Gettysburg Day 1 Battlefield
Photo by Eric Ziegler
The question that I have heard several times is, how do I know that I am successful, or asked in a different way, how do you know that you have won? This question is particularly intriguing to me.  If you only look at the surface, the answer can appear quite easy to answer.  I win when I beat the other team.  I win when I am faster than other people.  I win when I have completed the task that was requested of me. But if you dig deeper than just giving a surface level answer, you can learn much more about yourself and learn more about what drives you.

I work in IT and provide tools and technologies to the entire enterprise.  I am responsible for delivering these tools and technologies to people in the globally.  At the surface, I can declare success or that I have won by stating that I implemented the technology and tool.  But that is much too easy of an answer, and while I could be happy, in the long run, I know that if I just deliver the tools and technologies I really have not won, and I am not as happy as I could be.

Success in my job is about delivering the tools and technologies but is much deeper than that. It includes helping people learn how to use the tools and technologies to enhance how they do their job.  I am successful when I am able to talk with business areas, listen to what they do today and provide ideas on how they could use a technology to improve how they work.  I am successful when a business area uses the technology and incorporates it into their business processes.   I win when a business area uses a technology and they are much more effective in working with each other and their customers / clients.

The definition of success changes with each implementation.  A win from implementing one tool looks completely different than a win when implementing another technology.  The one constant between each implementation? Success is much deeper than just what is at the surface.  Success and winning only really occurs when you have thought through why you are doing the implementation.  If success is defined without the full picture, than almost guaranteed something is being left on the table and a win didn't actually occur. 

How do you define success?  What does winning look like to you?