Indeed, “What is success?” and “How can you attain it?”, were two of the key questions at the inaugural Goldsmith Thompson Growth Leadership Accelerator, an event in Silicon Valley led by pioneering thought leaders Mark Thompson and Bonita Thompson. As the architects of the first World Success Survey® and the co-author and research contributor to the bestseller, Success Built to Last: Creating a Life that Matters, they should know.
In over 2,000 hours of research interviewing more than 200 subjects from Warren Buffet to Bill Clinton to Maya Angelou to Bill Gates, they came to determine that lasting success only exists when three distinct elements come into alignment: Purpose, Passion, and Performance.
By the end of the four-day accelerator alongside 150 other growth leaders, I agreed.
After discussing the power of purpose and passion in the earlier parts of this series, today we’ll look at why performance is key to building lasting success as a growth leader.
It turns out that your commitment to transform as a growth leader and succeed depends on your ability to perform, deliver, and act. Action, however, is harder than it looks.
“Everybody’s in favor of change until it has to start with me. You go first!” Mark Thompson says as the room of accelerator participants laughs knowingly. How many times in our own journeys as business leaders and executive coaches have we claimed a commitment to change, yet urged on someone else to go first? When Thompson encourages us to “change your thinking from being a victim of change to a driver of change” he echoes speaker Gina Amaro Rudan’s idea that “genius is not a gift, it’s a choice you make.”
Research subject and Academy Award-winning actress Sally Fields forcefully agrees. When Thompson asked her, she didn’t mince words. “The only way you become a leader is to go DO something. Be excellent at what that is. That’s the only way you can be a leader.”
So how do we choose to act? And when do we know it’s time?
Bonita Thompson believes that something called the “Silent Scream” can guide us.
Don’t Let Your Voice be Silenced
Ultimately, their quantitative research clearly shows that lasting success as a growth leader depends on the alignment of three key factors: Purpose, Passion, and Performance. But taking that first right step or doing the next right thing is anything but mathematical. In fact, it most often comes from intuitively hearing a silent scream in our souls.
The results of the World Success Survey® convinced Bonita Thompson that “World changing ideas don’t start out as world-changing ideas. They start out as ludicrous, crazy ideas.” As she learned time and again, enduringly successful people would “feel this crazy silent scream” to do something, to change something, to build something to serve someone else. Oftentimes, she says, “When we have a passion, we cannot tolerate to see it done poorly.” Research subjects would say, “If I don’t do this, no one else will.” Or, as Mark Thompson says, “If not me, who?”
The challenge in all of us is to better pay attention to that silent scream. To do so, Bonita Thompson says to ask yourself, “Are you burying your passion and voices?”
Alternately, “Are you burying your dreams?”
If so, then it’s time to remember her call to arms, “If you don’t do this, no one else will.”
“If you don’t do this, no one else will.”
As she says this that first bright morning of the Goldsmith Thompson Growth Leadership Accelerator, I think hopefully, “I will.”
Looking around at the growth leaders around me I expand that thought, “We will,” I think. “We all will.”
Are you burying your dreams? What is the one thing you must do because no one else will? Let me know below or join the conversation on LinkedIn.