As graduation season passes, I am reminded of how we too often set the bar of success in the wrong place.
Success = Perfect (i.e., does not x, y, z)
It is in the x, y, and z that we spend time in judgement rather than seeing excellence and recognizing the attitude and grit that allowed an individual or organization to overcome the barriers that get in the way of excellence for so many others.
I work with high-growth/successful organizations and leaders that strive for more (responsibility, impact, personal growth), and they let me in on a secret:
Successful leaders/organizations <> Perfect
The truth is, successful leaders and organizations are passionate about their work and hopeful for their future. They don’t sit back and wait for someone to fix their problems, or spend a lot of extra energy hiding their mistakes. You can tell this when you get into a room to solve a problem and bad ideas get voiced often, yet one of those ideas becomes a seed for something that will work to solve a problem.
Your choice: spend time in judgement, or get to know the person or organization that has done amazing things. Then maybe, if you hang around long enough and invest in that relationship in small/unselfish ways, you get invited into the room to solve a critical problem they are facing. That is the sacred space for successful people/organizations.
The first step is to pick a formula and form your views around it. One gets you into cool conversations, and one attracts a bunch of other like-minded people to define x, y, and z.
I prefer the former.