Create Your Success System

What do financial guru Dave Ramsey, hall of fame basketball coach John Wooden, and professor and leadership expert Bren`e Brown have in common?  They all have a blueprint for success, or a success system.  Ramsey created “The 7 Baby Steps” to becoming a millionaire and achieving financial freedom.  Coach Wooden created his “Pyramid of Success” that leads to personal and professional achievement.  Professor Brown’s research on courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy provides a path to brave and effective leadership.

In my experience I’ve identified three critical abilities to success: 1) building effective leadership teams; 2) expanding your spheres of influence; and 3) creating a success blueprint.  This blog focuses on developing your success system or blueprint.

Why spend the time and energy creating a system?  It helps you communicate your vision or approach, allows you to scale your ideas and influence, and serves as an objective measure of success.

  • Communication. Putting your system down on paper forces you to clearly articulate your process.  Others can provide input and feedback, which leads to continuous improvement over time.
  • Scale. Plans, approaches and/or systems make it easier for others to adapt or adopt.  The scope and scale of your system can increase exponentially as others copy your system.
  • Success Metric. Having a written blueprint, with prescribed steps or processes enables you to objectively measure the success of your system over time.  Did it work in both good and poor economic conditions?  Can others repeat your success?

If I’ve convinced you of the success blueprint’s value, then I want to share three tips to get you started and keep in mind as you develop your system.

It Takes Time…

A good system develops over a long period of time.  When clients press me for a number, I say a minimum of fifteen years.  It takes that long to become an expert, create a system, test it over different scenarios, and measure results.

Ramsey’s 7 Baby Steps were developed over twenty years and are based on his personal experiences.  The Dave Ramsey radio show started on one station in Nashville back in 1992, where he shared practical answers to caller’s money questions. Today, the show reaches over 18 million combined weekly listeners.

Bren`e Brown spent twenty years studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy.  She spent another seven years studying brave leadership.  All of that work served as the foundation for her becoming an ‘overnight sensation’ when her 2010 Ted Talk “The Power of Vulnerability” went viral with close to 60 million views.

It is Holistic…

Your system should reflect your mindset, values, beliefs, and past success.  It distills the wisdom you have accumulated and puts it into a form that can be shared and emulated by others.  The goal is to be your unapologetic true self.  It is okay if some people don’t accept your assumptions or agree with your values.

Ramsey is an Evangelical Christian, who quotes bible versus on his show.  That may not appeal to everyone, but his beliefs are at the core of his financial approach.  He wants financial advisors who have the “heart of a teacher” like Jesus.

Wooden based his Pyramid of Success on fifteen values – including friendship, self-control, team spirit, poise, and competitive greatness to name a few.  He believed good values attract good people, which leads to winning teams.  He encouraged others to see adversity as an asset and strive to make each day your masterpiece.

It Works in Reality…

Create a system that you have seen work!  It is not based solely on research or theory, but seeing real people get real results.

Ramsey’s radio show has a segment called “The Debt Free Stage” where families that have followed his method have become debt free.  They share their story, including how much they paid off, what the keys to their success were, and who supported them on their journey.  It inspires others to action.

I get calls, emails, and letters from people around the country that have followed my 7 practical tools to get a new job or a promotion.  My approach has been used by newly graduated high school and college students to C-suite executives.

Bottom Line

Always ask yourself, “What approach has allowed me to be successful in the past?”  Over time integrate your values, beliefs, and past accomplishments into a powerful success system.

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