Achieving predicable success

By Karen Hodgkiss

Les McKeown is president and CEO of Predictable Success. He is the author of Predictable Success and The Synergist. In a recent interview, McKeown described the components that contribute to predictable success. 

It’s interesting how the word “predictable” has such negative connotations. The thesaurus includes “banal,” “boring,” and “humdrum” as synonyms. But add the word “success” to create the phrase “predictable success,” and the meaning is transformed into something much more desirable. After all, who wouldn’t like to be able to predict success with some certainty?

Consider the life cycle of an organization as similar to a human life cycle. In the early stages, a start-up grows very quickly, but the growth may not be very controlled or coordinated. McKeown’s grandson, for example, can stick his foot in his month, but staggers around the house when he tries to walk. As organizations age, they gain control but lose flexibility.  The definition of flexibility here includes creativity, innovation and a spirit of entrepreneurship. Control includes processes, systems and repetition of methodologies. The ideal is to achieve an appropriate balance between flexibility and control where systems are not driving out your ability to innovate, and innovation is not driving out your ability to grow and scale the business.

An organization’s ability to reach predicable success and stay there is predicated on its people and leadership. There are three leadership styles that contribute to varying degrees of predictable success:

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