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How to fail after you’ve succeeded

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in Leaders & Managers,Management Training

Look anywhere and you’ll find advice for achieving success, even if, like blogger Todd Taskey, you’re specifically looking for how success can turn into failure.

Why on earth is he looking for failure?

Because it happens all the time. Take Richard St. John, an innovator who made a bundle and then lost it because he stopped doing the very things that made him successful.

Here are three ways people let their success go sour:

1. Leaders think they’ve “arrived.” You never arrive. Success is an illusion, like a horizon. The beauty and frustration of a horizon is that you keep traveling toward it but you never get there. It’s real only in your mind.

Leaders are always chasing the horizon, always improving, expanding, innovating and persisting. It’s a continuous journey.

2. Success creates complexity, which may throw you off course. Life is simpler before you succeed. Lack of money creates chaos, but business complexity can wreck your focus.

If you think you need to juggle vast new realms like money and legal matters just because you’re now the leader, you can set yourself up to fail. Delegate and keep your eye on the ball.

3. Customers know when you’re serving yourself, not them. It takes intense focus on clients to get an enterprise off the ground but harder as you grow. If your clients become nothing more than your profit center, they’ll sense that and take their business elsewhere.

Smart people learn from their failures. Brilliant people avoid failure. As St. John says, “Here’s to your continued success.”

—Adapted from “Turn Success to Failure in 3 Easy Steps,” Todd Taskey, BusinessManagementDaily.com.

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