Success Breeds Success: Your Top 100 Accomplishments

The phrase Success Breeds Success points to the notion that when you are successful it paves the way for further success.  To help my clients here, I challenge them to create a list of their top accomplishments.  They take this challenge on with abandon until they hear my ask; “I want you to create a list of 100 accomplishments from the past year”.  The typical response is; “are you kidding me, 100?”  Or “there is no way I can come up with that many.”  After the initial shock wears off, my clients are excited thinking about all they’ve done even if there’s still a little trepidation mixed in with the prospect of coming up with this magnitude of accomplishments.

Before we jump in, let’s look at the business case for why this is essential to your success as a leader.  I was speaking with one of my clients who told me his manager stated he didn’t have any experience in removing obstacles and getting everyone on the same page.  My client was shocked.  He told me he does this every day and was puzzled how his manager didn’t have a clue this was a strength.  Through our coaching we uncovered while he has great success here, he doesn’t communicate the incremental wins until the project is completed.  The problem lies in the only in-depth conversation with his manager is when he reaches an obstacle he can’t solve at his level, leaving the impression he is not good at removing all obstacles.  In fact, he is very good at removing obstacles and is the go-to for many of his co-workers.  However, there are times where things require a higher level of oversight and his manager is interpreting this as a weakness.

Whatever your situation, I bet you don’t update your manager with all the things you do to make a project successful.  Learning from this situation, my client is letting his manager know, “hey the project is on-time but we ran into a snafu and I had to do these three things to keep it on track”, essentially communicating how he removed the obstacles.  Let’s dive in and create your list of 100 accomplishments.

Step 1

Reserve time on your calendar, initially I suggest reserving 30 minutes of uninterrupted time to create your list of accomplishments.  You will need to schedule additional blocks of time to finish your list.  I prefer reserving time at the end of the day, but any time that works for you is best.  You will find accomplishments pop into your head, so keep this list handy, allowing you to add these new thoughts to your list.  But remember your goal is 100 accomplishments and this takes your commitment to keep at it until you are done!  I challenge my clients to come up with the first 25 in their first sitting.  Then I ask them to set time aside for the next 25 accomplishments.  It typically gets harder at this point which takes us to the next step.

Step 2

If you are having trouble coming up with your 100 accomplishments, break each of these items into smaller accomplishments.  Here’s some guidance.  Let’s look at a real accomplishment from a client; Implemented the change initiative throughout the division.  This is a great accomplishment, I bet this took a lot to implement this change and get everyone on board.  With that in mind, this can be broken down into several discrete accomplishments.  Using this as an example, think about the people that you had to gain buy-in from, the challenges or obstacles that you had to remove and the leadership you showed to bring the team along.  Maybe there was a communication plan you had to develop or training you had to deliver.  The point is, each of these actions, while they led to the larger accomplishment, they are accomplishments in and of themselves.  Don’t sell yourself short of all it takes to do what you do.  You should be a lot closer to that elusive 100 target.

Step 3

What themes stand out for you as you read your 100 accomplishments?  You should see your key areas of strength, e.g. solving problems no one else can solve or bringing disparate people together for problem resolution.  Identify three to four themes.  An example of one of my client’s three themes are the following: Business Improvement, Connects the Dots and Coaching/Mentoring.  These are all areas of strength for her.  Through our coaching, we added a fourth category, Clear and Concise Communications.  This last theme is a development area she is working on.  By tracking this, it helps her remain accountable and enables her to see all the progress she is making as she lists examples of where she is improving.

Success breeds success.  Congratulations, you should be proud of all you have accomplished!  I bet it feels good reviewing this list which fuels further motivation.  Without getting into the scientific side of things, reviewing and reflecting on your list ignites a feel-good response in your brain.  This is a great way to boost your confidence and feel proud of all you do.  Review your list at regular intervals and use this boost as motivation to continue attracting even greater success.

But don’t stop there.  Your manager probably knows you successfully completed that important project but does he or she know what it took to get there?  Share this in your one-on-one’s, end of quarter as well as input into your annual review or whenever you have an opportunity to let others know all you do.  This is how you position yourself for greater leadership success.

I suggest doing this for the prior year but get started on the current year too.  It’s so much easier when you keep this file open, on your desk top or wherever you do your thinking, and add accomplishments as you go.  Good luck and wishing you continued success!

Sage Alliance, a Leadership Performance Company, provides coaching, teambuilding and assessments, workshops and speaking on topics including; leadership development, empowering teams, communications, lasting impressions, personal branding and building a coaching culture for executives and high-potentials – for both team and individual leaders.

Contact us today to discover how your organization can get the most through improved productivity, efficiency and direct impact to your bottom line, while leaders gain powerful insight, crystallize opportunities for growth and fine tune their strengths, enabling them to make the greatest impact. You can contact Shelley Hammell directly at shammell@thesagealliance.com.

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