We’ve been using the success wheel for many years, and every time we use it with a leadership client or team we get great feedback and they get great results. The beauty of this activity is that it’s ridiculously simple and yet super effective. In this post we’re going to share why and how we use the success wheel – and why it brings such successful results.
It’s easy. Draw a circle in the middle of a sheet of paper with enough room to write some words in the middle, and enough space on the outside that you can write some more. In the middle of the circle, write the word ‘Success’ and on the outside write the words ‘Non-success’. That’s the first step.
There are several ways you can apply the success wheel and we’ll go into that a little later. But for now, let’s say you’re working on your own personal success wheel.
Go through the above process and then write anything you think defines success for you over the next 6–12 months either as a statement, a phrase, a feeling, or a goal. Take care not to edit yourself – this is just for you.
Success examples: I have heaps of energy, I've lost two kilos, I've run a 5K event.
Non-success examples: I have low energy, I didn't complete the run, I haven't been training regularly.
Some people find it easy to have a positive statement that says, ‘This is what I want to achieve and create’. Others are very clear about what they don't want and what they do want becomes clearer as they go through this process.
The important thing about non-success is that once you’ve established what it looks like, you can put actions or thoughts in place to mitigate it, e.g. If non-success looks like this, these are some things I can do to prevent that from happening.
We find the success wheel activity extremely useful as a springboard for teams during things like team days. Here’s how that could work for you:
We’ve used this process many times in leadership coaching by asking leaders what success looks like to them and what the things are they’d be doing, thinking or feeling.
Sometimes success looks like people giving you feedback about how well your team is performing. In other cases it feels like confidence, or that you’re giving people regular constructive feedback. Leaders can use these as the springboard to define key objectives.
We follow that by asking leaders to think about what non-success looks like and what they can do to mitigate those non-success issues on the outside of the wheel?
1) It helps define when you're on or off track, providing clarity and focus in a visual way
Because we are visual beings, the visual representation of success and non-success allows the neuro pathways in the brain to fire off in ways that it wouldn't if we were just having a conversation about it. Writing things down really does magnify things and helps us hold focus.
2) In a team context, members get to see and share what’s important to them
The success wheel process gives others access to individual’s thoughts, ideas and goals which leads to better conversations. It’s a great activity for new teams or for those operating virtually who can do this via video conferencing.
To make it even easier for you, we have a success wheel template for you to download so you can get started straight away. The more you can engage the mind, your emotions, and all of your senses into an area of a focus, the more you're going to get from it. You'll get out what you put in – so put in! And as always, we’d love to hear how you go.
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