The 2 Kinds of Success Every Leader Should Know

by: Christopher McIntyre


Everybody aims for success in some shape or form. From a small business owner’s point of view, it could range from starting a business, to expanding products and services, to growing the company’s annual profit. It could be as big as multiple brick-and-mortar expansions or as small as a successful Twitter promo.

There are two kinds of success that every leader should take into account. One is situational and the other is systematic. Knowing how to leverage these two things can produce positive results in your organization.

Situational Success

As the term implies, it is situation-based. It’s focused on incidents or spurts of achievements. It’s unique, dynamic, and often times random. Since it’s an in-the-moment occurrence, it is difficult to plan for. You don’t have much control over what happens because it just happens and it is happening now! The focus on this type of success is the result.

Some examples could be a viral promo launched via social media. Not all promos go viral, so for that specific campaign to reach hundreds of thousands of people, it is a situational success. Another would be a product launch that generated a huge demand, exceeding your targets. Situational successes are the exceptions to the rule.

Systematic Success

This one involves a process. It’s scalable and can be duplicated or applied to multiple situations. This is what prepares you for situational success. It focuses on “how positive results are achieved” more than “what was achieved.” Systematic success is easier to plan for because you are intentional on the steps you take. As your team gets used to the process, you will see consistent success happen over time.

Some examples of this would be a consistent increase in quarterly sales because of a more efficient product replenishment process, dynamic upselling, and quality customer service. Another example might be an 80% engagement in social media promotion on the back of timely strategic posts, creative content recycling, and prompt replies to users. Systematic success happens by using consistent and proven processes.

Some final thoughts

Situational success gives you confidence on your systematic success. The steps that lead to unprecedented, isolated success are born out of the constant practice of systematic success. The former wins the battle while the latter wins the war. Systematic success is what gives you continuous steady growth while situational success gives you the occasional growth spurts. Focus on building situational success first within your organization in order to set yourself up for systematic success!

About the Author

Chris McIntyre is a productivity guru and peak performance wizard. He helps leaders create systems that maximize personal productivity and inspire team accountability. Chris is the author of the business leadership book Roadmap to Freedom which contains proven systems and productivity tools that guarantee tangible results. He has worked with some of the best leaders on the planet from Fortune 100 executives to leading small business owners and renowned non-profit organizations.

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