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  • Writer's pictureJill Helmer

The Price of Success

Updated: Jun 27, 2020

“Any success that happens at the expense of your health, your family or your character is not real success.”

Dr. Travis Bradberry

I saw this quote last week and the timing was impeccable. I had just finished a phone conversation with someone who was looking for a coach. We had a brief but intense chat. During our discussion, she revealed to me one of the defining moments in her current role. We all have these moments…they are the moments we like to share with others to demonstrate our commitment to our work, our company, our team, etc. Her story bothered me because it was a story of complete neglect…not one where the company neglects the employee, but one where the employee neglects herself.

Too often, I hear clients and friends share these stories. Because I surround myself with very dedicated people, the stories of what they are doing for their company and for their team are abundant. These “over achievers" go far above and beyond the call of duty in an effort to save the day and deliver value. Too often, they deliver this value at the expense of their health and their families. And I am finding more stories popping up lately where the character of people is being compromised in an effort to do what is being asked of them.

Companies and bosses eat up this effort…until they are no longer able to do so. Changes happen within companies…every day. The boss that was your mentor and the President of your Fan Club changes. The succession plan that once held your name no longer exists. The company where you have worked for most of your career merges or is acquired and the rules of the game change. The team that you poured your heart into is disbanded. You are left with these stories of what you did yesterday to deliver value, and these stories do not translate into what value looks like today.

I know this because it happened to me. And I bet it has happened to you, too. My experience has been that my clients and my friends who handle these changes with grace and ease do so when they are in a good place. What does that good place look like? It looks like a balanced state where the person knows they have worked hard to deliver value and done everything they could to be the best version of themselves WITHOUT compromising their health, their family or their character. If they have compromised any or all of the above in the name of the job, the team, the company…then they have a very hard time moving forward. That hard time moving forward often includes anger directed at the company, but when they stop and reflect, many discover that they are actually angry with themselves. Because at the end of the day, it is only you who sees your reflection in the mirror, and it is only you who is in charge of the decisions that you make.

Here’s to working hard and delivering value. Here’s to keeping yourself healthy and your family balanced. Here’s to your character and respecting the person that looks back at you in the mirror each morning. If you have these things, you have success, regardless of the company logo you wear, the boss you work for or the team who surrounds you.

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