The applause was deafening. The congratulations overwhelmed your email box. The press clippings were glowing. Everyone was buzzing, because your recent product launch was successful. Last quarter’s earnings beat even the analysts’ predictions. The company’s stock price was up 15%. Operating costs were down, and sales volumes were number one in the industry.
So how do you follow that act? All of this excitement doesn’t build a platform upon which to rest. Instead it forms a bar, higher than the last one, over which you must hurdle. After all, the stockholders expect more earnings. Customers expect better products. Employees expect more career opportunity. And so it goes. How do you manage all of these expectations for continuous improvement against the best strategy for the company’s growth? How do you compete for market dominance without succumbing to market vulnerabilities?
This is the pivotal point. The choices you make will become either a stepping stone to greater success, or the rock that trips up your company, your team, or your own leadership success. Companies and people don’t automatically enter a “safe” zone when they reach a measure of accomplishment. But in some cases, their behavior suggests that they think their momentum can’t be stopped.
You’ve heard the saying, “the higher you climb, the harder you fall.” While that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case, in the midst of success, it’s important to remain grounded; like holding onto a guardrail.