What does success look like?

Can you draw the stick figure of a bicycle from memory?

What seems on the surface like a simple task can be surprisingly hard. Here are a few samples of what people came up with.

Annotation 2019-10-06 212231.jpg
Rider beware!

When they were provided a bicycle to look at while drawing, their figures improved a whole lot.

You can apply the same principle to perform better in meetings and interviews. Before you start, try and define, in clear terms, what success would look like. Having done that, work backwards to think about the best way to achieve it.

Say, during this pandemic, you have enjoyed working from home. You have seen how you are less stressed out and more productive overall. You are now going to meet with your boss, who is eager to have you back in the office regularly. How do you approach this meeting?

Firstly, define what success would look like. For instance, your boss approving your request to work from home for 4 days a week. Now work backwards to try and make that happen

  • Research the internet to list out the benefits to employers of people working from home
  • Explain how long uninterrupted stretches of work boosts your productivity
  • Use records of your work from before the pandemic to prove that you have indeed been more productive
  • Restructure your calendar to cluster all your in-person meetings on the day of the week you plan to be in the office

A clear definition of success lets you do most of the work upfront and address your boss’s concerns. Now, all she has to do is to approve your request.

We navigate several situations using a feeling of what success looks like. However, we all draw bicycles differently (and a whole lot better) with a clearer understanding of what one looks like.

Before jumping in, just ask yourself this simple question – what would success look like?

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