6 Critical Personal Success Factors for Embracing Volatility

6 Critical Personal Success Factors for Embracing Volatility

The volatility that affects organizations has significant impacts on people as well. To be able to thrive personally and professionally, individuals must make self-care their top priority.

Here are six critical success factors for embracing volatility in ways that will allow individuals to thrive both personally and professionally:

1. A clearly articulated personal “big picture”
Create your personal “big picture” and make it your touchstone. Set clear priorities based on this picture, and base all decisions on the extent to which their outcomes are mission- (big picture) critical.

2. A focus on personal strengths
Identify and focus on your strengths; let your weaknesses go. Peter Drucker, who has been called the “Father of Modern Management” for his prescient and time-tested perspectives on people and organizations, pointed out that the return on investing in one’s strengths far exceeds the return realized from the time and effort spent trying to shore up weaknesses. In economic terms, focus on your comparative advantage.

3. Ability to release the people and things (e.g., ideas, activities, habits) that no longer serve you well
To thrive in turbulent times, you must distinguish clearly between people and things that contribute to your success and those that detract from it. To the extent possible, dump the detractors and surround yourself with the supporters; this is not the time to wax sentimental about people or things that don’t help you move forward in life. If it’s not possible to avoid people and situations that suck the energy out of you, then minimize the time you spend with, or on, them.

4. An opportunity-focused perspective
Individuals always have control over how they experience any given situation. One of the most important ingredients for success is to continuously seek opportunities, even when they are not immediately apparent. Because we tend to find the things we search for, people who actively look for the positive in every situation are very likely to find it.

5. Situational agility
In the more stable environment of days past, complacency used to be sufficient for individuals who were content with the status quo in their personal or professional lives. Volatility, however, has changed the playing field: to be in the game rather than watching from the sidelines requires a more pro-active stance. In particular, it requires that individuals who wish to thrive be willing and able to practice dexterity, and to be open to Plans B and C when necessary. They need to be opportunistic, taking advantage of relevant possibilities as they present themselves. 

6. Self-forgiveness
Self-forgiveness is especially important in turbulent times when uncertainty abounds. Many people are experiencing new situations and doing the best they can to navigate successfully through them. It’s inevitable that they will make mistakes. Learn the lesson, make the necessary course adjustment, forgive yourself, and move on.

How many of these critical success factors do you possess?

Pat Lynch, Ph.D., is President of Business Alignment Strategies, Inc., a consulting firm that helps clients optimize business results by aligning people, programs, and processes with organizational goals. You may contact Pat or call (562) 985-0333.


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