7 Success Strategies: Part 5: Keep the Best, Ditch the Rest

http://www.flickr.com/photos/araswami/1881429807/“Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.” ~ Peter Drucker

This article is the fifth in a series called “7 Strategies of Successful WomenLawyers.” There are so many strategies that successful women lawyers, CEOs and other leaders use to propel them to success, but the ones I am identifying in this series are some of the top techniques I see consistently used by peak performers.

The number five success strategy is “Keep the Best, Ditch the Rest.”

While taking what I call “right action” is the key to making progress and experiencing success, sometimes I watch people drive themselves crazy taking what they think is “right action” without taking any time to reflect and evaluate how those actions have been turning out for them. Evaluation is your best friend in this process, and a critical element to success. Be sure that your evaluation criteria is sound though, otherwise you’ll get off the path to right action!

In fact, sometimes the only way to know if an action is, indeed, a “right action” is to do it and then evaluate it to see if it got you the results you desired. If it did, GREAT! Do more of it. If it did not, think about why it didn’t get you the results you wanted. Could you improve upon the action you were taking? If yes, improve your action, and try again. If you can’t really improve the action and it doesn’t look like the results are going to change, then STOP doing it. Don’t keep taking action that seems right, but in actuality is not getting you the results you want.

For example, maybe it seems like you should be attending a specific networking meeting every week. So you go every week, like clockwork. You take the time, spend the money, and show up. Problem is—you aren’t making any good connections. You aren’t getting any clients. Do you just keep on keeping on? No—you must take some time to reflect and evaluate. Can you do something to improve your results at this event? Maybe you can come better prepared with business cards, a better introduction of yourself, or something else. Then do what it takes and try again. But if there is really nothing you can improve to get better results, then don’t be afraid to admit that this is something that is draining you of precious time and energy, and let it go. Find something else to invest your time and energy in that will give you a better return on your investment.

Just the same, sometimes there are actions we are taking that we know don’t even rise to the level of “right action” (said another way—habits or behaviors you secretly know are not moving you forward tohttp://www.flickr.com/photos/31332713@N04/3083210161/ward your goals!) Are you wasting time on social media networks when you should be doing other things? Are you finding ways to fritter away time during the days on tasks that don’t need to be done, which ultimately prevents you from getting the right things done?

Reflect on what you are doing and the results you are getting. If you decide that the results you are (or are not) getting simply don’t justify the investment of time, energy, or money that you are putting in, then congratulate yourself for a fine learning experience, forgive yourself for any wasted effort, and let that energy/money/time waster go forever!

The most successful people I know are not afraid to take an honest look at what is working and what is not working and what stands no chance of working. Then they do more of what is working, and they get rid of the things that are not working. This increases their results and efficiency while reducing their frustration, waste, and regret!

TODAY: Get clear about what is working in your practice and in your personal life. Are there habits or actions that you are consistently taking that are not getting you results? Write them down then decide if theycan be improved. If you can improve them, do it and re-evaluate again in the near future. If they can’t be improved, ditch them and spend your time/money/energy elsewhere. ALWAYS BE EVALUATING, doing more of what works!



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