I wish I could remember who it was, but years ago someone told me that accumulation and success has a cycle.
This is true among the rich, but–stay tuned–it also has application for leaders.
Here’s how it looks when it comes to wealth. As soon as you see it, you’ll recognize this pattern immediately. Each motivation surfaces as you become more successful and gain access to greater resources. Which is something many leaders do.
Let’s just use cars as an example.
More. When one car is no longer sufficient, the aspiring guy buys two. Life is just so much easier and better with two, or three.
Better. Two well-used minivans are, well, so suburban. Because more won’t do anymore, he upgrades to an SUV and a german-engineered sedan.
Different. Eventually, even the wealthy notice there are an ‘abundance’ of SUVs and german engineered cars on the road. So the cycle moves to another level. What better than to fly to Germany, tour the Porsche factory, have your vehicle custom delivered, try it out on the Autobahn and fly home while your Porsche is shipped back with you? (Seriously…Porsche offers this.) There. Now you’ll have a different, rare, unique and exclusive experience to talk to your colleagues about over lunch.
See the cycle?
And before you slam the crazy rich who like cars, just realize most of us live this out daily. (If you haven’t seen Andy Stanley’s Comparison Trap series on how comparison hurts us, you should…)
From starter homes (do we really want to raise our teens in this starter home?) to your appliances (note the rise of commercial grade appliances in custom kitchens, even when most people have no idea how to cook anymore), to that pair of shoes you got from that website none of your friends have discovered yet. If you haven’t fallen prey to the more/better/different cycle in some way, kudos to you. Most of us aren’t that fortunate.
But this also surfaces in leadership.