ARE YOU BUILT TO LAST? Three Habits for Sustainable Success

August 10, 2012 — 2 Comments

We all want success. But do you have a list of actions to achieve it?

If you had a magic lamp, would you be wise, or impulsive? If our blog gave you Three Habits for Success, would you follow them?

Magic lamp

photo courtesy of copyrighted

In 1933, Winston Churchill reported that Adolph Hitler was going to war. Churchill observed that democracies would have to quickly change behaviors to survive it. Few believed him. Even fewer acted until it was nearly too late.

In 1994, in Built to Last,* Stanford business professors reported on how to maximize profits. Research said corporations which did the right thing made more – huge amounts more – than companies that simply sought results.

Do-rights made 700% more than their rivals and 1500% more profit than the general market. No flash in the pan: they made these huge profits for a hundred years.

Do-rights were led by gutsy, principled people who inspired their companies to actually live out high core values behaviors. It’s what leaders do.

Like Churchill, this blog does more than report facts. It provides behavioral solutions to recurring, age-old problems. It is a call for action to replace fearful expedience with courageous right action.

I’ve worked with extremely inspiring, Do-right leaders. Because they listened, and believed the Stanford data and the principles that pre-existed the research, they found the courage to adopt the Three Habits. They did this despite discomfort, they did it despite fear, and they became built to last.

I was Formed to Fizzle. I preferred early promotion over improved character. I chose trying to look good over being morally right. While these bad habits stymied my success, they at least produced stress, frustration and unhappiness.

How can you be Built to Last? I’ve studied this question for four decades.

The answers are not about intellect, speed or margins. They’re about doing the right thing and changing behaviors. They’re about loving virtue.

Here’s your Magic Success Lamp. Are you ready to test your wisdom with three clear – and tough – new habits?

1.        Discern the Highest Moral Action. Everyone thinks, but few discern. This isn’t easy! It takes guts to practice this. No more thinking short-term, expedient decisions that seem easier, but aren’t really.

2.        Do the Highest Moral Action You’ve identified the Highest Action. Now use your strong backbone to do that action regardless of fear or risk to self-interest.

3.        Work with a Mutual Accountability Partner to encourage you to adopt Habits 1-3. (Even if you’d prefer root canals to changing your old ways.)

THE QUESTION: How will you adopt the Three Habits? Check in next time for tips on how to discern and do the Highest Moral Action. Meanwhile, enjoy practicing your new Habits of Success, and becoming Built to Last!

*Jim Collins and Jerry Porras, Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies, HarperCollins, 1994


Gus Lee


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  1. Website - June 18, 2015


    Good post. I am dealing with a few of these issues as well..|

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