Too often, we feel as though we're not successful. Social media can make it seem as though everyone we know (or even kind of know) is winning at life while we're still searching for success.
The trouble is that everyone's definition of success should be different! We should have as many definitions of success as there are people, according to Laura Gassner Otting, keynote speaker and "confidence catalyst."
Laura specializes in getting people "unstuck" and focused on pursuing their own definition of success.
I invited Laura to Marketing Smarts to talk about her book Limitless: How to Ignore Everybody, Carve your Own Path, and Live Your Best Life, and to share tips on how you can stop holding yourself up to other people's standards and start measuring success in your own terms, using your own metrics.
We also talk about how marketing leaders can motivate their teams to do the same, because increasing worker engagement also improves productivity.
Here are a few highlights from our conversation:
Define (and redefine) success for yourself (03:35): "I think we get really stuck in trying to fill everybody else's checkboxes along everybody else's path to everybody else's definition of success. And we never stop and say, 'Well, is this what I want,' and even if we have, we don't stop and say, 'Well, is this what I still want.'
"I think at every age and every life stage, what we define as success is going to be different. What I'm hoping people will get from this book is a framework to be able to think through for what puts them in alignment. What gives them flow—so that all the things they do when they're at their very best, doing the stuff they love, being in work that's part and parcel of who they are—is where they're spending most of their time."
"Consonance" is when what you do matches who you are (or want to be) (08:16): "I talk about the '4 Cs' that make up your personal definition of 'consonance.'
Calling: "One of them is calling. What is that thing you want to do, this gravitational force, this business you want to build, this cause you want to serve, the bottom line you want to enhance, the problem you want to serve. And if you're not sure, your calling could be you."
Connection: "The second is connection. How does your work actually impact that calling? Why do you in that company actually matter? Would it matter if you called in sick to work tomorrow?"
Contribution: "The third is contribution. While connection is all about the work, contribution is about you. How does this work allow you to live the lifestyle that you want to live, manifest the values that you want to have in the world, or build a career trajectory that you look for?"
Control: "Lastly is control. How much agency do you have about the teams that you're assigned to, the amount of hustle you're allowed to have, the products you're involved in working on? How much control do you have over how much connection and contribution you have towards reaching that calling?"
Two-thirds of your employees are disengaged, and you can change that (26:53): "Two-thirds of employees are disengaged. Only one-third of employees are engaged in their work.... Look at your staff and think, 'Wow, if only 33% of my employees are actually firing on all cylinders, what could I do if half of them were? Or two-thirds of them were? Or all of them were?' We know that engaged workers are 22% more productive for their companies. If we can figure out a way to make ourselves limitless—to figure out our own rubric of calling, connection, contribution and control—that helps us to be happy and be successful and produce in the way that we're bringing our highest and best selves to work.
"Imagine if we then took that same rubric, and did that for our people. If we understood how to motivate them, how to incentivize them about the mission of leadership, the challenges, the scope of impact, not only can we make them 'limitless,' but we can make the company limitless, as well, which of course leads to more engagement and more profit."
To learn more, take your Limitless Life Assessment, visit LauraGassnerOtting.com or follow Laura on Twitter: @heylgo, and be sure to get your copy of Limitless: How to Ignore Everybody, Carve your Own Path, and Live Your Best Life.
Laura and I talked about much more, so be sure to listen to the entire show, which you can do above, or download the mp3 and listen at your convenience. Of course, you can also subscribe to the Marketing Smarts podcast in iTunes or via RSS and never miss an episode!
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Music credit: Noam Weinstein.
Laura Gassner Otting, keynote speaker, author, and "confidence catalyst." Check out her book Limitless: How to Ignore Everybody, Carve your Own Path, and Live Your Best Life. Learn more (and take your Limitless Life Assessment) at LimitlessAssessment.com, and follow Laura on Twitter: @heylgo.