Success Formula = f(P,D,A,R)?

What is this Success formula?

Firstly, I am not a world-renowned Psychologist, Doctor, Professor or Nobel peace prize winner.

Secondly, I don’t think that this Success Formula is pioneering work. The Success Formula is based purely on my experience and years of application with successful results and performance.

To quote Einstein:

“It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer”

For me, the simpler things in life have worked really well and delivered results. With that in mind, the Success Formula has to be simple if it’s going to be universally understandable, useful and successful.

So, hold on….here we go…

Looking at factors that we can control (as opposed to ones we can’t such as luck, chance etc), the Success Formula is a function (f) of the parameters P, D, A and R, where:

P = Plan

D = Do

A = Analyse

R = Refocus

You may have seen this in many formats (e.g., Deming’s Plan-Do-Check-Act model). But, as I mentioned at the beginning, this is not new, but rather my twist and interpretation based on experience.

Let me stand on the shoulders of giants and elaborate further with some wonderful quotes.

It was the great Benjamin Franklin who was quoted as saying:

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”

Perhaps stating the obvious here but having a plan is critical for getting success. It’s like starting a journey with a roadmap.

Of course, along the way, there will be humps and bumps, but that’s why we follow the road signs and take guidance. It’s always a good idea to do a Gap Analysis to support the planning process.  After all, you don’t know what you don’t know and the Gap Analysis will provide vital input for the plan.

Francis of Assisi was quoted with the saying:

“Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible”

With that wonderful plan in place, we are now ready to do the necessary. Resources (i.e., time, money, patience, knowledge etc) are not infinite, hence it’s important to start slow and progress at a manageable pace.

In the planning stage, you may want to look at the tasks to do and decide on a level of priority also do you have the resources.

Commitment and consistency are pivotal for getting things done. If you are committed and consistently engaged, it’s just a matter or time before you get the results you want.

Step in Peter Drucker who offered us great advice with:

“What gets measured gets improved.”

We have that plan and we are now doing what’s necessary or required. But, in the melee of getting things done many things can go wrong. To save our sanity, we need to make sure that we have in place “performance indicators” that will provide us with a sense check.

These Key Performance Indicators (KPI) are crucial for maintaining a balance between resource usage, results and effectiveness. Without KPI in place, it will be a directionless campaign.

There is a dark side with analysis and that is “paralysis by analysis”.

We should use KPI as guides just like a SatNav, road signs, speedometer, fuel gauge etc when you are on that journey. The architecture for successful Key Performance Indicators (KPI) is vital for success.

But, we must also take note that this reliance doesn’t become an addiction nor the magic bullet. KPI offer navigation tips and guidance on progress as you start to do things. It’s therefore important that your KPI is realistic and meaningful and based on “doing what’s possible” (Ref: Francis of Assisi above in “Do”).

Finally, we have that great philosopher Mike Tyson who said that:

“Everyone has a plan ’till they get punched in the mouth”

In the real world, plans can and do fail. However, with our KPI guiding us, we can look at our plan and adjust as needed to ensure we are on the right path to success.

Getting that “punch in the mouth” is normal when you set out to achieve success. It’s like a wake-up call when things go wrong.  Refocusing your effort by re-tuning your plan, adjusting what you do and watching those KPI will get you back on track.

The Success Formula is a continuous process, hence I used “refocus” rather than “focus”.  It’s the repeat around this loop that will take out the gremlins.

The quicker you repeat the loop, the shorter the cycle and the shorter the cycle, the greater your chance of success.

On a final note:

We all have aspirations, objectives, goals, targets etc…call it what you want.

Typical examples of where I have observed failure include:

  • Having no plan – the blind leading the blind.
  • Too many things to do and not enough resources.
  • Overwhelmed with performance indicators and constantly checking for results.
  • No refocus due to complacency.

If you are grappling with success issues, ask yourself this question:

Looking at the Success Formula parameters, where am I not focusing?

This will then flush out other thoughts and actions for progressing.