2012 was an interesting year for our organisation.   There were some fantastic achievements but also some challenging times due to a range of external and internal factors.   The culmination of this was in BRS being awarded the fastest growing company in South Australia having averaged 205 per cent annual growth over the last three years.  It was a great achievement for the team and our organisation which we are very proud of.

As I reflected on this success, it struck me how success can lead to complacency.  Instead of pushing harder, we seek comfort, operate in auto pilot and have a general inclination to feel that we have each done our bit and can bask in the external recognition that we have received.    Let’s sit back and relax as the award, the press, the recognition we gain will do the work for us, bring in more clients and pay our bills!

The problem with this approach is two-fold.    Hunger is critical for any organisation to be successful.  Not taking things for granted, continuing to do the one percenters and ensuring everyone is committed to excellence are all areas that great businesses focus on.  When we become complacent (even by a couple of percent) it can be the difference between average and great results.   Further, success tends to provide a response from team members that we are going along well, there is no need to look at what can be improved, what we need to change and where the focus needs to be in the future to continue to be successful.

Does success breed complacency?   I am sure not in all instances it does.  However, if you were to ask senior executives whether nothing fails like success in their organisations, you would get a nod of heads and recognition of the challenges this presents and how they work hard to maintain hunger, focus and passion at all times.  Their challenge post success is to inspire their teams to celebrate the wins but always focus on continuing to do the things that made them successful in the first place.

Stay hungry and ensure your team understand that success is created through the environment you create, the disciplines you undertake daily and the commitment to improvement every day.  One percent improvements each day lead to staggering results over time!  Don’t let external recognition take you and your team away from the notion that excellence is a habit, not one act or award.