Each person’s path to success is unique, but there are common elements that impact all of us. To succeed in the corporate world, I would recommend that you establish an area of expertise and find a mentor who can guide you in your career. In my opinion, mentors cannot be assigned. You will find them through working with people you admire and with whom you share a common interest. Your mentors should be people who will push you to do better and be available to advise you.

In addition to having a mentor, it is important that you study and work hard to learn about your chosen profession. Think big and aim high. Always focus on the ideal state. Where should things be? How should the process work? What should be happening? Then figure out how to get there.

Be sure to learn from your experiences, the good ones and the bad ones. Take time to reflect upon why something was successful, along with celebrating that success. Mistakes and missteps can be painful, but be sure to analyze the causes so that you do not repeat your error.

Focus on people. Always try to understand others’ interests and motivations and treat them with dignity and respect.

Gaining knowledge of your field through your mentors, study and experience will give you expertise, which will give you credibility and, ultimately, influence. Setting clear priorities and goals, for your life as well as for your work, will help you develop a plan of action and follow through on it.

It is important not to make commitments that you cannot keep, as that has an effect on your credibility with your mentors and peers. Also, a key to success is building a support system of family, friends, church or other organizations that broaden your view and reenergize you. Never forget to recognize and thank all the people who support and help you in your career.

Finally, be a mentor. Surround yourself with the best and the brightest, and give them every opportunity to succeed.