Part 3 of a 6 part blog series on developing a culture that breeds success. Make sure you add the RSS feed to your reader so you don’t miss anything in this series!

At the halfway point in this blog series, I find myself at a place where many people and organizations find themselves. You have done plenty of work to get things started. The vision is clear, there is a reasonable plan in place, people have committed to the discipline it takes to weather the tough spots. There has been some challenges, but you are enjoying a great response to what you’re doing and things are humming along nicely. So, what’s the problem?

In a word, apathy. When things go well, we tend to get comfortable and quite lax. We don’t approach things with the same vigor and fortitude as we did when things were still in the “ramp-up” stages. Now that the initiative has gained some momentum and positive response, we get soft. We back off the details which made getting to this point possible in the first place.

This is where success is usually unwittingly sabotaged. Enough time passes and enough details are left unattended that when it becomes noticeable, more time is spent catching up than working the original plan. It’s pushing through that less than interesting state during the journey that makes the real difference. It usually is the difference between a smashing success and a marginal accomplishment. We don’t begin things well only to finish them exceptionally average.

So where are you right now? Have you found yourself in the middle of something and it has become boringly routine? Success comes from your perseverance through this place. It is what sets apart the exceptional from the pretty good. You started this journey with an end in mind, so don’t waste all that time, energy and effort by ignoring the value and necessity of perseverance.

Discipline is such an amazing quality to have, but if it isn’t coupled with perseverance, it loses it’s influence and value. Perseverance is absolutely essential, but if it doesn’t have discipline to keep proper focus, you will spend time doing the wrong things. Discipline and perseverance are two very distinct from each other but are so intertwined that success doesn’t happen without them working in concert with one another.

  • William,

    What really struck me about this smart post was your question, “so where are you right now?” and the comment about how *this* is the place where you decide if you’re going to be exceptional.

    It reminded me of something that was shared with me by a spiritual “guru” of sorts who said that we’re here on our journeys for “the contrast” – it’s not the highs and lows that make us who we are but where we are with ourselves “in the contrast” and the choices we make at those times.

    Thanks so much for this post – it made me think bigger today!

    @LisaPetrilli

  • “In the contrast”… I love that! So much the heart of what I wanted to say. I have never been very succinct. Thanks so much for sharing your perspective Lisa. Always great to think bigger…happy I could contribute to it. Have a smashing weekend my friend!