Success Is Dressed In Overalls and Looks Like Work

Have you ever wondered what’s the secret to success? I’ve read a lot of books, observed a lot of successful people, and I’ve actually come to the conclusion that there is really no secret to success. That success is actually wrapped up in a four letter word: WORK.

Success, Work, Leadership

Legendary coach Vince Lombardi once said, “The only place where you find success before work is in the dictionary.”

Even if we go to the Bible and look in the First Book of Genesis 2:15, when God made Adam he placed him in the Garden of Eden and he told him to work it and to take care of it. That’s right, ladies, God gave man a J-O-B before he gave him a wifey.

Thomas Edison had it right and I am truly convinced that many leaders are missing the opportunity to reach success because it’s dressed in overalls and it looks like work.

I want to challenge you to implement what I’m calling the 3 Ds to Success: Discover, Develop & Drive. To help you reach your goals, to put in the work, and to reap your harvest; success in due season. As a leader, if you want to reach the fruits of success, you have to climb the tree called work!

Work – 3 Ds to Success

1. Discover Your Why.

Our first D to success is discovering your why. Your why is your mental and internal springboard to success as a leader. Your “why” is more important than your “what”. When we focus too much on the what – job, career, studies – and not truly having a clear understanding of the reason, purpose, or the why – why you’re waking up, why you’re doing the things or sacrifices that you’re doing – it’s going to be much more difficult to actually chase after your what.

Another point to remember is that your why motivates you to go after your what. As a leader, your why is your mental picture of where you want to be, where you want your family, organization or team to be. Since your why isn’t here today, it’s going to take active faith for you to use your mental and your physical effort to make that thing manifest itself.

One thing I do is that I incorporate prayer as well. I actually pray like it all depends on God but then I work like it all depends on me. God is going to do his part to help you get to your why, but you’re going to have to do your part as well.

2. Develop Your What.

The second D to success is to develop your what. Your what could be your job, career, studies, skills, gifts, talents, crafts…you name it. Nothing will work unless you do. Let’s face it, there’s no substitute for hard work. Let’s just say that hard work is a seed and that success is a harvest. Just like you can’t have a harvest without a seed, you can’t have success without hard work.

Let’s just say the why that you filled in your blank, was security or maybe even wealth. Here’s a Hebrew proverb that you probably want to note, “Being lazy will make you poor, but hard work will make you rich.” Proverbs 10:4

One key to a leader’s success as it relates to developing your what is to practice, practice, practice. Author Malcolm Gladwell, in his bestselling book Outliers actually highlighted the concept of the 10,000 hours rule, where he was able to determine after observing many successful and wealthy individuals like Bill Gates and The Beatles that it takes 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to become an expert.

Practice your skill. Strive for improvement. Monitor your performance. Evaluate your success and work on those areas that you’re not good at. Whether it takes you 100 hours or 10,000 hours, if you develop your what it will lead to success.

3. Drive to Your Where.

The third and final D to success is to drive to your where. While you’re driving make sure you embrace the journey before your destination. The road to which success comes is some good old-fashioned effort. Work worth doing propels you to get to where you want to be, it gets you to your why.

The difference between try and triumph is a little “oomph” because a little “oomph” can make a big difference. If you want to reach the fruit you have to climb the tree. Success is dependent on effort.

On the road to success as a leader, remember that satisfaction lies in the effort before the attainment. You won’t be happy in the destination if you can’t be happy on the journey. I know there’s going to be ups and downs, bumps, detours, and missed exits, but enjoy the ride. It won’t be all smooth sailing, so if there isn’t any wind be prepared to row.

I leave you with this final word of encouragement. Let us not grow weary doing work, for in due season we will reap if we don’t give up Gal 6:9. Drive on, my fellow leaders!

Have you discovered your why? If so please share it below in the comments.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.