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Tough Steps to Being the Best

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on June 2, 2009

Wanna win? Wanna be the best? Wanna become No. 1 at what you do? There is a way. It isn’t easy, but it is simple.

1. Never graduate from grunt work. Be willing to roll up your sleeves and dig in with your employees to finish the big task or complete the necessary project.

2. Never rest on your laurels. Don’t live off of your previous successes. Show your commitment by doing work each and every day.

3. Never stop learning. This means having an attitude that drives the individual to find out the why and how of things, rather than just the what.

4. Outwork everyone around you. The only place you’ll find "success" before "work" is in the dictionary. It is such a treat these days to come across someone who really knows how to work.

5. Be opinionated, but teachable—and always improving. In order to be decisive, you’ve got to be able to form an opinion on an issue, and then be willing to stand up for it. Concurrently, you’ve got to be humble enough at any time, to change that opinion if the facts change or become clearer. It is this balance between self-confidence and humility that often distinguishes a successful person from a mediocre one.

6. Serve others. The great philosopher and physician Albert Schweitzer said, "The only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve."

7. Be better at the end of the day than when it started. Take life one step at a time. The goal is to break down your life into daily improvements.

In the end though, the key is to have a stick-to-it-ness that will test even the strongest discipline.

Richard D. Hanks
Mindshare Technologies
Salt Lake City, Utah

Reader Comments

Yolanda Washington

June 3, 2009 2:28 PM

Thanks for sharing this inciteful article. I have gained a new quote as a result: Balance between self-confidence and humility often distinguishes a successful person from a mediocre one.

Gini Dietrich

June 4, 2009 11:34 AM

I love this article! I've read it multiple times and am including it on my delicious page so I never forget to refer to it.

One thing I would add - always be a mentor and coach, which could go along with serving others. One of the hardest lessons I learned as I transitioned from working in the business to working on the business is that it's my job to mentor and coach my team. It's not the job of another single person here. That way the entire company is the best...and not just me.

Tammi Brannan

June 4, 2009 11:56 AM

Thank you for this. I especially like #5 - obtaining a balance between self-confidence and humility. This is a new one for me, and it's the best way I've seen to articulate it. I find myself too often giving into the opinion of others, as if they know better. Sometimes they do, but sometimes my own instuition is exactly what's needed. In my business, I can do this and I love it. In my life, I'm still working on following my own voice. Thank you, Richard. (:

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