For 25 years, I've spoken on what the great philosophers realized about attaining success in anything we do. Long ago, I isolated seven universal conditions for success. The first two are:
1. A clear CONCEPTION of what we want, a vivid vision, a goal clearly imagined,
2. A strong CONFIDENCE that we can attain the goal.
In this week's Sunday Business Section of the New York Times, Adam Bryant did his great "Corner Office" interview with fashion legend Diane von Furstenberg. I've referred to it earlier this week. Let me share one more question and answer here:
Q: How do you get the best work out of creative teams on your staff?
A: I think the most important thing is to believe in what you do. And identifying a goal, to have clarity, is very important. You cannot fake clarity. When you don’t have clarity, you don’t. And then all of a sudden, the fog lifts and you’re clear. It’s very important to constantly try to look for clarity, like pruning a tree or cleaning the plumbing.
DVF starts with condition #2 and quickly backs it up with condition #1.
I've found that a lot of CEOs take for granted that everyone around them is clear on their corporate goals, while fog is actually enveloping everyone on the ground. We can't just assume that our own clarity has been communicated well. And sometimes, we find that we ourselves aren't as clear as we need to be. We allow general vague slogans with feel good language to substitute for rigorous clear thought. And that's always a problem. We need to heed the fashion mogul's words. In any pursuit, Confidence and Clarity are needed. And they'll never go out of fashion.
For a video related to the interview with DVF, click here.