Originally posted on 16 Dec 2013

There’s an interesting article by Eric Barker of Barking up the Wong Tree, here.

He asked: What did they all have in common?

In a study of general managers in industry, Professor John Kotter reported that many of them worked 60 to 65 hours per week–which translates into at least six 10-hour days.

When Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the Hungarian psychology professor, studied geniuses for his book Creativity, he realised something fascinating about IQ. No one who has ever changed the world had an IQ under 130 — but the difference between 130 and 170 was negligible.The conclusion: As long as your IQ is past the 130 threshold, it’s all about how hard you work.

Warren Buffett once said:“The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say “no” to almosteverything.” In other words, saying “no” gives them the time to accomplish much more.

In his classic essay Managing Oneself, Peter Drucker is very clear: ignore your weaknesses and keep improving your strengths.

Eric Barker says: In identifying opportunities for improvement, don’t waste time cultivating skill areas where you have little competence. Instead, concentrate on—and build on—your strengths.

Summing Up

Eight things you can do to be like the best (I recommend you read the article to understand the author’s advice):

1. Stay Busy

2. Just Say No

3. Know What You Are

4. Build Networks

5. Create Good Luck

6. Have Grit

7. Make Awesome Mistakes

8. Find Mentors

Martin Pollins

Managing Director at One Smart Place
Martin Pollins is a Chartered Accountant and MBA with wide experience in corporate finance and business management. He has served on the boards of several companies, including those listed on the London Stock Exchange, AIM and OFEX. He is Chairman and Founder of OneSmartPlace and was a Council member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales from 1988 to 1996. He was managing partner of PRB Martin Pollins, based in Sussex, the first Accountancy firm to advertise on British television.He went on to create and launch the CharterGroup Partnership (the UK’s first Accountancy network) and then LawGroup UK (at the time, one of the largest networks of lawyers in the UK). In recent years, he helped to raise several £millions to fund British films such as The Da Vinci Code, Bridge of San Luis Rey, Head in the Clouds and Merchant of Venice with actors such as Charlize Theron, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, F. Murray Abraham. Kathy Bates, Gabriel Byrne, Geraldine Chaplin, Tom Hanks, Ian McKellen, Audrey Tautou, Penélope Cruz, Steven Berkoff, Lynn Collins, Jeremy Irons, Joseph Fiennes and many more.

He has written over 700 business publications (see Glossaries at http://onesmartplace.com/resources/glossaries/) and is editor of Better Business Focus (see http://onesmartplace.com/resources/better-business-focus-magazine). His Blog, on a wide range of subjects can be found at: http://onesmartplace.com/blog/
Martin Pollins

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