The traditional definition of a successful leader—wealth, power, fame—is defunct. And it’s about time. A recent survey conducted by Ipsos on behalf of Strayer University showed that success is no longer about materiality and worldly recognition; it is about happiness. As you can imagine, I was thrilled to read that this point of view is gaining momentum and agree utterly.
For me, the right path starts with acknowledging that success comes from how we interact with others. Company growth depends on many people: employees, sales representatives and clients. It is they who make success happen, not a single person at the top of an org chart. Today’s technologically driven, increasingly complex, globally interrelated and rapidly evolving business environment requires more teamwork than ever before. This is why I always refer to myself and ask others to refer to me as the servant-CEO of the company. I believe the spirit of sharing that we emphatically encourage should also prevail in one’s personal space, outside of work. What good is success if it is not to be shared with family and friends? Making time—instead of continuing the constant lament that we don’t have enough time—is fundamentally important. The people in our lives, our family and our chosen family, are a source of happiness so both create and embody success.
But success, or the illusion of success, is fleeting and transactional when we pay the ultimate price of sacrificing our spirit and our passion; when we extinguish the burning fire that drives us to work harder and persevere; when we become bitter and pessimistic and see every setback as a permanent condition; when we diminish our self-worth; when we stop loving ourselves and treating our bodies like garbage; and when we stop affirming our core values and beliefs.
That’s why it’s essential, from time to time, to check in with ourselves and to make sure we are indeed on the right path for ourselves, as individual people with our own priorities and values. It requires us to take a LEAP in order to get to the next level, to break free of insecurity and self-doubt, to be courageous and strategic in advancing your life.
Love what you do. Devote just one minute every day to affirm what you are grateful for in your position. You are a vital part of a global mission to offer equal access to justice, and there is no understating the power of that. You are lifted up and supported by your team every single day.
Empower others. Recruiting and growing your business come naturally when you provide others with a powerful incentive to join your team. Consider that most people with jobs are unhappy; offer them a chance to find happiness and success on their terms. Stay at home parents are always working
Attitude is everything. It’s okay to be happy. But it’s all up to you and no one else. JC Watts reminds us in his book “Dig Deep” that we must know what we can and cannot control. He quotes Kelvin Sampson who said, “In life there are only two things you can control, your work ethic and your attitude.”
Productivity is your untapped potential. It is the powerful vitalization by the creative interchange of motivated people, coupled with new ideas and technology.
Being our best selves in our relationships with others requires little effort compared to the overwhelmingly positive outcome such an attitude and intention will create. I am convinced that positive visualization itself, focused on becoming the best person we can, goes a long way toward creating the fruitful, collaborative environment required for success. Daily meditative practice that includes an intention to form a positive mindset naturally sets up positive actions to follow, and helps achieve positive outcomes as a result. It’s so worthwhile to set aside ten, twenty or even five minutes each morning to visualize oneself as being healthy, happy, engaged in life, involved in loving relationships, giving back to society, making the world a better place.
I’ve observed that success comes to those who are optimistic and act from a place of knowing they are going to help make something happen instead of merely letting things happen to them in a passive way. Of course, optimism is not about putting on blinders and choosing to ignore our own and our society’s problems. Asking the tough questions is necessary, as is facing what we need to face and finding ways to take positive action at home, at work, and in our civic lives. Optimism stems from intentionally cultivating a positive attitude, focusing on the joys in life and surrounding oneself with positive people.
These concepts make up the philosophy of LegalShield, a company that does well by doing good, a company committed to improving the lives of millions of members by making justice available for all through economically sustainable legal and identity theft protection.
Jeff Bell is CEO of LegalShield, the leading provider of affordable legal plans and identity theft solutions for individuals, families and small businesses, covering more than 1.6 million families and serving more than 4.2 million people across North America in 50 states and four Canadian Provinces.