Mentor Moment #6, Seek Significance Not Success


Far too many leaders are chasing the brass ring of success and when they finally grasp it they realize how cold and shallow it truly is. The secret is to seek significance and success will come.

So what’s the difference?



1. the favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors.
2. the attainment of wealth, position, honors, or the like.

brass ring

3. a successful performance or achievement: The play was an instant success.
4. a person or thing that is successful: She was a great success on the talk show.



1. importance; consequence: the significance of the new treaty.
2. meaning; import: The familiar place had a new significance for her.
3. the quality of being significant or having a meaning: to give significance to dull chores.


If you have read my blog, you know I go to the Bible when I am trying to understand something, in Samuel we learn;


“Do not turn aside for then you would rather go after empty things, which cannot profit or deliver, for they are nothing?


I have helped many “successful” people over the years but those who sought out to be significant were the happiest. Success, and more importantly your definition of success may be a lonely empty thing once you achieve it. When I was very young, success was tied to money in the bank. Work hard, make money. Work harder make more money. I share how I feel today, (now sneaking up on 50 years old) in my post: What Jimmy Buffet and Bruce Cockburn can teach Marketers about Nailing a Persona? I also discuss how young managers, some soon to be leaders get it wrong when they feel they have to be a Prick –ly person to get ahead in this world.


Chasing the wrong goal turns you into someone you were not designed to be and leaves you feeling empty.( been there, done that…have the t-shirt)


How about you?

Are you still reaching for the brass ring of success?

Have you achieved success and you think I am full of it?

Are you on a quest for significance? If so tell me about it..

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