Home » Delayed Gratification

A lot of money is made in the “self-help” industry from promising people “quick and easy” ways to achieve success. In fact I challenge you to pick up a business book or “how to” book that doesn’t have the words quick and easy on it. They wouldn’t sell as well with the words “difficult and challenging.”
In a radio interview on AM800 on January 2nd, host Kara Ro asked me to share tips on setting and achieving goals. This was around the topic of New Year’s Resolutions. It got me thinking about leadership and that the best leaders take action with a long term view.
Be sure and check out the links at the bottom of this email for upcoming courses or to have a discussion about what your team needs to achieve success in 2010.

Delayed Gratification
Take an inventory of the people in your life who you consider to be “successful”. Were they an overnight success? Likely not. I can’t think of one person who has achieved success who hasn’t had to work very hard to achieve it. They might make it look easy but behind the scenes they worked their butt off to get where they are. And likely they are still working their butt off to get to the next level or simply maintain what they have.


Working Smarter AND Harder
In the 19 years of being a professional trainer, speaker and coach, I’ve dreamed about how easy it was going to be. With two best selling books and tons of media exposure, surely the business will come flooding in and the road to riches will be paved with gold. Yeah right. It turns out that the best projects and the greatest prosperity have come at a price. Extra hours of work, preparation and commitment led to the good times. Any time I slacked off and took it easy sales and profits declined.
Do continue to work smarter by taking courses, reading books, working with a coach or mentor and trying new things.
Good Job Boss
Employees will comment that they rarely receive feedback or praise from their manager. Most managers, general managers, CEO’s and business owners will receive little or no praise for their efforts. Even the best managers will never know how good they really are.
By definition, leaders achieve results through the efforts of others. Therefore when things go well, the leader should give credit to the team. When things go poorly, the leader needs to be accountable for the mistakes or poor execution.
The only satisfaction a true leader will feel is the sense of pride that comes from helping others achieve best-ever results and reach their full potential. Sure, the leader can and should smile to themselves when things go well. This quiet, self-reflective sense of accomplishment will soon be replaced with an urge to take on the next challenge or opportunity.
Reflection Questions
Are you or your team looking for a “quick fix” to a problem or challenge instead of persistently and doggedly attacking the obstacles to greater success? Are you seeking instant gratification instead of the quiet sense of accomplishment that comes from seeing others grow and develop?
Action Items
  • If you have a good boss, tell them specifically what you appreciate about them. It will help reinforce those great behaviors.
  • Set ambitious and challenging goals for yourself and others and then persistently work towards those goals. You’ll feel a greater sense of accomplishment from achieving the nearly impossible than a “slam dunk”.
  • Avoid the temptation to slack off and take it easy as a decline in results and performance will surely follow.