As we enter the final stretch of 2018, accountants, comptrollers and financial officers everywhere will start tallying up wins and losses. Of course, those are the wins and losses that have dollar signs firmly affixed to the front. This is the way the calendar year, as well as the fiscal year ends — but it’s hardly the only way for a business to measure how successful it was in 2018 on the whole. What does “success” really mean — and are profits the only way to define it? According to leadership advisor James Arthur Ray, personal satisfaction trumps the headaches that come with multi-million dollar ventures every time.
To the dismay of children and kids-at-heart everywhere, the bankruptcy filings that Toys “R” Us initiated as far back as 2017 were a sign of the times. Shouldering billions of dollars in debt and besieged by competition from all sides, the company had to liquidate what was left of its real estate to avoid falling deeper into the red. What stands out to James Arthur Ray, however, is that there’s so much evidence of the company trying to stave off complete defeat. For example, controlling lenders announced a rebranding in October 2018 rather than sell off its intellectual property. That, says Mr. Ray, is an example of a company doubling down and exhibiting a willingness to work harder to achieve something grander and greater.
“Profits are important to sustain, but an endless pursuit of expanding profits is not only unrealistic -- it’s not always all it’s cracked up to be,” said Ray. “A $10 million business has way more headache and heartache than a $1 million business. Let’s make sure we know what success means for ourselves.”
Workers looking to put their best foot forward in 2019 need to consider the following tips from Mr. Ray:
- True leaders can sense when exhaustion and apathy start to creep in. To counteract this, take stock of the meaning and purpose that comes from a job. While goals are important, the long-term drive that comes from having a purpose is more compelling than quarterly goals.
- Having a workplace purpose is all about giving and contributing. The enthusiasm that comes from working on a project you wholeheartedly enjoy means future inspiration will come with ease.
- You’re going to work hard in 2019, if only to make it a better year than the one that’s about to conclude. The difference is that you’ll be doing so with a renewed clarity of meaning and purpose. Look at it this way: Toys “R” Us took steps back. It also regrouped for the future, and that’s how leaders win a never-ending battle. That’s how true leaders conquer versus quit.
About the Author
James Arthur Ray is an award-winning business consultant whose teachings have appeared in six internationally best-selling books and national TV programs.