Three Easy Steps to Ensure Your Success: S.O.S.

Oftentimes, when I’m not able to achieve the results I want in my life, it’s because I get wrapped up in my self-centric views of the world and quite frankly don’t get along with others. Success rarely happens when acting alone. Sure, I can produce some phenomenal results when I bear down and “get’r done”! That isn’t practical in most areas of my life though – I’d hazard a guess yours either.

True success comes from our ability to interact with others and work together such that two heads are better than one. The inherent challenge with this though is that two people don’t always see things the same way or agree on how best to partner together. When you know that you are dependent upon others to succeed, just follow the S.O.S. model for success:

  • Self-Awareness: The foundation for your success – not to mention the success of those around you! – is knowing who you are and how you act in any given situation. You have natural tendencies that play to your individual strengths and compensate for any weaker areas you may have. You must be crystal clear of your preferences and individual style first before considering anything else. Only then will you know if your natural strengths will serve you well or if you might need to adapt and try a different approach when partnering with others.
  • Other-Awareness: Knowing yourself is simply the first step though. As long as you don’t live by yourself on a remote island in the middle of the ocean, you are going to be interacting with others constantly and need to consider their preferences and potential
    reactions to what you do. Knowing how others approach any given situation and how they may react to your preferences and natural tendencies is vital to your being able to meet them where they’re at and adapt your style when needed.
  • Situation-Awareness: Lastly, you need to put it all in context of your current situation. Knowing how you and others typically approach things is vital to your success. What if there’s a fire in the building though? What if corporate just changed directions or announced an unexpected merger with your biggest competitor and now you need to focus on new business priorities? Handling situations like this is very different than when you’re running on auto-pilot going about your daily routines, so don’t forget to consider your environment and contextual surroundings when choosing what to do.

The reality is that in any given situation, you have three choices:

  1. Do nothing. While probably not a good choice – especially if you want to keep your job – it is in fact an option. There are times when the path of least resistance is not only easiest but also most prudent.
  2. Act based on your individual strengths and personal tendencies. This may not always produce the results you want. It is, however, your best approach when in unfamiliar territory or taking on a new challenge and already feeling a little uncertain. Playing to your strengths gives you a foundation for success that trying a new approach or experimenting simply doesn’t.
  3. Adapt your style to accommodate the situation and those around you. When you are self-aware, other-aware, and situation-aware, you are in a much better position to control your actions and adapt when you feel it’s warranted. It’s not about whether or not your more natural approach is right or wrong. It’s about whether or not that’s actually going to produce your best outcome in light of the circumstances.

As I said before, my true success depends upon my being able to partner with others to accomplish my goals. That’s just not possible when I’m too absorbed in myself and my story about what’s real to gauge the wants and needs of those around me. With that presence of mind though, I can easily shift tacts and take a new approach to fulfill on my intentions.

Can Plus Delta help you improve performance and produce better results by adapting your leadership and engagement strategies? Check out the enhanced Leadership & Team Development section of our website for more information on our proven approaches for leadership excellence. You can also click here to view a short video clip of Plus Delta’s Founder and CEO Dr. Jeremy Lurey explain the S.O.S. model in more detail. Or just give us a call at 866.PLS.DLTA (or +1.310.589.4600 outside the US) or email us at We look forward to meeting your every need!

For more information about individual styles, we invite you to read Julie Straw’s book, The 4 Dimensional Manager: DiSC Strategies for Managing Different People In The Best Ways. It’s a great read for understanding the different profiles of people in the world.

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