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The clarity paradox — why success is a catalyst for failure

Greg McKeown explains why successful people don’t become very successful in The Disciplined Pursuit of Less.

Why don’t successful people and organizations automatically become very successful? One important explanation is due to what I call “the clarity paradox,” which can be summed up in four predictable phases:

Phase 1: When we really have clarity of purpose, it leads to success.
Phase 2: When we have success, it leads to more options and opportunities.
Phase 3: When we have increased options and opportunities, it leads to diffused efforts.
Phase 4: Diffused efforts undermine the very clarity that led to our success in the first place.

Still curious? In his book, How the Mighty Fall, Jim Collins claims “the undisciplined pursuit of more” is one reason companies fail.