Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Why This Is Hard Work's Right Hand On Your Path To Success

Thanksgiving week is a time to reflect on all of the things you are thankful for.  Certainly number one on your list, just like on my own, is good health.  After all, we cannot take our good health for granted.  The same goes with our families and the bonds that keep them being an integral part of our own lives.  Where would we be without the support of our loved ones?

Now onto the less obvious, but equally important traits that keep us looking golden and feeling one-hundred.  Among these is the previously posted about quality of Hard Work.  If you're a hard worker, consider this another reason to lift your champagne cup this holiday season and take a sip.  Not everyone has this trait.  Success on your terms is almost guaranteed if you are a slave to your dreams.

After some deep reflection, I cannot come up with an alternative number two on the list that accounts for people's personal success.  Hands down the number two factor on my list after hard work is confidence.  Are you a naturally confident person?  Confidence is what feeds the fire of your continuous efforts to make something happen.  Without confidence, future success is nearly impossible to materialize.

Look, I'm a former "illegal alien" who found personal success despite unfavorable odds.  The formula has never failed me: Hard Work + Confidence = Success.   Think of a time you experienced personal success.  Did your success equation include hard work and confidence?  Most likely it did.

How does confidence impact your personal success in today's economy?  Confidence is now more important than humility.  Humility is extremely difficult to pull in the 21st Century.  In 2001, Jim Collins authored what was to be and still is a widely read treatise on leadership: Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...and Others Don't.  It is one of my favorite business books.  Collins explained that great businesses (as opposed to good ones) are led by a Level 5 leader, "an executive in whom extreme personal humility blends paradoxically with intense professional will."  If these type of people were scarce then, they are the metaphoric needle in a haystack today.

We are living in an era where confidence is lacking in multiple institutions.  Both the public and private sectors lack trust and confidence in our political leaders.  The public lacks confidence in the private sector to lead us out of our economic stagnation.  We even see a lack of confidence in publicly traded companies.  The evidence is clear.  Many of them would rather buy back their own shares, increase their dividend, or worse, do nothing with their free cashflow, leaving investing in themselves for a more certain tomorrow.  The confidence crisis is real, and exacerbated by the growing global insecurity.

Too much confidence can turn into arrogance, and indeed, even braggadocio.  It used to be a put-off.  Donald Trump has somehow managed to make it into a turn-on, mostly in the eyes of people who lack confidence in themselves...the weak-willed who have found someone in Trump who can get away with saying what they have always wanted to say but didn't...out of fear of sounding racist, sexist, homophobic, wrong, etc.

There is no mistaking the fact that if you are to be successful, you will need to find the right mix of confidence that works for your arena.  This is not the time to have humility, not when the money is chasing the stars and luminosity is your biggest weapon.  So if you're it!  Save it for a different occasion.  Go out into the world a bundle of confidence day in and day out.  Not you?  Then fake it until you make it because the last thing you want is for someone to mistake your humility for doubt.  Just ask Marissa Mayer at Yahoo Inc. how things are going for her.

Thanks for reading!  Until next time.  Don't forget to subscribe on your way out.

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