What will make you successful in 2017?

I had the privilege of learning with a great number of South Africa's finance leaders in 2016 and from these engagements it was revealed that a primary ingredient for success is consistency. Even in a year of huge turmoil, CFOs that are really making their mark show remarkable consistency.

By Graham Fehrsen

So how do you become more consistent? Five things have stood out for me when asking people about their consistency:

  1. Clarity of purpose: A combination of personal and professional purpose is not always that easy to get your head around and often times we neglect the personal aspect. You'll do well to spend some time on this in the New Year. If you're really struggling, hiring a coach may be your best 2017 investment.
  2. New horizons: Exploring new ideas, challenging your own assumptions and seeing the world from different perspectives drive creativity and energy. This activity also has the effect of reinforcing or subtly shaping your purpose. Once a week or once a month, find a way to build new networks and grow your ideas.
  3. Know yourself better: Whether it was through introspection or a conversation with a coach or mentor, CFOs agreed that knowing oneself was one of the most important steps to consistency. Which habits and behaviours are serving you and which need to be ditched or refined? Spending some time on this simple question will go a long way to helping you build more consistency.
  4. Be present: When you're truly present people experience it and remember it. Consistency is as much about what other people experience of you as it is about what you do. Make time in your day to reflect and look ahead. Be very clear about this "dedicated time" and give the rest to living and working in the moment.
  5. Have fun or ditch it: If you're not enjoying something, change it. That includes your job. You have little chance of building consistency if you don't have some sort of positive feedback loop in your everyday. Consistent and successful CFOs admitted they have dark days and difficult moments but all pointed to their conscious effort to enjoy what they did as one of the key elements to consistency.

No doubt there are many other ways to build consistency and each of us will need to find our way. Here's hoping you'll find your consistency recipe in 2017.