Learning from Successful People

It’s a new year and we’ve likely all made resolutions to improve ourselves. If you’re striving to do better in the workplace, you’ll find the observations and advice offered in 8 Things Remarkably Successful People Do interesting and useful.

The author Jeff Haden insists that successful business people work differently, putting in more hours than most and viewing an achieved goal as a “launching pad for achieving another huge goal.” Those are certainly admirable traits, but a few of Haden’s other observations really resonated with me.

Hade writes, for example, that successful business people “avoid the crowds.” “Joining the crowd–no matter how trendy the crowd or ‘hot’ the opportunity–is a recipe for mediocrity.” Of course, the same is true of investing. Jump on the hot stock bandwagon and you’re sure to be in for a disappointing ride.

Haden also observes that successful business people “start at the end.” He writes, “Aim for the ultimate. Decide where you want to end up. That is your goal. Then you can work backwards and lay out every step along the way.” Of course, these instructions are encapsulated by the financial planning process. And research shows that investors with a written plan and specific goals not only make better decisions, but have the fortitude to stay invested in choppy markets.

Of course, if you read the article, you will likely find other observations that relate more directly to your own work. However, Haden’s final point about successful business people applies across all lines of work: “They are never too proud to admit they made a mistake…say they are sorry…have big dreams…admit they owe their success to others…poke fun at themselves..ask for help.” No matter how hard we work, it’s impossible to know all the answers–and the best and the brightest always seem to know when to ask for help.

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