Virginia Bianco-Mathis
University professor, author

Virginia Bianco-Mathis

Business department chair of management programs at Marymount University and author of two books on executive coaching.

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Vision, not luck

Q: How do you define success?

Success is not luck. Sure, we all can cite the success of a lottery winner. There is always that story of someone getting a key promotion because the appointed person died of a heart attack. More apropos is when we find ourselves in the right situation at the right time -- and we realize we are at one of those key moments when all the stars are aligned. Yet, that's not enough. We t also must have a predetermined vision of what we want. Without such a vision, crucial moments pass us by. With a vision, we are able to connect the dots in each encounter and continue to lay bricks towards our goal.

Success is having a vision that pulls us through the down times and provides guideposts as we move through the muck of career setbacks and organizational politics. Having a vision allows us to not only network, study, and navigate the road towards our objective, but it also allows us to enjoy the ride.

Note that the content of the vision does not define success.That's personal and meaningful to each individual -- whether it is to become a CEO of a large company, a missionary overseas, or a ballet dancer in an international dance troupe.

John McBeth, president and CEO of Next Century Corp., interviews all potential employees. He asks one question: "What's your destiny?" The answer to that question helps to define how successful the person might be not only at Next Century, but also in life.

By Virginia Bianco-Mathis  |  November 2, 2009; 2:11 PM ET  | Category:  Defining success Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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I like your mention of enjoying the ride. Having a vision reduces the stress of ceaseless striving on the road to success. It enables us to stay on the road and still enjoy the view.

Posted by: croman2 | November 3, 2009 4:08 PM
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I once had a career counselor tell me that being at the right time in the right place is not about luck, but being open to opportunities. So your vision has to be broad enough to not filter out possibilities that you may not think about initially.

Posted by: nealcha | November 2, 2009 9:47 PM
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Very nice. I am reminded that when I was researching organizational intelligence as part of an NSF grant as a grad student, I reviewed various models of what intelligence means. The common theme? Intelligence is a performance indicator of success, as defined by the individual.

Posted by: drkull | November 2, 2009 7:32 PM
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