Achievement: Hard-Won Success

People measure success based on their achievements. One can accomplish a task by finishing it. Achievement is when you get something done, a project, or a challenge, perhaps.

Achievement as a Core Value

Mary Ann has been working in the company for 15 years. She’s a supervisor who leads six people. She preaches excellence every time she has a chance.

Mary Ann’s output is wanting as she spent more time in outside activities than doing actual work. She hits some goals but misses significant ones. She does not listen to her boss, Corazon.

If you were to ask Corazon, Mary Ann is a chronic underachiever. But Mary Ann’s performance evaluation has always been very satisfactory in keeping the peace in the department. Corazon has tolerated Mary Ann.

Corazon wanted to know what kind of leadership intervention must be done to change Mary Ann.

“You don’t need to change Mary Ann,” I said.

“But she’ll continue what she’s doing now.”

“I believe she’s not the only one.”

“There are others. But Mary Ann is the most senior, and employees know that she’s not doing her job.”

“What you need is culture change. If you want people to achieve, then make achievement your core value. If you want her to practice excellence, then do not tolerate mediocrity. What you tolerate becomes the norm. You want Mary Ann to perform at her best, but you allowed mediocrity for the sake of fake harmony.”

Corazon nodded her head in agreement.

What is achievement?

Achievement is the result gained by much effort. Most people value achievement as a yardstick of a great life. An Olympian, for example, may consider getting a medal a lifetime achievement.

It is related to accomplishment. The difference is that you can accomplish a simple task, but you won’t consider it an achievement. Achievement often means that you went through obstacles or have won over others.

As a core value, achievement requires that everyone work as one to achieve a big hairy audacious goal. It may require teamwork and for everyone to be action-oriented.

Elements of Achievement

You can distinguish achievement from the accomplishment of goals or tasks by identifying its distinct and related elements.

You are competing against a standard of excellence. In the basketball world, there’s an ongoing debate as to who is the GOAT between Michael Jordan and Lebron James.

As someone who has seen how Michael Jordan played, there is no doubt in my mind that no one player has surpassed him. But given that there were Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, and Wilt Chamberlain, It is obvious to me that the Lebron-Jordan debate is more of a marketing campaign than a real debate.

Achievement is not about competing against another person. It is competing against what we deemed to be greatness. Bill Russel’s 11 championship rings are great achievements. Jordan’s 10 scoring titles are achievements. Steph Curry’s 3-point shooting record is an achievement.

The goal matters to you. It is an achievement when there is an emotional attachment to the goal you are achieving. You aspire for it. Without aspiration, the task is nothing but a transaction.

Achievement is an evaluation of performance. You may consider something as an achievement when though it is possible, you need to exert some effort and you surpass expectations.

You aim to achieve something in less time or with fewer resources.

It can be a milestone or an accomplishment of a long-term goal. Most people have problems with procrastination. Many of us have great ideas which they bring to the grave. Others have started projects that they failed to finish.

A milestone is often celebrated because it tells us that we have achieved something.

Vital behaviors of achievers.

Achievers share common characteristics. How will you know that you are an achiever? Here are vital behaviors.

  1. Achievers take individual responsibility for their actions.
  2. Achievers set long-term goals.
  3. Achievers have a healthy dose of self-confidence.
  4. Achievers attribute success to their abilities, not luck.
  5. Achievers find satisfaction in making breakthroughs.

You can say that an achiever is an action-oriented person who welcomes challenging situations and solve problems others don’t dare to solve.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Let’s begin with a short exercise.

If you were to get a lifetime achievement award, what would it be?

Not everyone wants to get an award, of course. Others also think that they need to do extraordinary things to get one. And since they don’t of themselves as extraordinary, they have not considered receiving one.

But I am not talking about the awards given to artists, movie stars, and members of civil organizations.

I am talking about that which you are very passionate about. It can be related to your profession and your work. Or it can be a passion. Or something that your family will recognize you for.

Consider what you believe as having a full life. That’s what I mean by Lifetime Achievement Award.

Knowing what you want to make out of life helps you understand why you do what you do every day.

The reward of a thing well done is to have done it.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Quotes About Achievement

We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community. Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.- Cesar Chavez

“You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.” – Albert Einstein

“Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one’s values.” – Ayn Rand

“Empty pockets never held anyone back. Only empty heads and empty hearts can do that.” – Norman Vincent Peale

Great achievement is usually born of great sacrifice and is never the result of selfishness. – Napoleon Hill

Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement. – Golda Meir

Related Words
triumph, accomplishment, feature, attainment, masterpiece, landmark, performance, pinnacle, distinction, glory

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