Business Results: The Good, the Bad and the Gorgeous

By: Guest | December 13, 2012 | 

Today’s guest post is by Sharon Gilmour-Glover.

When it comes to business results, we’re pretty good at looking at the good and the bad.

In fact, we’re experts when it comes to looking at the bad.

Often, we only  focus on bad business results because we mistakenly believe that focusing on our weaknesses and what’s not working is the best way to achieve success.

Actually, decades of research by the Gallup organization make it very clear that focusing on our strengths and good business results contributes to success way more than focusing on our failures.

Despite this data, North Americans are loath to accept this and the vast majority of people (eight out of 10) remain doing work that levers their weaknesses driving lack luster results.

Put another way, we’re more comfortable dealing with the bad than the good.

This begs the question, if we’re not comfortable really embracing and learning from the good, how on earth are we ever going to embrace and learn from the gorgeous?

The Fear of Fabulous

Just what are gorgeous business results, you ask? They are results that are so darn fabulous, you have trouble believing you actually achieved them. Gorgeous business results take you way beyond your previous best, often beyond your wildest dreams.

If we embrace them, they can transform our business and everyone who works in it, especially us. If we are unable to embrace them, then we return to status quo and put a lid on those dreams that were triggered by those results.

Worst case scenario? We begin a downward spiral of self and business destruction. Think Hollywood star en route to rehab.

I realize that might seem like a stretch but actually, it’s a strong analogy. Becoming a star is a gorgeous business result for actors. Most actors don’t become stars. Most feel lucky if they’re able to make their living doing what they love.

So when they end up on a hit show or in a monster movie, they are achieving beyond their wildest dreams – big money, acceptance on a huge level, adoration, and intense attention.

And while on the outside, we think we’re telling them how fantastic they are, how beautiful and smart and wonderful, we’ve all heard enough stories to know the ones who struggle become crippled by doubt and lack of self-worth.

They self-destruct and get themselves back to a place that’s more comfortable. They generate bad results, or maybe good results, because those results are more comfortable.

I’m Not Worthy!

Here’s why this happens to actors and in business. We all have a level of performance we’re most comfortable with. At Jump-Point, we think of it as a track we run on to generate results. We call it the performance track. We’re comfortable and can deal with results that fall on our performance track or to either side of it.

But when we get results that are either so bad or so gorgeous, they throw us way off our performance track, we panic. And here’s the weird thing; gorgeous results or transformational business results, can generate more panic than the really bad ones because they can connect us with those deeply hidden beliefs that tell us we’re not good and worthy enough.

Embrace the Gorgeous

Transformational change is never easy. We never know when a gorgeous business result is going to trigger it. So here’s my suggestion: Prepare in advance by embracing your good business results. Learn to celebrate small successes. Take time to reflect on what the team and each individual did to contribute to the success.

Be less modest and embrace your greatness. Offer your strengths as gifts to the world. Then when you get a gorgeous business result, you will be much more prepared to hang on and enjoy the ride.

Sharon Gilmour-Glover is a managing partner at Jump-Point and the educator behind Clarity for the Boss, helping people become aware of, unlock, and express their full potential. Connect with Sharon on Twitter, LinkedIn, or at the Clarity for the Boss blog

  • I am definitely one to wallow in the misery of all that I’m doing wrong. I need more social media engagement, need to write more blog posts, need to make more videos — can’t keep up!!! I never really thought that much about how crippling gorgeous results can be, but you’re right. Sometimes the sheer size of what I’ve built is enough to paralyze me. You’ve made me realize that I NEED to break out of my comfort zone and push through. Thanks! 🙂

    • @TaraGeissinger Hi Tara! Here’s the good news; you’re not alone in wallowing in the misery of all that you’re doing wrong. We were all socialised and educated to focus on our weaknesses and (I love this part) “Motivate” ourselves by focusing on how crappy we are.
      Honestly!!! What the heck were we thinking???
      I just hopped over to your site. To me, it looks like you have what you need to get gorgeous business results. In fact, I’ll bet if you stop and think about it, you have those kind of results but just missed seeing them.
      Thanks so much for commenting and glad I could help,

  • Sharon, I love the the idea of identifying what works — and blow it out! Make it a huge competitive advantage. Once you have a huge advantage in one area, then it’s easier to work on your weaknesses. But I like the idea of operating from a position of strength.

