Former boss and mentor has described me as the most tenacious person he has ever known. The truth is, I refuse to succumb to failure. Whether you call that tenacious, determined or downright stubborn, the objective is the same—succeed at whatever it is that you set out to do. My advice is simple: Whether learning something new, solving a complex problem or getting the right job, never give up!

Hard work is the foundation for success. To achieve the greatest rewards in your chosen field without some sacrifice would be rare. In today’s high-energy, high-expectations world, success without a major commitment of time and energy is probably impossible.

While tenacity and hard work have been at the core of my success, I would like to suggest several other attributes that have served me well and should prove helpful in advancing your career:

PLAY FAIR. Always understand the other side of every issue. Show empathy for the opposing view and strive to reach a conclusion that is fair to all parties. Be totally honest in your representations and show integrity by never allowing someone else to settle for a gross inequity. The right answer is the one that is most fair to everyone in direct correlation to the risk each has invested and the reward that will be realized.

TAKE RISKS. I have learned that you must perpetually explore new horizons. I was always accepting new challenges that were a stretch beyond any current level of knowledge I then possessed. You cannot reach the top with one year of experience successfully repeated 20 times. Avoiding risks may result in the loss of a critical lesson.

LEAD BY EXAMPLE. Never ask anyone to do something that you would not be willing to do yourself. Setting the tone and direction are parts of leadership. I tried to observe those who came before me, and emulated what I thought were their positive characteristics. If I have the good fortune to motivate a change in behavior that enhances an individual’s level of performance, I would consider this the ultimate compliment.

Please, never stop learning, never stop growing and never be afraid of a new challenge. Step out with honor, enthusiasm and vigor; and, with a little luck, we will see you at the top! Never give up!