Kathy Neyman, Sr. AVP, Corporate Culture and Leadership Development
Redstone Federal Credit Union
Ask any architect, and they are likely to agree that pyramids are stunning feats of human ingenuity and creativity. The Great Pyramid of Giza is among the most widely researched structures in the world. Ancient Egyptians believed that pyramids resonate with power and that its very shape could produce miraculous results. Contemporary beliefs about “pyramid power” claim that they can preserve food, polish tarnished metals, and cure ailments by creating a field of harmonic vibrations.
While skepticism of the mystical power of pyramids is warranted, there is one pyramid that has proven time after time that it generates real power—The Results Pyramid®. The model is a simple, yet effective means for understanding the connection between the way we think and act and the results we achieve.
Leveraging The Results Pyramid for Personal Success
The Results Pyramid can serve as an equally effective model for business or personal success. The results that you achieve are determined by the actions you take. Actions derive from the beliefs you hold about what you should do and how you should do it, and such beliefs are formed through your unique experiences. Simply stated, experiences foster beliefs, beliefs guide actions, and actions produce results. Changing the beliefs you hold is key to changing the results you produce.
Why is The Results Pyramid so powerful?
It’s all too common for people to depend on others for their success—when the real power lies directly within oneself. This internal power emanates from your thoughts and beliefs. Beliefs drive everything you do; and perhaps just as often, what you don’t do.
It’s also common for people, when faced with poor results, to blame circumstances outside of their control, and even on the failures of others. They will cite their past, lack of opportunity, or their colleagues and friends as the reason for their shortcomings. They may hold beliefs that they are not talented or smart enough to achieve desired results. These are all obstacles that people put in their own paths, rendering them their own worst enemy.
How often do you allow your beliefs to get in the way of achieving your own personal goals and desired results?
Find Personal Success by Shifting Your Beliefs
If you look around, you may see this self-defeating scenario play out in multiple areas of your personal life or the lives of others:
• Relationships: My partner just doesn’t understand me.
• Parenting: My child will never learn—she is a problem child.
• Personal Health/Wellbeing: I just don’t have the time.
• Education: I’m too old. It’s too late.
• Finances: I’ll never reach my goals.
In each of these cases, harmful beliefs are rooted in negative past experiences. These beliefs often self-perpetuate, creating immovable obstacles that hold you back from achieving more. But when you stop externalizing and finger-pointing, and instead commit to taking personal accountability, you will gain a clearer insight into the connection between your desired outcomes and what you are willing to do today. But what does personal accountability look like and how do you “take accountability?”
Taking full personal accountability involves pinpointing what you want, establishing psychological ownership over all internal and external circumstances affecting progress toward desired outcomes, and engaging in creative problem-solving that introduces new beliefs (and subsequently, actions) that then drive results.
Start by identifying desired outcomes. Then, make a list of the beliefs that are holding you back. Next, create new experiences for yourself to counter these beliefs. This may involve making new friends, exploring different careers, creating a budget, or developing a nutrition plan. Your beliefs begin to shift as you move towards your desired outcomes. Changing your beliefs requires time and effort but the process is simple. Trust in the power of the pyramid: when you shift your beliefs, actions and results will follow.
Chloe’s Story: Beliefs That Drive Accountability
To illustrate the model in action, consider this account of how a colleague used The Results Pyramid to achieve success with his five-year-old daughter. He and his wife had struggled getting their daughter Chloe to pick up and put away her books from the floor. At first, like most parents, they told Chloe what they wanted her to do. But she had to be told every time. Then, they tried incentivizing her (with chocolate!), which actually worked, but only for a short period of time. Finally, they resorted to disciplining Chloe with a “time-out” when she failed to pick up her books. But even that produced a low success rate. It was clear that the actions they took did not produce the desired outcomes.
When I heard their story, I suggested applying The Results Pyramid. I emphasized that if you create the right experiences that form the right beliefs, individuals—even a young child like Chloe—are likely to self-select the behaviors necessary to achieve the desired outcome. Ultimately, my colleague and his wife needed to shift Chloe’s personal beliefs around picking up the books.
Changing her beliefs is exactly what they did. That night, Chloe’s parents had a conversation with her about her books. They asked questions such as these: “What happens when your books are left on the floor?” “What does your baby sister do to your books when you leave them out?” “Do you want to keep your books in good shape so that you can read them over and over again?”
By asking Chloe to connect her actions with specific outcomes (what might happen to her books and how it might affect her), they began to create a different parenting experience for Chloe. Chloe’s beliefs shifted because she now saw her parents as working with her for her own good, rather than simply telling her what to do. Belief change is never instant, but by reinforcing this parenting experience, Chloe’s actions in this area continued to improve, and within a year she no longer needed to be asked to put her books away.
The Power of the Pyramid
Applied to children, the model appears simplistic, but the power of The Results Pyramid is universal and easily translatable into every aspect of life. We all have what it takes to be successful in our personal lives, no matter the situation or challenge at hand. We simply have to identify the beliefs impeding our progress and seek out and create experiences for ourselves that change those beliefs and promote results-driven action. Changing beliefs is not easy, but it can be done with determination and personal accountability.
The Results Pyramid is the simplest and most empowering model for success—whether it be used to drive enterprise-wide financial growth or achieve personal goals such as improved fitness or a more fulfilling relationship. In 2016, I had the opportunity to accept, on behalf of the organization for which I work, the highest award offered by Partners In Leadership: the coveted Ruby Award. As I stood at the podium to accept the award, I shared the following sentiment: “The Results Pyramid is so powerful that I truly believe that if the world would use this model, the world would be a better place.” I still stand by this belief.