Raising Your Own Bar

by Onyeka Nchege on June 7, 2017


While spending time with my father during one of his recent visits, I made time to connect with him one-on-one, man-to-man, so that I could draw from his endless wisdom. These valued moments that I have with him, not only allow me to grow mentally, but they are also when I realize how blessed I am to still have my father in my life as a constant teacher of his life’s successes and setbacks.

During this reflective time together, he asked me, “What does it take to become a success? And, perhaps more importantly, what does it take to remain one?” I’ve never thought about that before. At that moment, I was lost in my own thoughts. My first thoughts were around some of the words that are synonymous with the definition of success: accomplishment, progress, happiness. The more I thought about it, the more I thought about how much time and energy aspiring leaders put into working toward success. So much so, in fact, that many fail to recognize just how much more time and energy is required to maintain that success. In other words, successful people must keep accomplishing and progressing towards their happiness to remain successful despite all that they have accomplished in the past.

As I thought about my own successes in life, and how the compilation of them has contributed to my overall success sustainability, the more I realized I already had a working formula to help explain the process of maintaining success. That formula has six working parts: Journey, Success, Progress, Realization, Motivation and Sustainability. Each part – in that order – is crucial for the formula to work. Here’s how we breakdown each of those six parts:

    Journey = Ideas to plan
    The journey is one of the most difficult parts. To execute a proper journey, you must turn your ideas into actionable, realistic plans. This is not easy, but this will serve as the guardrails for the entire formula.

    Success = Plans to action
    Once you’ve hammered out a set of actionable plans, you need to act on them. If you completed the Journey thoroughly, this part should be relatively simple. Think of those plans as your road to success. Once you’ve put in the dozens of hours of hard work to build the road, you must follow it.

    Progress = Action to continued action
    This is the part where we separate the leaders from the pack. It’s one thing to reach success, but it’s another to continually build on it. And that’s not the hard part. The hard part is recognizing how and when to do so. Timing is everything.

    Realization = Continued action to results
    Similarly, once you’ve realized how and when to build on your success, it will be on you to identify how to implement those tactics into everyday practice. It may be a bit cliche, but if you’re not waking up on Tuesday morning better than you were on Monday night, you’re doing something wrong.

    Motivation = Results to reward
    This is the most personal part of the formula. Motivation is purely subjective, as is a reward. For some, it’s materialistic. For others, its spiritual. Everyone is different, but find out what truly motivates you to be the best version of yourself and recognize when to lean on that motivation to get you through to the end, no matter how hard it may be to keep moving forward.

    Sustainability = Reward to repeat
    Remember when my father asked me what it takes to remain a success? My answer is “sustainability.” To truly remain a success, you’ll need to take each one of the six parts of the formula described above and execute them thoroughly, on time and continually.
    There are millions of success stories out there, but rarely do we remember those who just achieved success. We remember those individuals who were continually successful. Those who truly drive change that matters not only find a way to become successful, they find ways to remain successful.

Over the years, my father has taught me countless lessons, and one of the first ones he taught me was how to grow success. This formula that has worked for me, is a direct result of watching my father turn his ideas into plans, put action behind those plans, continue those actions to results, reap the rewards of those results and repeat this process with his next idea. Papa Nchege…Imela!!

Take Action: Take inventory of your past successes and look for opportunities to build on those using the 6-part formula to sustain and grow success.

Leadership on the GO…..It’s O.N



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As the driving force behind Interstate’s technology strategy, Onyeka Nchege brings more than 20 years of experience to lead the creation and implementation of new information systems and solutions for the enterprise. He believes leadership requires vision, curiosity, humility and a constant hunger for improvement—the same four components fueling his passion for information technology. Before joining Interstate in 2015, Onyeka led teams at Coca-Cola Bottling Company Consolidated, where he modernized technology practices and powered business processes for daily, on-the-street use. He is a graduate of the J. Mack Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University and currently serves on the EVANTA Dallas CIO Governing Body. If Onyeka were not at Interstate, he’d find another way to combine his three biggest passions: his faith, helping others, and, of course, information technology. Because ultimately, as he puts it, “we can’t help everyone, but everyone can always help someone.”
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