Monday, December 29, 2008

What Makes Super Success?

I just finished reading Malcolm Gladwell's new book, Outliers. It is as thought-provoking as his last two. He takes a detailed look at why people are successful and has found some pretty amazing theories.

Some reasons for wide success are the date of your birth, the decade you were born and your ethnicity in relation to your chosen career. One theme threading through his various case studies is that each person would not have been the wild success that they are without the help of someone else. Bill Gates needed the mother's club at his school that bought a computer for the students. Some people had wonderful mentors and other received financial assistance.

In this last week of the year, don't let an opportunity to pass you by. Think about the person you may have met at a networking event in December that could benefit from a little attention. Give them a call and invite them to coffee. Just the fact that you are showing interest will probably will them a little more energy to keep on, keepin' on. I made one of those calls today, expecting the person to not remember me, but they did remember and seemed delighted. We have an appointment next week.

When I think back over my career, there are several names that stand out. They were not managers. They were just ordinary people. John Steele and I worked together at a long ago business. He took me under his wing, just because. And I learned so much about the "real" sales world from him. Rita Long was my Dale Carnegie instructor. She asked me to be her graduate assistant which meant I got to watch her in action while I was sitting at the back of the room. Rita showed me how to motivate people in the way she managed her Carnegie class. She made her students feel really good about themselves.

Your legacy could be that someday the super successful person will credit you with being the catalyst to their success. And if that isn't the best that can be, I don't know what is!

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