Leadership 101: The Problem with Success
Success is problematic.
In fact, success is among the biggest reasons for failure and frustration. When you succeed, your probability of failure thereafter increases significantly. Let me explain.
There are two ways to succeed: To succeed knowing exactly how you did it (Method 1), and to succeed without knowing how it happened (Method 2).
Method 1: Succeeding knowing how exactly it's done is fraught with what I call The Enslavement Effect. People build deep confidence in the approach that worked in a specific business, for a specific type of customer, with specific co-workers, solving a specific problem, at a specific point in time - and believe that the same approach can work elsewhere. In other words, they're slaves to their success. They have muscle memory from earlier successes they cannot get rid of easily. I do often run into folks that bring significant confidence into the workplace, but little or no impact. As an entrepreneur, beware, this is usually an outcome of the Enslavement Effect.
Method 2: Succeeding without knowing how it happened is the best way to fall for the Peter Principle - as applied to startups as well. I've been in a situation where I had success but I wasn't sure why that was, and was promoted. Didn't work. It took a level of organizational patience that not many companies have, for our team to find its footing again.
You're either going to fall for the Enslavement Effect or the Peter Principle trap - there's no question that there's failure after success. The answer? A minor change in work philosophy - and that's the secret.
No matter how good you get at a job, or how long you've done it, or how much success you've had:
Think of yourself as a student of the craft, and not the master.