Who is the first person you think of when something great happens in your life?
Who comes to mind when you accomplish a big goal?
When you need support or motivation, who do you contact?
Who do you feel accountable to because you don’t want to let them down?
These are the people that we are in partnership with that lead us to our success. They push us forward and help us be the best we can be. They are our success partners!
What do success partners do for us? First, they hold us accountable. In a positive way, they help us accept responsibility for our actions. They remind us to stay true to our commitments. They encourage us to stay focused on our path and provide support along the way. They provide more than someone to report our progress; they challenge our progress and push us further.
I am reminded of Pearson’s Law that says, "When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported back, the rate of improvement accelerates." There are some studies that show publicly committing our goals to someone else gives us at least a 65% chance of completing them. However, having a specific success partner increases our chances of success to 95%.
The right success partners hold us accountable in reaching our goals. In a subtle but nonjudgmental way, they monitor our actions to make sure we stay on course.
For example, I have a success partner that calls me once or twice a week and we ask each other, what is your fun factor for today? We do this to remind ourselves why we retired. No matter what our role is – teacher, nurse, principal, consultant, retiree, whatever – we all need someone in our lives to help us be accountable to our commitments when we get off track.
Success partners are tricky. If we don’t feel like another person is successful in whatever they choose for themselves, it’s natural to think, what can they do for us? If they are trying to help us move forward and grow, it’s logical to feel like they need to be doing the same for themselves. Otherwise they don’t have credibility. If they aren’t pushing themselves, why would we want them to push us? That’s why it’s complicated.
The most successful success partner is already intrinsically driven, just like we are. The combination of the two, coupled with accountability, exponentially increases our success. The result is that both partners push each other further towards accomplishing our goals.
There are different types of success partners. Success partners believe in us. Maybe it's someone that believes in us more than we believe in ourselves. Or maybe it’s someone that sacrifices their success for our success.
A great example is my mother. At first thought others may not see her as my success partner but, she is. She’s always believed that I could accomplish anything beyond my wildest dreams. Also, she was the one person that I could count on to help me in my career. With no conditions or questions, no matter what she had going on in her life, if I needed her for any reason at all, she was there. I know I appreciated her so much and still do!
Also, it’s more than someone to be accountable to or to help keep us motivated. It’s someone that pushes us to go beyond what we think thought we could accomplish. It’s a special person that reminds us that maybe we are procrastinating. Or, someone that helps us focus on what is most important, so we can reprioritize.
A relationship with a success partner is based on trust. It works best when there is no doubt in our minds that our partner has our best interest in mind. The judgment is removed so the conversation is honest. Envy is never questioned because there isn’t any jealously. They understand our values, so they factor in all aspects of our life. Their advice reflects our accountability to higher ideals making our transformational experience more enriching.
Another delicate aspect of successful partnerships is they are balanced where one or the other doesn’t do all the work or is seeking more recognition than the other. The partnership is based on the efforts of both contributing to the whole.
The process of growth unfolds naturally because each lead by example. Each person understands their role in the relationship, and they know what each must do for the other to be successful. This balance creates stability where each feel protected and know the other won’t let them fail.
Hopefully we are lucky enough to have many success partners. For our level of success, we need a network of people that push us to be better, remind us of our future, connect us to our past, push us to up our game, create a bigger circle, bring more love and meaning into our lives.
Success partners move us to a greater state of mind and awareness. The bottom line is they make us feel like we have more influence and control in our lives. It’s those that bring us up and excite us about moving forward!
Who doesn’t need people in their lives that are willing to collaborate with us and find new ways of thinking? They ask us the really hard questions like, why do you want what you want? When are you going to do it? What are you waiting for; why not now? Consider it a blessing when we have a relationship with these types of people because they are the ones that help us grow and transform.
These are some key points for me when I think of what I can do to be a better success partner.
There’s an unexplainable, invisible energy that bonds us with the success partners in our lives. It may be family or friends. It may be colleagues that we work with or share the same interests. Regardless who they are, they push us to new limits of achievement.
May we each be each other’s success partners as we make our journey in our careers together!