Bill Cottringer

“One quality is worth more than four quantities.” ~The author.

Although it may seem as though the quantity of your efforts are what lead to success at doing something your are trying, it is rather the quality of those efforts that actually produce results; and a true quality of efforts focuses on getting past failure, by re-focusing on making a key change in your perspective and approach to what you are trying to do according to this continuum:

No changes = no results
Small changes = some results
Transformational change* in perspective and approach = fantastic results.

*This can be a “P” Point (psychological power point) in which a seemingly small, but well-timed and well-placed intervention, works wonders to easily get huge results with little negative side effects.

The quantity of our efforts in trying to be successful in doing anything are important, because by doing as much as we can to be successful in doing something at hand, we will eventually learn what works best from what doesn’t work at all. Like sculpting away all the clay hiding the perfect art image, success most often involves getting past the failures we don’t usually embrace with enthusiasm; but when we can keep our failing ego in check and openly explore these failure experiences non-defensively, we usually learn something that was “wrong” in our perspective of the situation, or our approach to dealing with it.

Let’s take serious problems, conflicts or negative adversity as good examples, where the wrong perspectives or wrong approaches lead to failure. Say that there is a conflict within the organization on how to be successful in getting the desired results and outcome in an important project like changing a harmful culture of non-responsiveness by employees to something like returning completed tests for legal training documentation compliance.

One person sees this as non-negotiable and something that shouldn’t pose resistance, if the project is presented in the right way, based on previous successful experience. Another person is only interested in getting 100% results with the 200 employees and being able to document that effort. Another person expects failure in the project, based on his perception of an obvious prevalence of a non-responsive culture that has been allowed to spread throughout the organization like a virus. Plus this person thinks there may be unknown de-motivators that are inhibiting responses that are needed for successful results. Which is the best perspective to have and which is the best approach to use in this situation, to get the best results?

Maybe all three are a little right and a little wrong all at the same time?. It has been proven that success has to start with a clear purpose and outcome in mind; but once that outcome is identified and agreed upon by critical consensus, then it is wisest to identify the most likely change in present approach, usually based on past experience that will get this outcome easily and effectively, with the least negative side effects. And such a change might be to ask the right people the right questions to determine:

• Possible de-motivators that are currently inhibiting better responsiveness results.
• Possible incentives that are currently lacking, the lack thereof, which may be paradoxically reinforcing the poor responsiveness results.

Here is a pivotal change in both perspective and approach to dealing with annoying and destructive problems, conflicts and adversity:

Ask yourself two important questions, which may turn out to be the same thing:

1. What don’t I know about this situation, or what am I failing to notice, about how I am seeing or approaching it, which might be an important clue to bring about better success of the desired outcome?
2. What positive purpose could this seemingly negative, destructive or annoying situation be posing for us to take advantage of, before the point of no return comes and goes unnoticed?

Success is usually hastened when you allow and apply critical insights as to how to make the smartest change in your perspective and approach to solving the problem. But, you have to first see the big picture—that we are heading towards uncharted, unfamiliar waters without a map, requiring creative, collaborative thinking which has to free up key changes, including the one that can help bring this big picture insight into better focus. This is the frank admission of the common mantra of “what got us here, won’t get us there” including not allowing this reality to hold us hostage.

Author's Bio: 

William Cottringer, Ph.D. is President of Puget Sound Security in Bellevue, WA and also a business and personal success coach, sport psychologist, photographer and writer living in the mountains of North Bend. He is author of several business and self-development books, including, “The Prosperity Zone,” “Getting More By Doing Less,” “You Can Have Your Cheese & Eat It Too,” “The Bow-Wow Secrets,” “Do What Matters Most,” “P” Point Management,” “Reality Repair Rx” and “Reality Repair: Fixing a Lot by Knowing a Little.” coming shortly. He can be contacted with comments or questions at 425 454-5011 or