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July 19, 2023

Seduced By Success

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This week I had the pleasure of meeting Ben Newman, a performance coach who works with elite athletes and executives, and embodies high performance himself. As someone who supports people to succeed at the highest level, he noticed a very interesting trend that I wanted to share with you.

He calls it being ‘seduced by success’. When someone tastes success, big or small, a natural reaction is to find comfort in it. It’s the payoff you’ve been working hard for and earning it appears to be an opportunity to enjoy it. However what Ben calls out is that there’s a complacency that comes in the shadow of success that keeps people from sustaining and elevating their success over the long-term.

This reminds me of Greg McKeown’s “Clarity Paradox”. The paradox goes:

1) When we have clarity of purpose, it leads to success.

2) When we have success, it leads to more options and opportunities.

3) When we have increased options and opportunities, it leads to diffused efforts.

4) Diffused efforts undermine the very clarity that led to our success in the first place.

The Clarity Paradox suggests that there are elements of success that make it more difficult to reproduce, just like the seduction we experience by getting favorable results.

So Ben Newman’s recommendation is simple - Do not neglect the process. In Steven Covey’s “7 Habits For Highly Effective People” he emphasizes a relationship between production and production capacity, which he calls it the P/PC balance. It’s a reminder that you must maintain the factors that produce success in order to consistently achieve it.

With a little more awareness around how this works, hopefully you are more prepared to capitalize on success when it comes your way, and push it even further by doing the right things to maintain it.

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