What Is The #1 Key To Success?

Dr. Geoff Smart: The Key To Success Is Building A Talented Team

To start off, I’ll tell you what the key to lasting success isn’t. It isn’t financially savvy, competitiveness, humility or even hard work. Lots of people embody those traits, so they won’t cause you to stand out from the crowd. No, what it really takes to be successful is hiring a talented team.

Successful leaders aren’t successful just because of the things that they do on their own. They find success in hiring the right people for the right jobs. That’s ultimately what leaders do: they assemble talent and allocate it toward a worthy goal. They have to understand a person’s strengths and weaknesses and perceive if and how that person will further the mission of the team, whatever that may be. With a stellar team in place, the decisions of one person become less and less important.

If you don’t think that hiring a talented team is the ultimate sign of your success as a business leader, then maybe I can convince you if I approach my point from a different angle. In my book Who, which I wrote with Randy Street, one of the first things we established was that one of the biggest problems facing companies today is unsuccessful hiring. At the time, it cost companies $1.5 million per year, and the average company had a success rate of just 50%. Wouldn’t it make sense that solving this problem, which is arguably the most important problem many companies face, would be the key to lasting success?

Marshall Goldsmith: The Key To Success Is Creating Lasting Positive Change In Yourself And Others

I would agree with Geoff that success isn’t dependent on any of the common, pithy traits like trust, passion, honesty or engagement, but I don’t think it necessarily has to do so much with a leader’s team. I think that lasting success still starts when one person commits to make the most useful change that will bring about the most good for their business.

So, while having a talented team is important, at the end of the day, if you’re not committed to changing yourself, then you won’t be able to enact positive change in others when needed either. Your lasting success can only start with you, no matter how much talent you surround yourself with.

That’s why in my book, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There, I emphasize so many different “behavior derailers,” like passing judgment, making destructive comments, telling the world how smart you are, etc. Changing these things within y

Geoff Smart

Dr. Geoff Smart is the chairman and founder of ghSMART, which serves Fortune 500 companies and helps their CEOs make impactful, successful decisions. He is also the author of the New York Times best-selling book, Who, and many others.

Marshall Goldsmith

Marshall Goldsmith is one of the most successful leadership coaches currently working. He is the only two-time #1 Leadership Thinker in the world, as ranked by Thinkers 50. He has written 42 books, many of which are best-sellers.

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