The More Things Change … The More They Stay they Same!

Back in the day, they called this a “Paper Fortune Cookie.” Later, we called it, “a Magic 8 Ball.” Today, we might call it an “algorithm.” As children we reveled in being able to predict the future.


Enemies of success

As adults, we have learned we are unable to predict the future. You would think that at least we could learn from the mistakes other leaders have made. Or learn from history. Sadly, more often than not, the same enemies of success continue to haunt us:

  • Fear
  • Greed
  • Hubris
  • Procrastination
  • Knowing when “good” is good enough
  • Stopping short of the finish line
  • Hiring weak team members
  • Not delegating



Have you ever been so afraid that you cannot think straight? Your mind is going so fast that you are paralyzed by your own thoughts?

A daily distraction puts me into a calm frame of mind. It can be practicing a mindfulness exercise or reading. For me, keeping a gratitude journal first thing in the morning calms and motivates me. I can think clearly about the solutions even though my problems are still there.



Greed can wreak havoc on your business if you allow it to influence your actions. Author, Kayla Matthews writes about 10 ways greed can ruin business. 



Power is intoxicating. The only counterweight to hubris is surrounding yourself with strong, independent people you can trust. However, you must truly listen to what they have to say.




This is poor time management. The further you progress in your career the more important time management becomes. We all get 24 hours each day. Successful CEOs manage their time with laser-like focus.


Knowing When Good Is Good Enough

Jim Collins, famously wrote that, “Good is the enemy of great.” However, sometimes trying to make everything great can be just as damaging. Knowing when good is good enough is an art form unto itself.



Stopping Just Short Of The Finish Line

You have been working hard on a project and you give up. Then, you see someone else with the same idea succeed.

Do not let this happen to you. Keep fighting until you win.





Hiring A Weak Team

No one can do it alone and thinking you can is crazy. The old saying, “A players hire A players. B players hire C players,” is true.

You’re an A player, right? Hire the best people you can. Don’t be intimidated if they are smarter than you because that’s how you will win.


Not Delegating

You have hired a great team. You have pointed everyone in the right direction. You have a clear plan of attack. Now delegate as much as you can to your team!

1. Free yourself up, so you can play to your own strengths.
2. Motivate your team by responsibly giving your team as much responsibility as possible.


Overcome the Enemies of Success

As leaders of businesses we have the choice to stop searching the tarot cards and crystal balls for answers to the future. We can learn from other’s mistakes and from history. Make decisions only after you have gathered enough information and listened to trusted advisors. If you truly want to be successful, this is what you will do!



Business man and Start/Finish images courtesy of


To read more…

Click here for more Ask Alan columns



Alan Adler coaches individuals and successful high-performing business leaders to help accelerate their personal and professional growth. In addition to one-on-one coaching, Alan hosts noncompetitive, confidential, business-owner mentor advisory groups. Click here to schedule a meeting with him. As an entrepreneur, he has started three businesses, including his current, Alan Adler & Associates, LLC. His experience also includes working in marketing communication roles, (with senior management) at two of the largest corporations in the world.  You can find his books, Getting the Fish to Swim to YOU & Keeping Them in YOUR Boat, and UpStream, on Amazon. Alan lives in Huntersville, NC with his wife Mindy. They have two grown children, two grandchildren, and a rescue dog named Bentley.






The views, thoughts and opinions expressed by our writers belong solely to them
and do not represent, its publisher or its staff.