External success factors

2011 was a very work intensive year for me. After changing job I had to learn new products, get into already running projects which I didn't plan and there was much to do.

Basically I was facing
  • new products I was not familiar with
  • new customers I was not familiar with
  • new co-workers I didn't know
  • running projects where the initial heads already left
So there was a whole set of new challenges for me. Although I was on a good way to get in-depth knowledge of the products, customers and company I noticed that I will keep experiencing pressure and stress.

When experiencing problems the first for me always is to look at my own deficits - at the factors regarding my own person and my (missing) knowledge - with the intention to kill all the possible reasons of failure that I can control.

But by giving all your best, don't forget about the the factors that are relevant for success but are outside of your influence:
  • The thing (the subject you are dealing with - can be a product or a service, be it in the car manufacturing area, insurance, computer software or whatever).
  • The people (your co-workers, typical customers, your boss, partners etc) - some say "it's all about the people" - which is basically true, but the people currently be involved are not always the initial inventors or initiators of the product or service. People know might have different ideas and plans. So you do not face only the people and their ideas know but also what others created before (the thing).
  • The organization (company structure, organizational habits and rules etc) - wheather companies are small or big, they develop best practice solutions for their daily organizational issues and new market challenges.
If you have great plans for bringing people to the moon, it's probably not the best, working for a bycicle producing company. You might not be able to get great ideas lifting off if your co-workers fear you and hence do block you. If the organization does not permit a dynamic reaction of changing market situations you might not be able to deliver new stuff to new customers...

Don't forget that you might have or be able to develop the power to influence the thing, to motivate the people and to improve the organization! But be realistic and get aware of what you cannot change in the near future. Sometimes changing place is the better choice. Just make sure that it is not just you fleeing!

Related posts: Will to change is not enough, Reduce the stress factors.