    • @barrettrossie Hi Barrett, you’re so right. It’s way easier to deal with weaknesses from a position of strength. Sometimes, working from strengths makes our weaknesses irrelevant. Gallup and Marcus Buckingham have done a tonne of work on the power of taking a strength-based approach if you’re looking for more info.
      Thanks for the comment Barrett,

  • Thanks for a thought-provoking post. Yes, our strengths, talents and skills are gifts and it is right we be thankful for them, and use them for good in the world. And yes, let’s celebrate our success.
    Here are some ruminations. 
    I think one of the challenges with ‘gorgeous success’ can come when we start to make that our aim and primary focus. Many people, at some stage in their life, discover there is no amount of success that really satisfies. There is always another place to get to, more toys we can buy, more money we can put in the bank account or give to worthy causes. And while the drive to advance is a natural human thing (and not of itself bad), and can be a motivator, it can also lead to a trail of ego-driven self destruction. 
    In some people’s eyes, we are only as good as our next result, and the reality is none of us can be sure the next thing we do will be gorgeous in its result. So we suffer this tension as each success pushes us to wonder how we will keep up appearances!!
    In a balanced life, with right values and principles, we have a chance to remain sane, and productive despite these tensions.
    The more I have thought about this, the more I see how helpful it is we seek, and find our purpose in life – something bigger than us, that keeps us moving forward regardless of the temporary successes or failures we encounter on the way. It is perhaps that purpose which allows us to deal with the times we self-destruct or fall off the wagon.
    At some stage most of us will experience times when we fail, or fail to measure up, but we all have it within us to return to our purpose and continue to do what the world asks of us, despite our human failings.

    • @kategroom Kate, thank you for such a thoughtful comment.
      I think you hit the nail on the head when you said, “…the more I see how helpful it is we seek, and find our purpose in life – something bigger than us, that keeps us moving forward regardless of the temporary successes or failures we encounter on the way.”
      It’s essential we work from a base of core values and a bigger purpose. We need to clarify a bigger vision. Who we are and why we are drives all that we do. When we harness those 2 powerful internal forces and use them consciously to form the foundation of our business (and our life), then it is much more likely we will approach failures as opportunities for learning and growth. Likewise, when we happen to get those gorgeous results, we’re able to be grateful and use them to do more good in the world.
      Our results, good, bad and gorgeous, are just the natural outcome of the work we do in the world and in our business. You are so right; if we decide that “success” is only defined by that next gorgeous result, we are likely in serious trouble. It’s even worse when we decide that our objective is getting those gorgeous results. After a while, there won’t be a success big enough to feed that hole inside of us if we’re operating from an outside in perspective.
      Thanks for highlighting the critical role of values and a bigger purpose.

  • SapnaHitech

    Hi Sharon I Landed here from from Barry’s page.
    Your post is really the food for thought. I have seen people who become stars over night but they couldn’t sustain through that. Many successful stars have ended in lives in despair, never know the reason. They really have the spiral fall.
    We are always taught in Management Schools that we need to build incrementally as the fruits at every step is really sweet, we need to enjoy that.  We are darn good in stats and always try to figure out the reasons for the business failures or bad results.
    We never analyse the best results. We think that business environment was cool enough to click at that moment.
    Thanks for sharing this great post.

    • @SapnaHitech Hi Sapna, thanks for hopping over from Barry’s page.
      We aren’t very good at studying the good results in anything really. Happily, I think that’s changing.
      You are so right when you say that people attribute good or great business results to market conditions. External conditions definitely play a role but in the end, it’s how we respond to all of our results that sets and maintains our trajectory for sustained success.
      Thanks for taking the time to share your experiences,

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