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21 Golden Tips On How To Have A Successful Career

softball success
Written by Faizan Patankar

This article is curated from a question on Quora. Matt Wyndowe, Uber head of product partnerships, replied to the question “What is some good general career advice?” below:

softball success

In his response he lists the lessons he learnt from the business school at Stanford. These are really good and something that will shape your thinking on how to have a successful career. Success means different things to different people but one thing is common – the desire to do well. To be successful in business or at work or in your job search… And this is really only do-able when you have that something different to give than the rest.

Here’s the post from Quora. You can read further answers to the same question by other people on the link here.

1. Successful people listen. You have two ears and one mouth. Use them in that ratio. You learn more when you listen than when you talk.

2. Pareto principle: Always look for the 80/20. 80 percent of the value is delivered by 20 percent of the product/service. Focus on that 20 percent.

3. The importance of passion. When Warren Buffet finds people to run his business, his key criteria is to find somebody who would do the job whether they would get paid or not.

4. Be likable. People who are liked have the wind at their backs. So be liked.

5. Just when you think you’ve got it 100% right, you can be taken down.

6. People who are lucky make their own luck. And you only make your own luck by staying in the game.

7. Put on “the cloak” of leadership. A large part of your role is to inspire and motivate your employees, and people will look to you for confidence. If you were on a plane with engine problems, you don’t want the pilot to say “I am exploring a number of options and hope that…”, you want him to say, “I will do whatever it takes to land this plane.”

8.The outcome of a negotiation is largely a function of your alternatives. Know your next best option.

9. You will only be as good as the people you will recruit. Media & culture celebrate individuals, but teams succeed.

10. The best scientists can explain complex issues in simple terms. Pretty good scientists can explain complex issues in complex terms.

11. A’s hire A’s. B’s hire C’s. Always strive to hire people better than you are.

12. Be a clear, fair manager. For example, when speaking to a business unit leader that isn’t succeeding, say: “I want a strategy to win in 1-page and the objectives we need to hit each quarter to reach them.”

13. When considering a business opportunity, look for change. What inflection point are you taking advantage of? Without change, there is rarely opportunity.

14. When in doubt, just keep selling. Not a bad default strategy to communicate to your team.

15. Be humble. The markets are brutal to those who are arrogant.

16. Understand what you don’t do well. Surround yourself with people and resources that can do these things well.

17. Practice self-discipline. Set targets, have timetables, have clear unambiguous goals. Life passes quickly – days, weeks, months, years, a lifetime. “Regret for the things we did, can be tempered by time. It is regret for the things that we did not do that is inconsolable.”

18. Be yourself. In group settings, you usually serve the group best by thoughtfully expressing exactly what you are thinking. Not necessarily what the group wants to hear.

19. Learn to relax. Often overachievers are passionate about many things. Yet  it’s important to learn not to always care so much. Try being indifferent to things that aren’t that important.

20. You’ve got to give trust to get trust. Treat people as you would want to be treated. Sometimes people take advantage of you. That’s fine, don’t do business with them again.

21. Shoot for the moon.To be successful, don’t follow the pack. If you want to win, don’t hedge.

These tips are really helpful and irrespective of what you do, will benefit you. I like the Pareto example the most – I’ve come across it in a few places and it’s true. The 80/20 rule is something I am personally trying to see in a lot of assignments I do.

If you have any other to add to the list, comment below and I’d be happy to update the post with them.

About the author

Faizan Patankar

I started Career Geek Blog in 2011 to share my experience in job-hunting. I now focus on careers industry and blogging is just a tool to share that info. Love hacking careers. During the day I focus on my hobby - Engineering.