What is success?

When determining a strategy for your organization, one question is critical to answer – What does success mean?  Can you answer that for yourself and your organization?

Strategy, according to dictionary.com, means “a plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aim.”  To be able to create a plan or policy, you must know what you wish to achieve.  Defining success is critical to setting your aim. Just as a marksman locates a target and carefully aims, a strategist must know where to aim or the bullseye will never be hit.

Everyone defines success differently. To some success might be a financial statement, to others it might be in philanthropy, to others it might be in the success of others.  Whatever it is to you and your organization, can you define it? Can you tell someone in a one-minute conversation what success means to you? If you can’t, how will you know when you have achieved your goal.

Your definition of success may change over time, and that is a good thing as you constantly strive to make yourself and your organization better.  However, what success means to you today is your goal and should be your aim. An old saying that rings true – “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.”

A marksman’s goal is the bullseye of a target.  What is your bullseye?