The Secret to Success

For my summer reading, I’ve been enjoying Donald Miller’s new book and curriculum Business Made Simple. The format is fantastic with 60 daily readings coupled with 60 short videos (5-10 minutes) to help reinforce the key concepts. The readings and videos are broken down into various topic modules including leadership, productivity, business strategy, marketing, sales, among others.

The goal of the curriculum is not only to help people grow their businesses through mastery of critical business concepts, but also to help them develop characteristics to become what Miller calls a Value-Driven Professional. One of the main characteristics of a Value-Driven Professional is that they are “obsessed with giving people a great return on their investment.” Miller notes, "If my products and I are not a good investment, my career and my company are doomed. Each of us has to wake up in the morning and give people a return on the time, energy, and money they entrust to us.”

This characteristic is both challenging and motivating to me and I find myself continually asking:

  • How am I adding value to my clients and/or my colleagues? Is how I am executing the task/project before me giving them a great return on their investment?
  • What can I do to increase the return on their investment?
  • How can I cultivate this “obsession” in myself, my team, and the business?

Sit with these questions for a few minutes today and take an honest inventory of your personal level of commitment and the level of commitment of your team and/or business to giving people a great return on their investment. Observe areas in which this is a strength and areas where this obsession needs to be cultivated. In the weeks ahead, observe how the “obsession” or lack thereof impacts your organization.

I suspect if we choose to cultivate this characteristic, we’ll find what Miller asserts to be true: “This is the secret to success. If you want to succeed in work, love, friendship, and life, give the people around you a great return on whatever it is they invest in you."

About the Author

Hilary Tricerri is a consultant with Morrison, working primarily in our Grants practice. To get in touch with Hilary, please find contact information for Morrison here.


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