Today, I’m sticking with the concept of significance that I have been focused on for the last few weeks.

Last week’s post was focused on a concept in a quote by Oprah Winfrey that I discussed that week on the Great Quotes for Coaches podcast.

Oprah’s quote was, “The key to realizing a dream is to focus not on success but significance – and then even the small steps and little victories along your path will take on greater meaning.”

This week I talked about two other quotes that were very similar to Oprah’s quote.

The first one was by Michael Josephson, the founder and director of Character Counts. The second quote was by Ken Blanchard, author of The One-Minute Manager, as well as many other popular leadership and personal development books.

Michael Josephson said, “A person of character seeks true happiness in living a life of purpose and meaning, placing a higher value on significance than success.”

Ken Blanchard said, “Many people measure their success by wealth, recognition, power and status. There’s nothing wrong with those, but if that’s all you’re focused on, you’re missing the boat…if you focus on significance -using your time and talent to serve others -that’s when truly meaningful success can come your way.”

These two quotes were perfect follow-ups to Oprah’s quote. Just like her quote, both are about the concept of focusing on significance instead of success.

Purpose and Meaning

In Michael Josephson’s quote, he talks about how a person of character behaves when it comes to seeking happiness. He says that they “live a life of purpose and meaning.”

I love this concept because it is so true. We must find what makes us happy. And what makes people of character happy is living their lives with purpose and meaning.

But what makes them feel purpose and meaning?

Different people will find different things that do that for them.

But whatever it is that does that for someone, Josephson states that it will come by focusing one’s attention on trying to be significant more than trying to be successful.

As I said earlier, Michael Josephson runs Character Counts. His messages deal with helping people understand the importance of living lives of great character.

And while people of great character are no different than anyone else when it comes to desire for happiness and success, they may be different in what they feel it means to be successful and in how they go about working to achieve the success they seek.

They find greater value in doing things that lead to them being significant in the lives of others rather than people who are merely successful in some way.

Serve Others

The reason why I liked these two quotes together, though, is that it seemed like Ken Blanchard’s quote took Michael Josephson’s quote and went to the next level with it.

It seems to me that Blanchard tells us what it is that gives people purpose and meaning in life that leads to becoming people of significance.

At first, though, Blanchard recognizes that people are going to work to become successful, and there is nothing wrong with wanting to achieve success.

However, he says that if the fruits of success—wealth, recognition, power and status—are all that people are focused on achieving, they are missing the point of what makes one truly successful.

When people focus on significance, they find the most meaningful type of success ever.

And what does Blanchard feel is significance?

“Using your time and talent to serve others.”


You have heard me talk about the importance of serving others numerous times before.

Those of us in leadership positions must have the heart of a servant to really build successful teams and organizations that achieve their greatest potential.

Ken Blanchard is saying the same thing here.

While Michael Josephson says, “A person of character seeks true happiness in living a life of purpose and meaning, placing a higher value on significance than success,” Ken Blanchard defines “living a life of purpose and meaning” as “using your time and talent to serve others.”

Think about the people in your life, whether it be family, friends, co-workers, teams you lead, or anyone else.

Imagine if you focused on being a person of significance in their lives, how many more different types and levels of success you would find yourself seeking to achieve and then, ultimately, achieving.

If you focus your attention and effort on serving others, a natural by-product of that focus is going to be that you help them achieve what they want in life.

The moments that they start to achieve those things, from the “little victories” we spoke of last week to the big victories they are seeking in life, you will know that you had a hand in their success, which means you, too, will have been successful.

As you start to do this more and more and for more and more people, you will be overwhelmed by the success that you will see from them and the success you feel yourself.

More importantly, you will start to understand the power of focusing on being a person of significance in other people’s lives.

Once you get a taste of that kind of power and the feeling that it brings, you will never want it to go away.

You will keep focusing on being a person of significance in others’ lives, someone who makes a difference in their lives by “using your time and talent to serve others.”

I guarantee you that you will never feel a more “truly meaningful success,” and you will know why focusing on significance is so much greater than focusing on success.

You will have found the greatest purpose and meaning in life.

And you and everyone you know will be so glad you did!

 **I have found my greatest purpose and meaning in life by trying to provide kids the best opportunities to have positive athletic experiences. That is why I just started SlamDunk Significance. Don’t forget that if you’re interested in joining me on the SlamDunk Significance mission, there are a few ways to do so:

  1. If you’re a coach, athletic director, or league director, and you would like to have us pay for a speaker to come to your school, fill out the application under the “Schools/Leagues & ADs/Coaches” section on the SlamDunk Significance page.
  2. If you’re a speaker/trainer and you would like to be connected with teams, schools, or leagues looking for professional development for their coaches, kids, administrators, and/or parents, fill out the application under the “Trainers/Speakers” section of the SlamDunk Significance page.
  3. If you’re an athlete, coach, or someone who would like to donate to help teams, schools, and leagues create positive athletic programs for kids by bringing in quality speakers and trainers, click on any button on the SlamDunk Significance page to be taken to our GoFundMe page.
  4. If you would like to volunteer to help out in any way, email me at
  5. SPREAD THE WORD!! Tell anyone and everyone you know about what we are trying to do to help kids have great athletic experiences. And if you know anyone with the financial means to make a donation to our mission, please let them know about it.

When you join us on this mission, you will be focused on a powerful “purpose and meaning” by “using your time and talent to serve others” that will lead you to “truly meaningful success” because you will be “placing a higher value on significance than success.”