Friday, January 06, 2006

Secrets of success

Another year, another perfomance management cycle. In my different organizations, I've gone through different iterations of this ... from quick feedack focused to a full system of setting objectives early in the year which are then tracked and graded. I've never been impressed with any of the systems. Good intentions, but not sure whether the results are worth the effort. But as I was going through the process, I started to think about what actually makes a person successful. I think it boils down to five aspects. Either alone or combined, these are what drive success.

  1. Luck - nothing else to say here, but I believe 10% of those who succeed do so through luck
  2. Passion - Really caring about what you are doing
  3. Skill - Being good at what you are doing
  4. Dedication - willing to work the extra hours
  5. Likability - believe it or not, 80% of people would rather work with someone incompetent, but likable as opposed to the other way around. If you are likable, you get opportunities, people cut you breaks, etc
  6. Defining your own success - not letting other people define your boundaries, but setting them yourself

No one possesses all of these. Having one aspect probably allows you to be successful some of the time. Having 2 or 3 probably sets you up for life.

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