Leaders Define Significance Instead Of Success

I recently heard Oprah talk about success and significance in the same sentence. This got me thinking…“Value” and “adding value” has become a buzzword in many organizations. I remember working for a homebuilder years ago, and adding value, along with value engineering were hot, sexy terms.Like most buzzwords, their original contextual meaning got lost in translation.Looking at the word, significance, I wanted to explore the meaning and essence of this luxurious word steeped in depth and richness. So… I started researching great thinkers on significance and explored quotes. I’ll share some of my favorites with you:

  • “The aim of art is not to represent the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.” – Aristotle
  • “Time has no meaning in itself unless we choose to give it significance.” – Leo F. Buscaglia
  • “The significance of a man is not in what he attains, but rather what he longs to attain.” – Kahlil Gibran
  • “The most important function of education at any level is to develop the personality of the individual and the significance of his life to himself and to others.” – Grayson Kirk
  • “Enthusiasm releases the drive to carry you over obstacles and adds significance to all you do.” – Norman Vincent Peale
  • “A note of music gains significance from the silence on either side.” – Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Next, I turned to Bing dictionary, and this is what I found:

sig•nif•i•cance [ sig níffikənss ] NOUN1. importance: the quality of having importance or being regarded as having great meaning2. meaning: implied or intended meaning

Cool, this is a big deal, I thought! Of course, I immediately turned my attention to leadership and started thinking…what if we shifted our focus from success to significance? How would that look?I would love to hear your thoughts, how would applying this concept affect the way you lead?All my best,Maria