Success after success is a bigger challenge than success after failure!

All over, people go ga ga over success after failure. Nothing wrong to celebrate success; but seldom people realize that success actually wait in the wings, when failure nears its end! Success is an opportunity that failure presents; if someone fails to take it or even see it, it is because of state of despondency and distress, which one has difficulty to come out from!!

Failures stare at you, when you are successful. So, failure after success is not unusual. What is unique, what is real in terms of strength is getting success after success and keep up with that trend! Greater game is in remaining successful, once your performance has peaked in a given set of situation. And that is the real test of your leadership, hidden talents, inherent energy or animal spirits.

Recall the phenomenal rise of Apple Corporation to become the most valuable company in world by its market capitalization! It is, now, struggling to keep pace with its growth and success. Legacy of Steve Jobs is hardly helping its current CEO Tim Cook. Look at iconic company Research in Motion from Canada – the makers of BlackBerry smart phones. About 10 years ago, it was a status symbol for every corporate manager to have BlackBerry in hand. Now, its fate has taken complete U-turn. Likewise, after successful journey upward, several huge corporations namely Microsoft, Siemens, Dell etc. are facing unprecedented rough patches.

Why failure stares at success

It is like sharpening a pencil – more you sharpen; more are the chances of its lead getting broken. But, if you stop sharpening pencil at a particular point, then chances of lead getting broken fade; instead it would get blunted through its use. Story of success is the same; when you build on success, you are also building failure. Trick lies in how to keep failure away from success. Do not forget that failure is constantly staring at success.

So, what can you do to keep failures away as individual or a group or company?

  1. Let success not blind you.
  2. Focus absolutely on flexibility and agility!
  3. In a given situation, there is a threshold of pace and extent you can go to get success.
    If you sharpen a pencil too fast, its lead would break prematurely. So is the success; if you get it too fast – it won’t last too long!
    When you start to get success, search for this threshold, beyond which success can come, only by bringing changes in your model or means.
  4. Build buffer for failure/s as well as features to prevent same.
  5. If you allow success to go into your head; failure would go into your heart! Neither is good!!

Why success often does not breed success!

Everyone wants success; but very few know how to sustain it! We are too much used to cycles of good and bad, high and low, success followed by failure. Most of us seem to do following:

  1. Success gives us confidence; but we take it forward to arrogance!
  2. Success keeps us highly engaged that we forget to wash dirty linens. So, we keep collecting dirty linens.
  3. Merits and means, which give success, become meaningless to us, when we start to embrass success.
  4. We overlook that as we build success, we also build our bête noire, adversaries and competitors.
  5. We lean on legacy of our own successes, rather than learn from it to remain lean!
  6. Success catapults us into comfort zone!
  7. Most important of all, we forget – “Success is an inspiration, not an insurance against failure!”

So, the problem lies within us, not elsewhere! It is very apparent that all of us seem to like contrasting change – we refuse to understand pleasure without going through pain; we learn importance of joy, only after getting jolt; so we understand significance of success after meeting with failure! It is like Chef’s or mother’s recipe for dishes with contrasting flavors of hot and cold, sweet and sour or soft n hard, which most of us relish!

If we can bat for Incremental Change, rather than Contrasting Change, success would then start breeding success! This is where the key challenge lies!!


14 responses to “Success after success is a bigger challenge than success after failure!”

  1. Murli Lohia Avatar
    Murli Lohia

    Transferred from LinkedIn

    Mehul AgarwalBusiness Development & Client Relations Professional

    On 10/30/13 10:39 AM, Mehul Agarwal wrote:

    Thanks Murli. This is wonderful and enlightening

    Thanks again for sharing the wisdom


    1. Murli Avatar

      Thanks a lot for your thoughtful and valuable feedback!

  2. Kishore Avatar

    “Success is an inspiration, not an insurance against failure!”
    I loved it…
    Very nice post Murali…


    1. Murli Avatar

      Your views show how thoughtful you are! Thanks a lot!!

  3. Anoop Avatar

    nice one sir

    1. Murli Avatar
  4. Rudra Avatar

    Yeah, that may be because success after success makes you feel burdened with expectations, people start expecting more from you and hence it becomes a challenge to maintain that.

    On the other hand, if you are failing continuously, you get a feeling that you have got nothing to lose and thus you tend to grasp and maintain the upcoming success with a bit of ease.

    Temperament matters here, isn’t it?? And you got to keep your pace up with the world – whether you are an individual or a company, to maintain that “success after success”!!

    1. Murli Avatar

      Many thanks for your views!

      Feeling burdened by others’ expectations is recipe for failure; so, one would get that. On other hand, when you feel you have nothing to lose is what actually gives you courage to succeed.

      Yes, temperament or attitude is one the reasons, which drives you to success or failure.

  5. Murli Lohia Avatar
    Murli Lohia

    Transferred from LinkedIn

    Dr. Ashok D. Gaikwad

    Professor and HOD Instrumentation at Cummins College of Engineering for Women, Pune

    Dear Sir,

    Thanks for the good post.
    It is really hard to maintain your the success. Recent example is Vishwanathan Anand.

    Ashok Gaikwad.

    1. Murli Avatar

      Many thanks for your valued views! You have cited a very valid and live example!!

  6. Kamlesh Khatwad Avatar
    Kamlesh Khatwad

    Dear Sir,

    Thanks for sharing a wonderful perspective of success and failure. Somewhere I feel both are equally important for once life as failure helps us to identify improvement areas and define a path for success and success give us a motivation and inspiration to keep moving in right direction.

    Thanks & Regards,
    Kamlesh Khatwad

    1. Murli Avatar

      Many thanks for your valuable views!

      Yes; both success and failure are important in the natural course. Post is about the fact that it is more challenging to get success after success. You would have noticed most people mess up opportunities that are available after success and that is why failure follows success!!

  7. Vilas Pathak Avatar
    Vilas Pathak

    Good & to be followed Article.

    1. Murli Avatar

      I appreciate your precious feedback!

      My apologies to you for my delayed response.

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