How Many Times Do We Have to Rehash Why Successful People are Successful…

Ngram:People Reaching Their Goal

The American populous has this repeated love affair with the concept of why successful people are successful.  In fact one could also say that this is only second to “fad diet books” in the priority of pop culture books which are sold.  Everyone has a fascination with being the next Donald Trump or Steve Jobs as why not they have G6’s lots of money and well both have bad hair.  Guess it’s not only love that money can’t seem to buy, however the two gentlemen picked where “picked” for a reason.

As the first was born with a silver spoon in his mouth which he turned to gold, and the latter (Job’s) jumped past “silver” straight to inventing a platinum spoon for himself.  Picking these two was a logical selection as mentioned Trump was born into the “have’s” and Jobs became a “have”; therefore what they have in common is important.

As what got me thinking of this was yet another rehash of the concept set in a Harvard Business Review  story titled “Nine Things Successful People Do Differently”  and guess what, they say it’s not who they are, however what they do!  Wow that was a waste of electrons wasn’t it, how many times can people write this stuff?  To this end it was to Google Ngram that I went to answer this and typed the string “people reach their goals” then pressed enter.  The resulting graph was very interesting as this phrase does not appear in mass till around 1959 and zooms upward in the mid 90’s (see graph or click HERE to actually run).

Back to the HBR story the first on Heidi Grant Halvorson, the author’s list was to “Get Specific”, ok getting specific you might lose 5 pounds, however you’re not going to become “The Don” nor the “Job’s Miester” as here there is only one word which can be first on the list of successful people.  Yes the word that all people fear in one fashion or form, “Risk”.  The more “Risk”, the more Reward it’s that simple and there is no way around it so don’t waste your time looking as life is Zero Sum so if you don’t buy a ticket you can’t win!  Now you can whine about it, use various geek quant based methods to minimize it in your mind however reality is always different and life WILL toss you a Black Swan.

However “it is what it is”, being a roll of the dice plain and simple, as how many of you go to work every day like your job is on the line?  That’s what I figured, not many hands raised out there, well guess what for most of you it is so why act otherwise?

Yes this is “risk”, however do you think you just get paid to go and sit in your chair all day long?  If you do guess what, someone has got your name and it’s on a list and they just haven’t made it to your desk yet.  We are all paid for performance which also involves innovation as if we are not adding value every day, then we are not earning our paycheck and both are driven by “risk”.  As do you think either “the Donald” or “Steve Job’s” avoid taking risks…


About Joseph Campbell

As a strong believer in the fact that "people work for people", it has been a life driver to better to understand the complexities of the various aspects which drive efficiency within this axiom, especially the concepts of leadership. Supporting this, I have been fortunate enough to having experienced this as leader on a global basis over the last decade and half. During this time it has been clear there are three core drivers being Life, Leadership and Economics.
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1 Response to How Many Times Do We Have to Rehash Why Successful People are Successful…

  1. The Hook says:

    I couldn’t agree more.

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