10 Brief Thoughts On Success

Be Wise

This is hard to do, it is easy to be intelligent about things, it is moderately hard to make decisions, combining those two things seems to be one of the most difficult things to do in life. When you combine a level of intelligence about a subject with the ability to make good decisions on that subject you begin to exhibit wisdom. It comes with experience, education, and a willingness to take risks.

Needs Are Important

Understanding the needs of the people you are working with is critical. This takes emotional intelligence, this takes experience, and this takes a willingness to listen. Regardless of the people you are working with – 3 billion customers, 3 - $1b customers, or 3 peer groups in your organization – understanding their needs in a meaningful way is the only way you will be able to work with them and deliver value that someone will pay for.

The End Is The Beginning

Learning from past experiences and figuring out how to take those lessons to improve future endeavors is critical to success. Too often failures result in blaming others or refusal to recognize areas of contribution. Past success breeds a feeling of superiority that is unfounded for anyone. All successes and failures need to be owned and reflected on if they are going to serve as lessons to make individuals and teams more successful in the future.

Everyone Needs Motivation

Regardless of who they are or what they have done, receiving motivation is a sure way to accelerate getting things done. Giving motivation can be exhausting and rewarding at the same time and should be applied given to anyone who needs it – whether you work for them, they work for you, or some other combination. Always try to motivate others to do great things and the rewards will come back to you.

Creativity Comes In Many Forms

The simplest creative elements are usually the best – don’t overthink things, find time to play, and let yourself be creative. There is a Japanese story – when a little girl kept wearing the wrong shoe on the wrong foot, her parents found a solution. There was half a smiley face on either shoe. The smiley face was complete only when she wore her shoes the correct way. Problem solved. It can be as simple as that if we use our creativity.

Building Trust Is Important

This one seems obvious, but it is often forgotten. Trust is something that is built over time and needs to be continually fed. If you have a relationship with a business partner, a spouse, an employee, a boss, any of these require trust and intentionally doing things to build that trust goes a long way to a successful relationship. Trust enables heated debates to come to a happy end, disagreements to be opportunities, and failure to be ok.

All Feedback Is Good Feedback

Good and bad feedback go hand in hand. Yes, people need to be allowed to fail – but they also need to know what was good about their approach to the solution. They also need to hear and be willing to accept the feedback about what they did wrong that led to the failure. The same holds true for feedback on successful endeavors, the quest to get there wasn’t perfect and feedback, good and bad, needs to be given.

Learn To Deal With People

Kids, partners, employees, it doesn’t matter who they are, we live in a social world and dealing with people on a regular basis is important. Yes it can be hard, especially for introverts and people with Asperger’s… Regardless, it is an important skill successful people need to come to grips with whether it be easy or hard to do so.

Stay Visible

Any ounce of success means nothing if it is not followed by the action of continued participation. You need to be visible in good times, as well as when there are problems to address.

This Is A No Brainer

Legacy is important. I am nearly done reading a biography on Andrew Carnegie and for as horrible of a guy he was to work for, deep down he yearned for an equal society and worked throughout his life to build a legacy of greatness. The same holds true for anyone to be successful, they need to foster that success into a long term legacy of greatness – at home with their offspring or in society, it doesn’t really matter – one can’t be truly successful without leaving some form of record of their success behind.

What do you think? Anything more important that I or the original authors missed?

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