I was recently interviewed by Dan Schawbel for Forbes on entrepreneurship. Dan has a keen interest in the changing nature of work, personal branding in the Age of Now, and is the author of the upcoming book Promote Yourself: The New Rules For Career Success. You could say he’s the Millennial version of Tom Peters(!), so it’s not surprising that his questions were focused on what it takes to survive, succeed and grow in business.
One of the questions Dan asked was what I thought were the top qualities and skills that helped me get to where I am today. “Radical Optimism” was my answer. Radical Optimism is not just about seeing the world through rose colored glasses, and it is definitely not about naiveté. To have Radical Optimism means to recognize and act on opportunities that will make the world a better place. By doing so you are elevating the environment around you, edifying the company you keep, and improving your own personal position. Like JFK said, “a rising tide floats all boats.”
The other key traits that I believe lead to success are focus, commitment and discipline. Choose three things to be good at, and make the decision to become great at them. Deciding what you are good at is half the battle won. To quote another visionary, Edward de Bono, “There’s no point being brilliant at the wrong thing.” Once you have decided what to focus on, improve your performance with knowledge, understanding and empathy. Fine tune your intuition so that you can trust your gut when decision time calls. Then get into it.
Read the full interview here.