✏ Success Math

“Give 100%. 110% is impossible. Only idiots recommend that.”

— Ron Swanson, Parks & Recreation

Let’s review some math rules:

  • A positive plus a positive equals a positive
  • A negative plus a negative equals a negative
  • A higher positive number plus a lower negative number equals a positive
  • A higher negative number plus a lower positive number equals a negative

Now that we have that as a guide, let’s do some “Success Math”.

Why don’t we start with a word problem?

Becky and Mark work together at the same company and have the same management roles. Becky is always focused on improvement and efficiency. She is committed to the goals and objectives of the department and her team has respect for her guidance, support and willingness to go above and beyond. Becky’s goal is to give just one percent more each day, and it’s the same advice she gives her team. As a result, her team is 12% over goal for the quarter.

Mark has been at the company for over ten years, five more than Becky. Mark has had a lot of turnover, but still manages to hit his quotas — barely. He has a set way of doing things and doesn’t like to stray away from that. In his opinion, “why change it if it still works”? Mark spends a lot of his time barking orders and micromanaging his team. They aren’t a cohesive unit. They are currently below goal by 18% for the quarter.

Based off Becky and Mark’s quarterly goals, what is the sum of their results for the quarter?


+12% + (-18%) = (-6%)

It looks like Mark’s negativity is having an effect on Becky’s positivity!

Even when we strive to give 100% effort in what we do, the difference between good and great can lie within the smallest of percentage points. We refer to it as “the little things.” Trust me when I say that the little things add up. For example, refer to a publicly traded company who announce their quarterly earnings — but happen to be off by 2-3%. In a matter of hours, their value goes down and their investors want to know what they are going to do to fix it immediately.

Let me provide an example more relative to where you may be. If you’re taking the time to read this, I consider you a person who is striving to better himself or herself, so you are a leader in my book. Leaders are always looking for the competitive advantage: any way in which they can improve, innovate, inspire, or discover a breakthrough. I ask this question to those I’ve led in the past to understand the power of competition, “Do you run faster alone or against somebody else?” Of course the answer is against somebody else. That is where you can tangibly see the 1%. If two people train to run the race for a month with the goal of winning, for example, compare the winner’s regimen to the other competitor’s. I bet you will find the 1%. I call that “Success Math”.

“Whatever you do, always give 100%. Unless you’re donating blood.”

— Bill Murray

The more vested you become in committing to lead effectively and efficiently, the more the 1%’s will jump out at you. Whether it is in your own self-awareness — or in the guidance of others you lead — the wisdom and experience you gain with time will become an asset. Want to know how you as a leader can actually apply the principles of “Success Math”? Look no further!



It’s easy to identify what is wrong, the challenge is finding a way to correct it – permanently. In other words, a successful leader doesn’t believe in band-aids; they will only pursue solutions. Don’t be “the complainer”; they are a dime a dozen. Instead, look to discover innovative ways — with your team — to identify the problem, discuss it, evaluate your options, and act.



Never stop – and this applies to everything you do. Things like learning, teaching, mentoring, communicating, appreciating, pushing, empowering and persevering all matter. If you develop these traits with a commitment to apply them each and every day, they will become habit. True, productive growth comes a result of being relentless.



It goes back to paying attention to the little things, which usually end up being the 1% difference. Make sure the 1% is in your favor, because if you believe that the devil is in the details, over time, the 1%’s add up. No better way to widen the gap between you and your competition than by focusing on getting 1% better every day.



Simply put, go all-in. Why play the game if you aren’t in to win it? It’s a mindset, one that directs your every move toward the objective. Play it safe and you risk being average. Take the risk, and the reward will be higher.  The challenge is understanding the risks. Don’t throw darts with a blindfold on, be knowledgeable enough to access the positive and negative aspects of the decision.



It may be last on the list, but is critical. If your end goal is to build a legacy and make an impact, integrity is a non-negotiable. Integrity is an adherence to moral and ethical principles. It will build your moral character and hold you to being honest. Integrity is the type of trait that people talk about — not only when you’re in the room, but when you’re not around. That’s how respect and admiration is earned.

I’ve got a theory that if you give 100% all of the time, somehow things will work out in the end.”

Larry Bird

Become more aware of your surroundings, and find connections with those you lead in an effort to discover every competitive advantage you can. Who knows, maybe you can achieve that 110%?

Go do great things today and make a difference.


Humbled to lead,

#ChargeUp #365 #patience #prevent #success #leadership #RaiseTheBar #impact #BeTheImpact #Lead #authentic #gratitude #PayItForward #mentor #purpose #GoodToGreat #reflection #inspire #empower



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©2019 Victor Pisano/Charge Up. All rights reserved. You are free to use portions of this publication, provided the following credit is listed at the bottom: ©2019 Victor Pisano/Charge Up, is a media-based entity that provides intriguing, innovative and distinctive content, engaging its readers with real-world challenges and solutions while embracing obstacles and the value that failure can provide. While that sounds serious, we promise you will both learn AND laugh (and sometimes cry).Contact Charge Up at victor@chargeuptoday.com or visit our website at www.chargeuptoday.com.

Victor Pisano✏ Success Math

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