In the business world success is often marked by how much profit is made. The goals areset. This is what we want to achieve. It is usually in dollar amounts. Whether it be $1million, $10million or $100million, the strive and push is there. That is the goal and we have to do everything we can to reach that set goal. But is the real measure of success?

As Ricardo Semler says, in his book, The Seven-Day Weekend “Success is more than just physical, intellectual or economic performance, or endurance. It also requires some sense of whether the activity behind and around it was worthwhile for the participants and for those served by it.”

So while a company may reach extraordinary profits, if it is doing anything and everything to get them, what is the financial success worth? If the employees are miserable, the management over stressed, the environment suffering, then is that worth all the millions of profit?

It is a fact in this day and age, that we need money to survive and a business must pay its way in order to keep going and serve its purpose. However, often that fight for financial survival and profit takes over from the purpose it was started with. The purpose is lost along the way.

What does that image of success really look like, for your business? When you put aside the financial aspects, what is it that is most important?

Your own personal satisfaction is, of course, a major player. Are you fulfilled in what you do? Do you have the opportunity to explore new possibilities, bring out your creative side? Are you able to find a life balance that feels good for you, where you have the time for family, friends and activities that you enjoy?

If this is a measure of success for you personally, then, it is true for your employees. Are they inspired to come to work on Monday morning? Do they enjoy what they do? Do they have the opportunities to grow and develop in their work life? Are they free to explore their interest and contribute in a positive way to the purpose of the business? Do they have a good work/life balance?

Are your customers raving about your business? Do they enjoy the interactions that they have with your company? Do they feel aligned with the values and purpose of the business? Are they proud to support you? Are they faithful advocate for what you do?

Do your suppliers enjoy their interactions with your business?

What about the environment? Are you making choices that are minimising your carbon footprint? Are you uncompromising in this?

Is the world a better place for the existence of your business? Would it be missed if it wasn’t there?

Measuring the real success of a business isn’t quite as easy as just looking at the figures. However, it is worth taking the time to connect with people and find out just what the business really means in the lives of all stakeholders. This is where you find the real gold that may provide the next great inspiration that can propel your business into being more than just a business, but a legacy.

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The True Mark of Success
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