In their careers, people often believe they can achieve happiness once they've attained success. But would you believe research shows that's actually backward? When we pursue happiness, we are more likely to become successful.
The impact you can have on others works in the same way. Some people think that once they're really successful, once they're superstars, they can start giving back to their communities or shining their light on others on their teams. The research shows this view, too, is directionally wrong.
Reaching your greatest potential doesn't operate in a single direction at all. Instead, it works as a positive feedback loop whereby successes among those around us create a cascade of compounding successes, what I call a "virtuous cycle."
We've all heard the term vicious cycle used to describe what happens when negative events cascade and compound. An employee doesn't like her job, so she becomes disengaged, which makes her do poorly at work, which makes her dislike her job even more. A great home run hitter strikes out three times in a game, loses confidence and becomes timid with his swing, which leads to more strikeouts the next game and so forth.
Consider the virtuous alternative. A virtuous cycle is an upward spiral of potential. With each success you garner more resources which, in turn, allow you to achieve greater and greater successes. Just as a vicious cycle compounds the negative, a virtuous cycle compounds the positive, making future progress easier and easier.
For example: A sales leader shares the praise for her sales success...