Over the years, I've been asked many times for my thoughts on what it takes to be successful. Is it the right education, the right connections, luck...or some combination of the above.
Certainly those things help, but you can point to numerous examples of people who had incomplete educations, no connections, and rose to the top of their respective heaps. So what is the secret to success?
To be successful you need to get three things right. Getting these three things right won't guarantee success, but you can be pretty sure that success is highly unlikely without them. What are these three things that make up the secret to success?
1. Show up
2. Do the work
3. Don't be a jackass
Showing up means coming to the job, whatever the job is, with your very best intention and focus. The job matters.
Doing the work means doing ALL the work--the big parts, the little parts, and the parts nobody asked you to do but that you know need to be done. Doing the work also means putting in all the effort to prepare yourself and to get good...really good, at the work.
Don't be a jackass. Anyone is only as successful as their colleagues allow them to be. If people cheer for you, then you are way ahead of the game. If people flinch when you enter a room, then game over.