As I reflect on my career and my personal life, I ask the age-old questions, “What does it mean to be successful?” and “How do you attain success?” I won’t be the first to state that “success” is how you define it. It is a combination of being happy with who you are, what you have achieved and what you have given back to others. Since it means different things to different people, there is obviously no set destination and no clear road map for attaining success. It is personal. As I, like so many others, continue to travel down the path, I will share a few of my thoughts on what I have found to be helpful:
- Understand what is important to you and prioritize with that in mind. This includes what you need professionally, intellectually and emotionally. You need to find that right balance and be satisfied with it. You can’t be all things to all people.
- Learn your strengths and maximize them. Very often we only focus on improving our weaknesses. An even greater benefit can be obtained by understanding and leveraging your strengths to ensure you are taking on positions and challenges that you can successfully master.
- Learn from your mistakes and your successes. Remember that everyone makes mistakes, but the biggest mistake is not to learn from the past.
- Take accountability—you will always be recognized.
- Follow your instincts. I have always found that if something feels wrong, it probably is.
- Continuously challenge yourself to learn new things. It helps to make things exciting and instills a breath of fresh air.
- Learn from others—peers, bosses, mentors, employees.
- There is no substitute for passion.
- Honesty and ethics should never be compromised.