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The Champion Forum Podcast

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Leading Beyond Success - The Champion Forum Podcast with Jeff Hancher

Thank you for listening to The Champion Forum Podcast with Jeff Hancher! Do you know the difference between a successful life and a significant life? As I reflected on my journey, I realized that some of the most influential people in my life would not qualify for the world’s definition of “successful.” People often define their success by their title and financial status. Significance, however, is determined by how you impact the lives of those around you. In today’s episode, we will discuss how to lead a significant life.

“Successful people are not always significant. But significant people are always successful.” 

- John Maxwell

Are you successful or significant?

I came upon this subject as I was doing some reflecting the other evening as I was practicing some gratitude. I was thinking about the people who significantly impacted my life. My grandmothers made a monumental impact on my life. They were generous, loving, and good at giving corrective discipline. They gave what they could and expected nothing in return. I’m sure you can think of someone like this in your life.

The craziest thing about my grandmothers is that one of them never worked a paid job a day of her life. By the world’s standards, she may not fit the definition of “success.” However, I am confident it would be difficult to find another person as significant as my grandmothers. 

We need leaders who are successful and significant. Significance can’t come from a bonus check or a promotion. Legacy-level leaders don’t look to be successful; they look to become significant. No matter what we do to become significant, significance is never about one person or thing. Significance always involves a purpose that leads to meaning in life.

Q: What successful people do you know? How do you know they are successful? What qualities do they have? What significant people do you think? Why do you think they are significant? What qualities do they have? Are there any qualities that overlap the two categories? Is there anything that conflicts between the two categories? Why or why not?

How to Move From Chasing Success to Chasing Significance

  1. Prioritize People Development:

Shift the focus from your achievements to the development and growth of team members. Invest time and resources in mentorship, coaching, and creating opportunities for professional and personal development within the team.

  1. Lead with Empathy:

Cultivate empathy by actively listening to others, understanding their perspectives, and showing genuine concern for their well-being. Leaders who lead with empathy build stronger connections and create a supportive environment.

  1. Practice Servant Leadership:

Embrace the principles of servant leadership by putting the needs of others first. Leaders who serve their teams rather than being served build trust and respect, creating a positive and collaborative atmosphere.

  1. Earn the right to hold people accountable.

When people truly know you have their best interest, they embrace tough feedback. At some point, they realize it is a gift you gave them.

Q: Have you ever had a leader who was successful but did not make a significant impact on the lives of their employees? Describe what it was like working for them. What challenges do leaders face when trying to achieve significance? Is it easier to chase success or significance? Why?

Application Activities

  1. Write a letter or send a video to someone significant in your life. Think about how they influenced you and share how your life is different because of them. Point out specific things that they said or did and thank them for all they did for you and are doing for many others.

  2. When others reflect on their journey, what will they say about you? Will you be a leader of significance? What changes would ensure your legacy lines up with your desire? Spend some time imagining what success and significance mean to you and create a habit or two that will help you achieve that goal.


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