The Significance Factor

By: Wayne Pernell



There is no way to progress in business without focusing on yourself first. To be a good leader, you must have good relationships. And to have good relationships, you must be solid in yourself. So this summary focuses on the individual, with concepts that can be extrapolated for teams.

There are six principles that Dr. Wayne Pernell suggests will help you transform your life into a successful life that truly matters. Let’s begin.

1. Self

Personal power can be found in your ability to choose. If you want, you can be aware, choose freedom and overcome fear to enjoy a life full of engagement.

A DynamicLeader is a person of influence who has the ability to plan strategically, move fluidly, and bounce back resiliently. You can become a DynamicLeader and live a life of Significance. To embrace the concept of the DynamicLeader, you must examine your values. Define your ideal outcome, and determine how you will achieve that.

The Significance Factor begins with the Self. It will help you become a DynamicLeader and produce outstanding results in your journey to success.

Take an introspective journey to find the core of your Self. Explore your personal foundation and values. This is essential. When you understand what you value, you will have certainty about where to put your focus and energy each day.

To determine your personal values, ask yourself “What would you treasure?” With no limitations, think about what you would assess as being the most important in your life.

What would you give energy toward developing? It could be anything from learning to play an instrument to building a new house. Be as specific as you can. Knowing what you want is the first step to getting it.

Know that you deserve it. Say out loud, “I deserve, develop and nurture what I truly treasure.”

Now that you have a framework, let your values guide you. Identify where you are not truly living into your values and strive to do better.

Think about the traits you appreciate in others. If you value it in others, you value it in yourself. Your values are your foundation of the Self.

Moving toward a specific focus gives you a path. Take it.

2. Strategy

After you have clarified your values and vision, your next step is to clearly define the direction that you would like to take.

Strategy is more than just thinking about how to accomplish your mission. To be truly strategic, you need to know your working style. The ideal position is a balance between Inspirational/Strategic and Organisational/Tactical styles of leadership.

Inspirational/Strategic people lead through vision and inspiration. They may not always know how to get a job done, but they are certain that it will get done. They see possibility in situations when others don’t. They see big picture. They are coaches, guides, and cheerleaders. Strategy requires gathering information from trusted sources and making an informed decision. Strategy helps you get to what you ultimately want to achieve.

Being strategic with time is crucial. Time strategy pertains to project management as much as it does time management. Money strategy is important too. Your success depends on your ability to accurately predict the cost of any project or operation. Reach out to people that have more knowledge than you and learn from them.

Operational/Tactical people line things up and accomplish tasks. They get satisfaction from making lists and coding tasks to a timeline. They are less of a big-picture thinker, and more of a get-it-done type. Larger projects typically get broken down into smaller chunks.

The path of true success requires both Inspirational/Strategic tendencies as well as Operational/Tactical. Knowing what works and what doesn’t work is a learning process. Recognise that along the way, you will find styles that best work for you and your projects.

Strategy requires fluidity. You must be able to draw on strengths as a strategic and tactical leader. Learn when to line things up, when to step forward, and when to cheer from the sidelines. Strategy entails a fluidity of seeing one’s self, seeing the big picture, and seeing the tasks required to accomplish that.

3. Success

The next step is to examine how you have gotten to where you are, what your current condition is, and how you view success.

You have an ache for something more. If that ache is strong enough, you can use it for positive, forward action. It can lead you to success.

Look back on your life. Success can be measured by what you’ve done, what you have, and how you feel. Define your personal success. Look at how you feel about what you have accomplished and what you have gained. Then, look forward to see how to build on that to become even more successful.

Think about your personal, professional, financial, social, and spiritual success. Think about what you have done, what you have, and how you feel about it. Take a moment to think about all five categories.

Now, think about what you would treasure in each category. Personally, do you treasure health and fitness? Professionally, would you prefer that your personal value grew or your dollar grew? Financially, what would you nurture? Socially, what would you treasure doing with someone? And with whom would you treasure doing that? What do you treasure in your personal spiritual connection?

As you engage in thinking about success strategically, take three actions toward your desired outcome. The first step is do. Do one thing that moves you toward your treasured outcomes. Then, discover. Examine and explore what is working in your life and what isn’t. Then, develop. Work on your Self with your treasured outcomes in mind. And remember, you are only in competition with your former self – no one else. Be better today than you were yesterday.

