Accept That Success is Not One Size Fits All

Posted by Frederic Lucas-Conwell

Accept That Success is Not One Size Fits All

As much as we want companies to be professionally managed and follow a controlled and predictable growth path, more often they turn out to be like an aquarium where fish of various sizes and personalities have been thrown together in a close environment. Big fish quickly swallow the small ones, and the small but aggressive fish challenge the slow and docile ones. Soon there may not be any fish, colorful or otherwise, left at all.

Nasty political games can creep into organizations, as well as all sorts of friction, and prevent them from functioning efficiently. Competitors may enter the market and that will endanger the company’s early successes. Mergers, splits, and other reorganizations will create anxiety and insecurity that may scare away some key employees.

For an organization to grow successfully, leaders must be ever vigilant of unexpected events from inside and outside the company. Beginning with the leadership team, the organization will need to count on its people to adapt quickly, better advance in uncharted territory and face the unexpected without delay.

By managing employees more effectively and thoughtfully, a company can retain the leadership, creativity, and entrepreneurial spirit of its early successes as it moves into its future.

Reward All Leadership Styles for Continuing Success

There are as many ways of being successful as there are individuals! Being disruptive, radical, and a risk-taker can ultimately lead to success, as can being methodical, detail-oriented, organized, and structured.

Acknowledging that everyone has their unique way of achieving success and becoming a leader is the starting point for progress. Finding one’s unique way and valuing it is no small affair. From our observations with the GRI, very few people come to this realization without hard work.

As we build our definition of what success means for each of us, we need to remember that our colleagues may have different definitions of performance and success. In fact, there are as many ways to lead as there are people on this planet.

When diversity in leadership styles is valued and exemplified by those at the top of the organization and ingrained in the company’s culture, others have a better chance at experiencing leadership and growing their own leadership skills, too.

Diversity in styles starts with a more objective selection of employees. It continues with mentoring, coaching, and other developmental programs where it is proactively valued.


Explore how to provide successful solutions to diversity and inclusion in your team with the GRI. Read chapter 13 of Lead Beyond Intuition: How to Build a High-Performing Organization. Order the book on Amazon today.

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