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A Measure for Success

by Randy Gilmore, Marching Show Concepts, Inc.

First printed in Fanfare, Volume 21, Issue 2, Winter 2006. Reprinted by permission.

The end of the year and the beginning of a new year is always a good time for deep reflection, course correction and pinpointing. What do I want to create over the coming year at a professional and personal level? We all know that nothing will change in our world until we assume the personal responsibility required to change. The world is a mirror: we get from life, not what we want, but who we are. As you look to yourself, explore your most authentic values, articulate what you want to make of life, and then pursue these goals, while creating value for the people around you.

It is also important to remember that there are many metrics by which we can measure success. It is very easy to fall into the trap of measuring success by how much money you made or how many awards you received. These gauges are actually only a couple of the many ways to measure success. Though no one will deny the value of the plethora of choices money affords us, other benchmarks of genuine success must also be considered if we are to have the complete picture.

Here are a few additional metrics of success to consider:
  1. Experience and Evolutionary Success. What kind of experiences did you have last year? How did they help you evolve as a person? If 2006 offered numerous experiences that added richness, depth, and wisdom to your life, it was a great success.
  2. Adventure. What kinds of adventures did you engage in through the course of the year? Did you travel? Did you learn how to snowboard or scuba dive or fly? Did you find a new venue for your program that helped your students grow and enjoy a better educational experience? Measure your success, in part, by the amount of adventures you experienced.
  3. Relationship and reputation. No matter the number of rewards or how much money one makes, if you lack community and love in your life, I do not believe you can fully enjoy success. To accurately evaluate 2006 from a success perspective, question the richness and depth of your relationships. What does the community around you and your network look like? Reflect on the quality of your reputation.
  4. Fun. The human brain craves novelty. We are happiest when we are growing. In 2006 did you do new things? Did you do fun things? Did you chase your passions and take time to do the things you love to do? This to is an important measurement of success.
  5. Impact. Greatness begins by participating in something that does not end with you and living for a cause larger than yourself. To have made a difference in the lives of people around you is to have genuinely succeeded!

I hope you’re the year ahead will be your best yet. I challenge you to create more value then ever before for those around you. Make it a great year!

Randy Gilmore served ten years as a nationally recognized high school band director and assistant marching band director at West Chester University. Over the past 21 years Randy has developed Marching Show Concepts ( as a nationally known company for quality marching band products and exceptional one-to-one services. Randy exemplifies an expertise and standard of excellence that is well known and respected throughout the music industry. He is an accomplished clinician, adjudicator and drill designer who continues to display his talents in the MSC collection of products and services.