4. Spirit

Regardless of your religious practice, the sense of Spirit is important. Here, the word Spirit is used to describe the energy that keeps our hearts beating. It connects us to each other.

Every human has, at some point, experienced a sense of amazement about the world. You can create the conditions to feel that sense of wonder daily. How? By being intentional. Deliberately choose to experience.

Reflect for a moment on what you are thinking right now in this moment. Practice being mindful. Practice being compassionate. Finding compassion for yourself puts you in touch with Spirit. You will become open to positive change. You are on a growth path, and challenges serve to strengthen you.

The quest for truth and authenticity leads to a perfect discomfort of personal vulnerability. Engage with yourself and find that authentic place from which to spring forward. It will drive your productivity and your happiness. It is what becoming a DynamicLeader is all about.

By daring to connect more deeply, you will open a deeper connection in all areas. Your relationships at home and work will improve too.

Be intentional and deliberate. Give your activities your full attention, even things as little as brushing your teeth. Being deliberate means you are living into your purpose and your long-term goals. Act in a way that is congruent with your goals. Being deliberate will take practice, but you can do it.

Pause. Take a deep breath. Be deliberate. Take another one. Feel the air in your lungs. Now, consciously release it. Note how you feel. The practice of being in the moment is about noticing something new. Be present. Connect.

5. Service

Service is about doing good. Find your way to be of service to others. We can create a life where giving back can become a part of who we are. For some, it could be regular monetary donations. For others, it means volunteering their time and talent.

Giving to others is an important part of the path to Significance because it allows us to engage beyond ourselves. And when you practice kindness, you will find new pathways of personal and professional growth.

Think about the resources you have available to you. Contributing to a cause doesn’t have to be a huge sacrifice. Simply ask yourself, “what can I offer?” Then decide when you will do that.

You did not get to where you are by yourself. Give that back, either to the people that helped you, or to others. A major step on the path to creating a life of Significance comes as you find your way to be of service to others.

Being present can be a service to the people you are with. Be a leader in your community or home or workplace. Only by helping your team members succeed will you be able to provide exceptional experiences for your customers.

Every culture needs more people who think and act in ways that are of service to others. To build off the Spirit, being of service is about being present and making deliberate choices to offer yourself to others. Think about where you can make a difference in someone else’s life. Create Significance and watch what happens.

Do random acts of kindness. At the beginning of the day, put six pennies or buttons in your right pocket. Every time you give a compliment or a gesture of service, move one penny to your left pocket. This exercise offers you concrete evidence of your actions compared to your intentions. Try to move all six by the end of the day.

As with anything, practice pays off. Soon you will develop your muscle of Service. You can change someone’s life with a smile, a compliment, or a story. Train yourself to become the person you want to be.

6. Significance

Significance in itself is not a transformational step. You create a life of Significance when you live from your personal values. When you exist and operate from a place of personal values, your truth shines through in everything you do. Your influence increases and you become better. This will cause people to want to be around you, which is a key characteristic of being a leader.

The Significance Factor focuses on transforming your life of success into one of Significance. People of Significance are those that have integrated their definition of self, who can communicate with others with clarity and certainty, and who have a strong sense of direction.

Significance ties the other five elements together. The integration into Significance is what makes you a DynamicLeader.

You cannot become a Significant person without engaging with someone else. Leadership is about relating with other people. Be authentic and live in congruency with your values.

Being a person of influence doesn’t make you a person of significance. Hone your definition of Success and tap into Spirit, and then you will live into Significance. As you Serve others, you make your meaning and you live into Significance.

Significance is about becoming more authentic. Since your journey is about making meaning for yourself and others, recognise that you are in a state of constant growth. Seek clarity, be deliberate, and choose to engage in a way that serves to promote others.

Return to Self. Reflect on Strategy. Set new targets for Success. Connect with something greater and find Spirit. Offer what you have to others, be kind, and live in Service. Integrate all of that, and pause to create meaning along the way. That is the Significance Factor.


Starting with your Self, we explored personal values. Then we focused on Strategy, where you learned that to be a DynamicLeader, you need to move between being a strategic thinker and a tactical manager. Success showed you that there are many definitions of success. Spirit taught you that you are connected to something beyond yourself. Being of Service to others can become a daily practice, which is a major step along the path to Significance.

As you become a person of greater influence, remember to bring significance to your direction. Keep making a difference, keep being even more you, and keep living the life of Significance.