Saturday, 31 December 2011

How to be successful in 2012 and beyond.

According to many who (by the popular definition) are successful and according to the many popular analysts of success, achieving it is as “simple” as sticking to a regime like:

Step 1: (re)picture what success will look like in 10 years. Be sure to think Big, Hairy, and Audacious (Thank you Jim C) ; beyond your imagination of how to get there.

Step 2: decide up to three main 3-5yr thrusts that will take you towards that 10yr vision.

Step 3. set an goals for 2012 that will addresses the highest priority action within those 3-5 yr. thrusts

Step 4: set up to five actions for the first quarter

Step 5: Take action and monitor your progress and focus weekly, monthly quarterly and review your goals annually.

Interestingly, by this definition most people are not successful, arguably because in reality they don’t stick to the regime. This begs the questions: 1) Are most people therefore failures? 2) Are there grades of success? 

At dinner parties and other gatherings this summer we’ve played the game “Who’s the most successful?” That game is always on, but seldom explicitly. So we decided to put it on the table.

We discovered, as you might expect that personal notions of success seem strongly affected by life experience.

According to one summary circulating in the email, notions of success are broadly age related and a kind of cycle of life:


We found that politically, people seem to vote for government that they believe will assist them to achieve success on their terms and thus increase their chances of winning – or at least getting a good grade.

We found that people whose children are "successful”, but are “unsuccessful” themselves tended to measure their success in terms of their children’s material success if the kids are rich, or creative success if they’re artistic, or got “good jobs” if none of the above. Or it might be reproductive success if they’re producing lovely children.

Some argued that success is belonging, contributing and growing according to one’s strengths. (Liberal).

Others argued that success is to do God’s will to further his kingdom on earth. (Religious).

Success seems to vary between cultures. For instance a Chinese lad from Taiwan observed that in his community the “top dog”  has the biggest house and flashest car. He observed that in Kiwi culture the “top dog” cooks the BBQ. Maybe that’s why Kiwi’s are regarded as less commercially aggressive
Anyway, it quickly became clear that people tend to define success pretty much to suit themselves (or get very depressed). This can be a problem when a modern economy, especially  in the current recessionary climate, needs economic growth to prosper; needs people produce and buy more stuff: needs success to be materially measured.

We figured therefore that the best policy is to foster materially measured success by nationally standardising success measures along materialistic lines: to have National Success Standards; that these be administered by a dispassionate bureaucracy, preferably an already established one to avoid set-up costs.

In New Zealand, achievement standards are administered by the New Zealand Qualification Authority (NZQA). NZQA administrators will likely be very pleased to acquire the increased span of control.

NZQA’s hold over NZ education is also an advantage because if we have National Success Standards and we want everyone to have equal opportunity to be successful (egalitarian) we must have widely available education for success.

Because we need a quick return on the education investment we can’t wait for kids to qualify in Success  and work their way into the corporate workforce. We must educate the existing workforce starting NOW.

So we must rapidly develop and deploy a programme of tertiary level courses in Success which would necessarily be night classes  at universities and polytechnics.

That way working people could study to qualify in Success while they continue to work during the day. Along the way they could  apply their learnings to their workplace  and families and whole workplaces and families could become successful!
If we act quick enough, 2012 can be a huge success for everyone! ;-)


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