The Power of Routine Wins in Achieving Success


Little wins aren’t little.  I believe that.

A while ago, I met with a client and helped them create, refine, and begin the process of implementing the assessment they will use to find the next salesperson at their company.  It was a good discussion, taking our time to get it right and reflect on their thoughts and helping the client drill down into what they needed in the position.  New hires are often occurring because it’s about a company getting the right people in to reset a company’s culture, or ramping up towards new and more ambitious goals, so we know how important it is that clients ask us to help them with that.

Sometime after this client meeting had taken place, Lushin had a staff meeting.  In that huddle, each Lushin employee-owner was asked to begin with an example of the great client impact they had recently had.  As each of us responded, a pattern emerged.  Our associates and trainers took turns sharing their client impact.  Each relayed specific and grand impacts they had helped clients achieve; breakthroughs and record-setting quarters were the norm.  We would all nod our heads in agreement at how wonderful it was.  The impact our coaching and training can have goes without question to us, as we witness it in real time.

In that context, our other support staff stepped to the floor, and all replied along similar lines: how they didn’t impact clients like that so didn’t have much to offer as an example.  As Client Services Director here at Lushin, it troubled me to hear. 

"Why are we struggling here?" I wondered.  It’s our role to help others, so why are we struggling to find examples when it is what we do all day long?   And then I thought back to the recent meeting I had to set up the client’s assessment implementation and compared it to when I did something similar shortly after arriving at Lushin.

When I came to Lushin nearly two years ago, with one-third of the responsibility and even less than that in knowledge, what was asked of me in that client meeting would have been a huge undertaking.  It would have tested my newly acquired knowledge and skill at adapting that knowledge and skill in real-time to a specific client with specific requests.  I viewed it as a test to earn the trust of my colleagues or give doubt as to my fit in the role.  Successfully passing that test was a landmark for me in my position; proof against imposter syndrome and that I could succeed in the role.

Had I been asked the same question in a staff meeting then, I would have had no hesitation in relaying that win.  It was a client win because I successfully impacted a client in their search for a new employee.

However, as I continued to help other clients do the same, it became more common for me.  Bit by bit it became less of a test.  The knowledge and application settled in.  It was no longer a test of my abilities, but another meeting on my schedule to be completed. It became routine.  What had been a landmark became a checkmark. On to the next meeting.    Or so it can become, as we found out in our staff meeting.

Our perspective had fallen into the success trap.  We had become blinded to our wins as they happen all the time.  One great impact doesn’t always come in a breakthrough moment.  It’s often a series of small, minor impacts that snowball into an avalanche.  Our successful impact had become routine, so matter of fact that we became inured to it and took it as a given.

The success trap is easy to fall into because it makes sense.  As we push our boundaries, the original goals become more distant.  That distance only grows the more we achieve and press ourselves.  As we strive to progress in our roles and to grow as an employee and person, it’s easy to lose perspective on those first goals and landmark milestones and just how far we’ve come.  Unless we make a conscious decision to do so.

When a win becomes routine and doesn’t resonate how it once did, it doesn’t mean it’s less of a win.  Be conscious of them.  It’s not about settling.  It’s about recognizing that growth is a continuous process and not a destination.  It’s the path you are taking to grow.  Embrace your path and the routine victories as the milestones along that path that they were and continue to be.  Let them inspire you by looking back and celebrating each of them along the way as you strive for greater success.

I celebrated the win then, I celebrate it now, and I will continue to celebrate it.  It’s no different simply because it happens more often and with little fanfare.

Routine wins weren’t always so little…or routine.  Celebrate them as they deserve!

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