April 11th, 2016

Penned by Chief Strategy Officer Dave Corelli.
Follow Dave on Twitter and on Medium.

Success is not defined by where you're sitting and how long you're sitting there.

This week, I had the opportunity to spend some quality time reconnecting with a colleague I worked with years ago. We both started our careers on a very similar path and worked together in those early days, before venturing out on our own paths. Now both in senior roles, we were chatting about how we manage performance of both ourselves and our teams.

He asked what type of schedule I kept, growing and managing an agency. One thing I said stuck with both of us instantly. "My measure of success is not where I sit and how long I'm sitting there for."

Business culture creates a social pressure to adhere to certain norms that are unbelievably detrimental and counter-intuitive to productivity and success. A pressure to burn the midnight oil, or be labelled as the slacker in the group. A deep feeling of guilt when you don't crack the computer on a weekend. An expectation that you will show up at the office everyday, and sit in your desk until the work is done.

We succumb to this pressure because we fear being labelled as the person that doesn't put in the time. We fear not being seen as valuable. And so we end up keeping ourselves occupied with busy work, just so we feel like we are important and can show the same to others. 

We fall into the trap of measuring our value based on the fact that we get into the office before 8 AM and don't leave until 6 PM.

I know this is all true because I have lived it. This was my measure of worth for years.

The intent of my quote is rooted in the fact that if we are to truly grow, we cannot measure success by how many hours we put in. 

Instead, every night I ask myself - what are the most important things I must accomplish tomorrow to drive my self and business forward?**

Then I focus on getting them done. It may take 8, 10 or 16 hours. It may be at 5 AM before everyone wakes up. In a coffee shop. In an airport. Or in the office. I'm more focused on if I'm in the right frame of mind to do them well vs. where I am.

It takes great focus and discipline. But it also takes courage.  

Courage to not get sucked in by the distractions, but instead focus on what's important. Courage to create new cultures that make sense for people's professional productivity and personal well being. Courage to stand in the face of the societal pressures and break away. 

Courage to stand up to the voice inside that tells us others won't respect us, and get to work on what matters.

/ Corelli

* This also includes managing our personal lives as discussed in Investing In Ourselves. Like an athlete, we cannot be at the top of our game unless our body, mind and spirit are as well.

Dave Corelli is Chief Strategy Officer of SportBox Group, a global entertainment agency with verticals in strategic marketing, personality representation, and event creation and ownership. Corelli oversees business and creative strategy globally for the agency, its clients, athletes and events. Follow Dave on Twitter and on Medium.