OpX Insights

Habit of Success

written By Mike Leigh

I recently read Factory Man by Beth Macy, the story of how John Bassett III battled the furniture industry and foreign dumping practices to save his furniture factories.  JBIII exhibits many strong leadership characteristics in the story, but above all else, he exhibited a habit of success.

Successful leaders create a culture in their organizations where the habit of success is prevalent.  They develop a set of positive attitudes and behaviors that promote success.  A mentor once described a success attitude by telling me, “If you believe you can, you’re right.  If you believe you can’t, you’re right.”  JBIII always believed he would win and success could be achieved.  He never let others entertain the thought of failure.

Many people believe that a positive, can-do attitude is something you either have, or you don’t.  But, like most skills, it can be developed.  To help you achieve greater success in all areas of your personal and professional life, here are some methods to enhance your habit of success.

  • Create a vision.  What does success look like to you?  Can you visualize it?  The better you can describe and visualize your “picture” of success, the greater your confidence will be to achieve it.  Athletes frequently use visualization techniques to improve their performance.
  • Affirm and communicate.  Tell your team (and yourself!) that the goal will be achieved.  Not sure if you can achieve the goal?  Fake it anyway!  Telling your team “we can and will do it!” inspires confidence and becomes self-fulfilling.
  • Have a written goal plan.  When you write down your goals and develop specific action plans to accomplish them, you are more likely to take action.
  • Be persistent.  Think ahead of possible obstacles you might encounter, and plan counter-measures to overcome them.  In the words of actor Ed Harris in the movie Apollo 13, “Failure is not an option.”

Habits can sometimes be difficult to change.  But when you develop your habit of success, it will lead to greater lifetime achievements!