Professionals can be super successful by learning these from successful entrepreneurs


At the outset, these are the traits which can bring about your success

– Admitting when you are wrong.

– You are your own boss.

– Do more to predict your boss’ requirements.

– What can you improve?

– Adapting best practices from others.

– Crediting your team for the success.

Successful professionals are just as celebrated as eminent entrepreneurs. Indian CEOs like Satya Nadella at Microsoft, Sundar Pichai at Google and others back home rank amongst entrepreneur idols. What sets them apart?

They seem to speak and act differently from other professionals and at their pinnacle of success, you cannot distinguish them from the founder entrepreneurs they replaced. What makes a professional hyper-successful through his journey? Let’s look at the common traits of super-successful professionals.

“I was wrong”

Are you someone who readily admits that you are personally wrong? You acknowledge fresh data even if it comes from your junior most colleague and discard the old plan that belonged to you. Like a good entrepreneur, you are simply keen about doing the best thing than about who was right and who gets blamed.

You think about what would you change if you had the opportunity to restart a project from scratch? Your approach does not worry about looking bad on account of wrong decisions. Like an entrepreneur, you are concerned about what you learnt from mistakes and how you can squeeze the most from it. You look forward to making corrections, trying new ideas and celebrating contributors who helps make the task successful.

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“I am self-employed”

Who is your boss? The entrepreneur’s answer is obvious. But even the Successful salesperson speaks no differently. She reports only to herself and acts as if she owns the company. If you are one, you are self-motivated, and driven to greater impact every day. This is the stuff that no senior at work can help you develop.

Once your mindset shifts and you know that you are responsible for finding your joy and success, you will find the elusive new ‘ownership’ of outcomes akin to an entrepreneur. Does this mean you must know all the answers? Of course not, but you will do everything to get there: rope in advisers, make cross functional teams, think out of the box and even raise hell to get attention when required. Like an entrepreneur your conversation changes from what works for you to what works for the business.

“Will this customer repeat?”

They say Amazon is the most customer-centric company in the world because the founder Jeff Bezos has made it so. Keep the customer coming back and everything else follows. So it is for the successful professional.

While the average Jane sticks to her job and stays within the boundaries of procedures and rules, you focus on keeping your customer happy who may be your team leader, project manager or CFO. You do everything a B2C company might do: pre-empt the needs of customers, look for opportunities to deliver customer delight and all this while keeping the costs down (read effort and time) for a sustainable and lasting success.

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“Isn’t this legacy?”

The successful entrepreneur is paranoid in his efforts to build the best business he can. He does not place his own work on a holy pedestal. He is willing to tear down all past legacies to build a better future. Similarly, do you view your current state of business as one that is mutable and can be constantly improved? Like the best CEOs, question the basics, review what gets you sales, how do you reduce costs, get better profitability and satisfy your clients in a superior fashion?

“I copied this”

The generation’s most revered entrepreneurs are skilled copycats—think Steve Jobs, Richard Branson and the ilk. And so are super successful professionals. Like a good entrepreneur, the successful CEO is focused on solving real problems for his customers.

In this journey he happily copies best practices from others and learns from his fiercest competitors. If you are not ashamed about admitting that someone has done the job better and are always looking for ways to not reinvent the wheel, you are a secure, confident and super-efficient professional. Make sure you give credit where it is due and are able to customize the tool, analysis or strategy you are copying to get the best results.

“My team delivers more than me”

Of course, the number one strategy of Successful entrepreneurs and professionals is putting together an A-team. As one of them, you build strong communication skills to motivate, train and inspire others to become their best selves. You spend 50% of your time working on people in the team to get them to a place where they can contribute and deliver outcomes. Thus, you free up individual team members to deliver 100% of their output while you as their enabler have only part of your time left over for your own work.

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“I can’t sit”

An empty corner room at the office would kill an entrepreneur. So, does getting kicked upstairs kill these highly successful professionals? They would rather quit, take pay cut or work at a lesser place as long as they get to contribute. Thus, they work longer than the average Joe and build up the hours to be successful. So, if you must make it there, remember not to be by the lure of perks, ESOPs or networking events. There is more fun in being on top of the next big thing in your company or business unit.


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