There are no shortcuts to success. This phrase has been repeated so many times it has become mantra to many of us looking to achieve our goals and realize our dreams. Yet and still, most people are looking for ways to accelerate the journey from here to there and hoping for some silver bullet to make it happen overnight. Fortunately, in this article we will discuss a sure-fire way to hack the climb to achievement - The Success Formula!
This formula is best expressed as (D x D)^O = S
The first "D" in the equation stands for "Delivery". If you want to speed up on the path to success, you must become known and branded as someone who delivers on their commitments. The first key component of delivery is dedication. You must be possessed by an overwhelming drive to fully finish whatever you start. The very act of becoming a finisher will transform your reputation in and of itself. But there is a second key component to delivery which is decisiveness. This is because you have to choose where, when, and how to act upon the variables in your way. If you successfully deliver a package to the wrong address you have ultimately failed, right? And how do you become more decisive? You must master the art of transforming inputs into right actions.
To bring the concept of delivery to life, imagine that your goal is to lose weight. Right off the bat you know that this is going to require significant dedication to transforming the way you eat and your exercise regimen. But you still need to decide how you will achieve your goal. Is it by reducing calorie intake, starting some special diet, signing up for a gym membership, hiring a nutritionist, working with a personal trainer, or some combination of all the above?
Deciding this will require you to advance your understanding of your metabolism, dietary preferences, stress triggers, and personal habits. With these inputs understood, you can then decide on the right course of action for you. Then by fully dedicating yourself to the right path for you can you achieve the results you require faster than the average individual.
Now let's move to the second "D" in the formula which stands for "Development". Being known as someone who gets things done will only get you part of the way to accelerating to your end objectives. You also must be willing and able to learn along the way. And to learn you must fail. This is why disappointment is the key component of development. Early success is the worst teacher because it creates a false sense of security. You also may never fail because you are not challenging and stretching yourself enough. Sort of like a baseball batter who only swings at his favorite pitch - you will find yourself striking out more often than not because you are unwilling to learn and be uncomfortable. The other key component of development is the desire to grow - an inner belief that there is far more to be learned than is currently known which drives you to seek out the information, experts, experiences, mentors, and coaches that can help you on your journey. As you fail, grow, and learn, you earn valuable perspective that increases your decisiveness which in turn improves your ability not only to deliver but over deliver on objectives.
Let's return to the weight loss example for a moment to bring this concept home. As you age, your body will change. You will need to constantly adapt and learn new ways to stay ahead of your shifting nutritional and physical needs in order to either maintain your desired weight or enhance your physical condition. This will likely come as a result of trial and error - understanding which regimens work best and worst for you. The more information and experience you accumulate focusing on your body will likely lead you to be far more adept than others at successfully having the form that you wish for because you have developed your weight management toolkit as you have delivered the requisite workouts, applied new technologies and techniques, and maintained the dietary restrictions necessary over time to be in such shape.
The final piece of our equation is the power of "O" or Opportunity. To deliver and develop, one must have an opportunity to due so. Opportunities are typically manifested, however, by one's ability to deliver and develop over time so there is an extremely tight link between these three variables. Some opportunities may be given without ever having demonstrated the two D's but this is not the usual case. Most people get to go to primary school but not everyone capitalizes on this opportunity by working hard enough and studying long enough to become valedictorian. Typically, opportunities are created by some observation of a unique skill or attribute the person possesses and has demonstrated that increases the probability of them being in a position to showcase that skill or attribute with greater frequency. Some times the attribute in question may be their network or connections - both of which are things that can be developed over time if one maximizes opportunities to seize these moments and demonstrate your capacity for delivery and development.
Time is the greatest squandered opportunity of all - because very few people take advantage of the time they have to efficiently deliver on their goals and constantly develop themselves.
If you have had trouble succeeding in the past, examine your approach to delivery and development. You may be a very hard worker but not someone who thinks about the best way to approach your work which ultimately may be slowing you down. Or you may be a master of repetitive tasks who fails to innovate and stay ahead of the curve and ends up being overshadowed by someone who has delivered theoretically less than you but has far more accumulated experience due to their ability to develop faster. If you feel you have been given less opportunities than others to shine, once again return to the formula and honestly compare your delivery and development to others in the same time periods.
In this way, these two D's hold the intrinsic key to long-term sustainable and repeatable achievement by manifesting more O's.
Delivery times Development to the power of Opportunity is therefore a simple formula that can be applied to help you achieve success. It seems like an obvious insight, but apply it to the most successful people you look up to and you will see these three components shining through. Every successful individual knows that they must be able to get things done in the right way while remaining unafraid of failure and maximizing their opportunities. They are the mavericks and risk-takers that apply their internal compasses to manifest out of sheer will (and accumulated knowledge) results that most people deem impossible. And they do this by focusing on both D's simultaneously which is the hardest trick to master.
What do you think of this success formula? In what ways have you focused on mastering your ability to deliver and develop yourself within the opportunities you have been given? Let us know in the comments below and please give this article a like and/or share to your networks if you found it to be useful.
Omar L. Harris is Associate Vice-President and Country Manager for Allergan PLCin Brazil. He is the author of the upcoming leadership book, Leader Board: The DNA of High-Performance Teams being published by TPC Books in June 2019. Please follow him on linkedin, instagram, and/or twitter for more information and engagement.