Want to be successful in your career and life? Just follow the example of the superstars of business, celebrities, professional athletes and entertainers. Emulate the habits of Tiger Woods (before his personal crisis), Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Lance Armstrong or Sir Richard Branson. Or at the organizational level, just follow the examples of Apple, GE or Google. Thousands of books, movies, seminars, consultants and self-help gurus, exhort people to follow the same steps, habits and secrets of the super successful, and they too will achieve outstanding results.
The problem with this advice is it doesn’t work. When people try to do as suggested, they tend to fail, and become even more demotivated. I’ve coached hundreds of people who came to me with great disappointment or despair, after following the dictums of a recipe for success taken from the lives of the super successful. In some cases they have spent thousands of dollars on seminars, books, personal advisors and media sources.
Successful people are often thought of as being solely responsible for their success. Yet, when we study patterns of promotions, financial compensation, status and career success, it is their partners who may be exerting a bigger influence on their success.