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The Anatomy of Success- Part 4

Generations - Who are you helping?

In Parts 1,2 & 3 of this series identify the essential elements of achieving success in any venture: Your Goal – finding your purpose, Your Grind – having a plan, and Your Grit – showing perseverance. There is a fourth, not as obvious, element, that is equally important: Generations – Who are you helping?

Peter Drucker powerfully stated, “There is no success without a successor.” John Maxwell built on that statement in saying, “Lasting achievement is really only achieved if it continues after we’re gone … A leader’s lasting value is measured by succession.” The Apostle Paul, instructs his mentee, Timothy, to remember what he has heard him say and seen him do and “Teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be about to pass them on to others.”

While they speak in terms of leadership, the principle is equally applicable and true for life itself. The true measure of individual achievements and success is incomplete if we are not educating, empowering, and equipping someone else to take what we done and do it even better. Success is not a prize to be hoarded or hidden only to be shared with a select few. Its keys should be freely shared; its pathway should be illuminated and broadened; its future reality should be guaranteed by kneading this leaven into the dough of the next generation. Success cannot be celebrated as the isolated accomplishment of an individual, for in the wisdom of the African proverb, “If we stand tall it is because we stand on the backs of those who came before us.”

Chadwick Boseman, lead actor in Black Panther, delivered a stirring tribute to Denzel Washington for the role that Washington played in his life and professional success:

Let’s Talk About it

  • Who are the people who have been instrumental in your life and success? How have you thanked them?

  • Who is your Timothy/Tammy? In what ways are you educating, empowering and equipping the next generation?

  • If Peter Drucker is correct and “there is no success without a successor”, are you in danger of failing?


1 Comment

Awesome! I have had the privilege of thanking the 8th grade teacher who was my role model to also become a teacher. Both she and my highschool English teacher were instrumental in shaping my writing skills, so I sent both a copy of my book many years ago.

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