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What’s your unique success proposition?


These principles, taken from my book, The Unique Success Proposition, constitute the Success Quotient, which holds the key to all forms of human achievement. The USP can consist largely of:

  • Skill
  • Knowledge
  • Ideas
  • Execution
  • Instigation

The USP may be an amalgam of two or more of the five. But you are unlikely to achieve success unless you can agree truthfully with one or more of these statements.

1. I have greater skill than others in this activity.

2. I know more than others about this subject.

3. I have better ideas than others.

4. I can carry out tasks better than others.

5. I can make things happen more effectively than others.

Key Supporting Powers (KSP) are found in the same categories as the above. Now, answer the following questionnaire:

1. Everybody has a Unique Success Proposition. Can you write down yours in no more than one short sentence?

2. Everybody has the Key Supporting Power or Powers (KSP) needed to potentiate their USP. Can you write down yours?

3. There are eight Main Sustaining Principles (MSP). Answer Yes or No to these questions:

  • Leadership: do you lead yourself / others?
  • Challenge: do you question what is and what you are told?
  • Decisiveness: do you make up your mind in good time?
  • Speed: do you take necessary action without delay?
  • Clarity: are you clear about what you are doing and why?
  • Change: are you prepared to change anything and everything that needs changing?
  • Basics: do you do well all the basic things that need to be done?
  • Objectives: do you have written aims for this year, next year and five years’ time?

Score ten points each for questions 1 and 2 and ten points for each MSP to which you have answered Yes. This is not one of those quizzes which grades the respondents by category. There is only one acceptable score: a hundred – if, that is, you want to succeed.

Your Success Quotient is static, but success is dynamic. The Performance Quotient turns static potential into dynamic actuality. Score yourself on a scale of nought to ten depending on how well you rate your performance on the USP, KSPs and MSPs – today, this week, month or year. Keep a record of the scores to show how near you have come to 100% and how far you have improved.

The Performance Quotient questions are:

1. How close, on a scale of one to ten, have I come to realising the potential of my USP?

2. How well, on the same scale, have I developed my KSPs and/or developed new ones?

3. On each of the MSPs, on the same scale, how well have I performed?

The Success and Performance Quotients apply to organisations as to individuals: it is no coincidence that the individual MSPs are exactly the same as the corporate characteristics essential for creating and sustaining organisational recovery.

For companies, the USP is the corporate credo, the true core, the essence of the corporate culture, the definition of the organisation’s role.

The KSPs are the particular strengths built up to support the USP.

The MSPs are the sustaining elements on which all organisations depend for effective performance and renewal – and which all need constant questioning and re-evaluation to avoid stagnation and under-performance.

Robert Heller