Here's the secret sauce right now: it's about humility. A delicate balance between talent, hard work and charisma. Most importantly it takes being a nice human being who always sees the bigger picture (how one provides value to others) while being self-aware of what one's strengths and weaknesses are because this is for the long-term game not a short-term win.
Let's say it's you who's looking for success. You're looking to up your game by getting a higher role in your current company, for example. This goes for if you're at the top of your firm or just starting out as an intern. Assuming you've already been working hard at your craft, what about your behavior with those around you? Have you been willing to notice and act on where others might have needed help that may not fall into your job description? Let's say someone is writing a big and important research paper on something and they're hitting a wall. You might be grabbing lunch with them and they say something about it. Do you say "oh man I hope you get your creative juices flowing soon" or do you jump in to say "let me take a look and see if I find anything I could help you out on!" It's this initiative that sticks...why? Because you're changing that energy around others not just in perception but also reality, you're basically putting yourself in the SEAT of leadership. That value exchange will pay off dividends in the long run.
Another example...let's say you walk into a conference and you notice everyone on their phone. Do you pick yours up to because you feel awkward, or do you purposefully start to talk to other people about how they're doing to break the ice? Are you going to ask your coworker how their sick parent is doing because you saw something they posted on Facebook? Are you going to be a human being and be a nice person, despite the fact that they're checking Instagram? It's a point of humility and humanity to try to connect to people. It's being a nice person with a little charm.
Let's also talk about talent. There's a great quote I posted the other day that seemed to get to people, I love it:
Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.
- STEPHEN KING
I love this quote because it's simply not enough to have the talent, you have to back it up with a lot of hard. serious. work.
Too many people are running around thinking they have the next big "app" idea or venture to start, and the thing they don't realize is YES you can do all those things, but don't think that success will automatically fall into your lap because it most likely won't. Don't expect stuff to get handed to you. You have to work for it and grind on that every day.
My dad taught me about grit. He's in his late 60s and still hustles unlike anyone I've never seen. He taught me that despite the fact that you might have a propinquity to be good at something, if you're not putting in the sweat you won't make the LONG RUN game. And life and career are long-term games, not short term wins. Never settle for thinking you've made it because the second you do, someone younger/faster/better will run past you and laugh in your face. Stay nimble, humble, fast and keep your head on right.
So full circle: focus on the end game. Be the person who is always helping others, it's not about you and it's not about your ego, and it's not about you one-upping someone else because it's really that dynamic between you and others that will help you excel. Other's are your *mirror* for success. You gotta be a team player and focus on how you can help others, because in the end you'll get your "reward" from this life of money, people liking you etc but DO NOT focus on that because if that's what you want in the first place you'll never get it. Don't expect that, it's the value you give to others and if you're so lucky to be rewarded then so be it, and that's the kind of focus you'll need to get ahead. It's about the balance of everything and the humility of being a human being.
Love you guys, Tündi*