Leaders Help Define the Meaning of Success

As individuals we all define success in different ways, whether it’s accomplishing our own personal and professional goals or helping others to achieve their own success. Success isn’t just accomplishing financial greatness, or high professional and peer status. Success means something different to every individual, team, and organization, but it’s important as a leader to help define success with yourself and the people around you to recognize the importance and value of your contribution in all your endeavors.

Leadership Success

As an effective leader amongst your peers, you must be able to define what success means to you in your role before you begin any project or task. While you want to first identify your short and long-term goals, or in what instance success will be realized, you must be able to provide direction and a vision for yourself and where you want to be in your accomplished future state. Another key component is being able to provide a powerful vision to others as to where you want to get and where you want the team to be.

Next, you must understand that in your role as a leader you will need to focus on the progressive development of others. Learning to lead, motivate, influence, support, and care for those you work beside will be key in operating towards success.

Team Success

When working with teams it’s important to know that there’s multiple ways to view success, and some of these key components are team dynamics, project and milestone completion, the culture, and overall performance. To touch on the first point of team dynamics, sometimes the team doesn’t achieve its performance goals but the individuals worked hard to develop a strong team with a sound culture and it will make a positive impact in some way. Another view of team success is project and milestone completion, and this can be when the team completes projects on time and with positive efficiency and productivity results as well. While the completion doesn’t define complete success, one of the more important aspects of team work is completing tasks on time. Finally, overall performance can be viewed as completing milestones, tasks, and projects on time with a strong and supportive culture, and developing team dynamics. When you combine these different qualities and factors of a team, you will most likely see a successful team emerge that has strong cohesion, adaptability, and culture.

Organization Success

While this certainly isn’t the only important concept of success, it happens to be one of your main large-scale goals. With all the other formats and structures for defining success, those objectives on a micro scale will influence the success at the organization level. Items such as productivity, efficiency, effectiveness, profitability, sustainability, and the competitive advantage will all be supported by a strong leader that can define and lead a team to success. From a 360-degree view, an organization will be most successful when it creates positive financial, economic, and environmental outcomes through strategizing and achieving its goals through its mission and vision. Organizational leaders in an industry must be responsible for guiding and leading their team members in the right direction, and helping to teach and support them when needed.

Personal Success

Even though this is the last aspect of defining success as a leader, it sure is one of the most important. Aside from defining success in your professional career, you must also do the same for yourself within your personal life. Defining how you want to live your life and what you want to do, why you want to, and when you want to will help define you as an individual. It’s extremely important to understand yourself before you can begin expecting certain results from others. It’s so important to learn what your capabilities are such as your strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for improvement. Spend some time answering questions that you would be giving others while leading a team, and reflect upon your character, motivation, and drive. Set achievable and realistic goals for yourself, and hold yourself accountable.


In summary, don’t focus on only what you think defines success. Incorporate the many different aspects of identifiable success such as personal, professional, team, and organization when considering yourself as a leader and how you choose to lead those around you! Do so with respect, care, and a genuine passion for others and the organization, as well as visualizing for others what success is, and how everyone can achieve it. Once you’ve reached a point where you can take the time to reflect on the outcome, challenges, and strengths, gain a new focus on defining success and make sure you build rapport with other individuals and bring them in on the discussions of strategizing and better laying the foundation for organization success.

Exbet Advising, LLC

My name is Michael Wagner and I'm the Owner/Advisor for ExBet Advising, LLC. With the experience and education I've obtained I want to help organizations make a positive impact, specifically with the leaders and managers, as they have the greatest opportunity to make positive impacts for their teams.

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