Success, Is Their A Definitive Conclusion To It?

by | Jan 23, 2024

Article written by Nick Roud, Leadership Coach and Founder of Nick Roud Coaching.

Success What Does That Mean?

Yesterday I was interviewed by a Master of Business and Administration (MBA) student on a topic he is writing a paper on. That time with him kept me awake most of the night, hence my article today. We had a wonderful conversation which went on for about an hour and within that time he asked me a heap of questions. Some really triggered emotion from me as I reflected positively back on my career to date. Questions like, who supported me early on, Was there a break that made a big impact to your business? How did failure shape me, what in my early career enabled me to do the work I do today etc. Following that chat to which I deeply hope he has got some insight from me in order for him to complete his paper I thought we should talk about it as well.

In my leadership coaching business I coach successful CEOs, leaders and emerging leaders. During our time together my client and I work closely together and build a trusted bond. Never is information shared outside my global headquarters aka the 20ft shipping container and nothing is left off the table. My aim as we work through a structured leadership program is for that leader to grow, be where he/she needs to be, gain more evidence into how he/she leads, get a little more comfortable as a leader. To excel and be so called successful in leadership I believe it comes back to being very ok in who you are. The rest takes care of itself.

So what does success mean. This morning over coffee I hastily jump onto the English Dictionary to get an exact definition on the word success. 

“Success is the achievement of something that you have been trying to do”

Gosh, now I come to think the word success and its meaning I feel we are never really done are we! I believe it’s an endless quest. Nobody who I coach ever sits with me and says Nick I have achieved……………or I am done…..Some say enough of this place I need to move on and find a new organsiation but never have I heard I am done.

Sure success might to some mean landing a job within a certain organisation, earning a specific salary with a glossy title. But knowing high achievers in the business world they never really settle. We are always on a quest that never has a finish line. Very quickly we are onto………… next adventure, next learning, next quest.

As I reflect in my 49th year and still only scratching the surface on coaching, success is very much a self measured thing. Those of us who are in it for the long run will appreciate that one never masters anything, sure we get better, wiser, gain more awareness but to say we have achieved should be seen as how can we do something better!

I imagine many of you reading this right now will question what does success mean to you and like my MBA student did to me last night got me really thinking about the word. I have never asked myself the question, not because I want to find the answer more that my sole focus is raising our children to be the adults that they want to be, running my business, holding the mirror for my beautiful clients and serving my core purpose. That core purpose keeps me very focused on the work I do, love and very much enjoy there are no financials on it, nor things I must have…….its is and will always be about helping others. Plain and simple. That I suppose is my measure of success.

In business without cash it can quickly dry out, a bit like a dessert with little or no rain, it will be hard to survive in such environments. So does one only measure success through a financial lens?. Not sure that should be the only guiding principle. How are we impacting the world we are so blessed to live in? What about the people we are touching, helping, improving others lives? Without our health how can any of us do the job we do, would success therefore be defined by our health? 

One thing I do feel strongly on about success is its subjective and should be owned by the individual, not challenged or agreed/disagreed with. One persons success wont be the same as another persons success!  

I am so thankful to the MBA students questions, I am pleased I had a sleepless night tossing and turning thoughts around, and I am happy to pen my thoughts to you today. If you are curious like many of my clients are, then ask yourself today What does Success Mean to You and how is it enabling and or holding you back?



For a confidential conversation about your leadership coaching needs, call Nick on +6421375630 or email him

Nick Roud

Nick Roud

Executive Leadership Coach

Nick is the Chairman of Nick Roud Coaching and a Global Award Winning Executive Coach. Nick holds the highest coaching qualification MCEC. His clients are typically Chief Executive Officers, Executives and Emerging Leaders. Nick’s office is based in Auckland, New Zealand and he travels extensively around the world to coach his clients. You can contact Nick directly on +6421375630