent chemotherapy. Thus motivated, the Colts made it to the playoffs. This is a case of significance trumping success.
The book spoke clearly to me. Its key message is about going beyond ordinary measurements of success, by helping others transform their lives/thinking/being to overcome difficulties they may be facing. The value beyond personal gain, significance, is the keystone to the building blocks of successful teamwork. How often have we seen sports stars attain success via their athletic prowess, yet fail to show compassion and concern for their families or society? Real happiness follows from identifying and striving for the higher level of significance. This book will change the way you lead, manage, coach or parent.
Will you confront the challenge that Clark presents in his book? It can be pre-ordered at artofsignificance.com.