How do you keep score in the success game?

As a business, you can measure your performance against other companies in your industry through benchmarking. Standards are identified which are relevant to your industry, and you measure your current performance against them. These standards could be anything from phone response time to number of weeks of inventory coverage.

In a game of football there are a range of statistics relevant to the game, not just the final score – number of possessions, disposals, marks and hitouts. These measure player success as well as team success, and identify specific areas for improvement.

As individuals in professional, business or personal life, what are the measures for “good” performance? We may suspect we’re not perfect, but not be sure how to find a high-return area for improvement.

Qualities for success

If you want to measure your personal effectiveness, here are a few categories to consider:

  • Facing: Your willingness to confront uncomfortable issues
    with others.
  • Persistence: Your persistence in achieving a desired outcome.
  • Decision: Your willingness to decide quickly, rather than procrastinate.


As humans, we all have habits in the way we manage ourselves and respond to others. Habits are developed over many years, and are often unconscious. Often they aren’t useful in our current lives but they hide quite successfully until we’re under pressure, then erupt when we’re stressed.

So how do we find them at a time when we can do something about them? It’s obvious if you’re shouting that you’ve lost your temper. A less obvious form of anger might make you close down – still not useful if someone needs to tell you something important.

In having a successful career (or just a great life!), what subtle habits could be holding you back?  If you sense they’re there but can’t identify them, our coaching programs can help to name them and change them.

(Originally published in BCS Update, 2003)

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About Leigh


Leigh is the principal of the business innovation practice Balance3 and her clients have included corporations such as Amcor, National Foods, Dair, SPC Ardmona, Kobelco, Corporate Express and New Balance as well as a range of smaller businesses and individual clients.