To be a success at anything in life I have found that you need three basic things: a passion for what you are doing, the ability to work tremendously hard, and a total commitment to excellence. I have yet to find anyone that is considered a success in their field that is missing one of these key ingredients.
As a YPO (Young President's Organization) member I have been fortunate enough to meet and work with some amazing entrepreneurs and business leaders. Recently a YPO friend of mine was interviewed on Inc.com. David Morrow is an incredible entrepreneur and has the three traits mentioned above in spades. As an All-American lacrosse player for Princeton he started Warrior Sports in his dorm room to solve a problem, he kept bending his lacrosse stick. He now leads a $200 million a year global business. I have never spent time with him where I did not walk away having learned something important while at the same time being impressed with his complete passion for what he does and his drive to be the best.
In this short video clip, Inc.com asks Dave about the benefits of manufacturing in the US vs. China and even though not asked directly about these traits, you can quickly see them highlighted in his answer. I love his quote, "Your product is the heart and soul of your brand. You have to ensure it is excellent." He built Warrior Sports on a commitment to excellence and that is why when anyone wants to purchase the best lacrosse and hockey equipment in the world they look for the name WARRIOR.
So how do you learn to develop a world-class work ethic, commitment to excellence, and passion for what you do like Dave? I believe that passion for what you do comes from deep inside and you either have it or you don't. It is very hard to inspire someone who dislikes his or her job one day to love it the next. If you don't have passion for what you do, then I suggest you go find something that you LOVE. When you accomplish this, you will never again “work” a day in your life.
These traits can be developed over time with the right mentors while modeling what they do. To be honest, I only want to work with people who display these qualities. Being a part of a team where this is commonplace is exciting. Anything becomes possible! Before long you will have created a “virtuous cycle” of improvement and a culture of excellence. I am also a firm believer that continuous learning and self improvement is important and there is no better place to start than to learn from the leaders in their respective fields.
This Friday I will attend the Chick-Fil-A Leadercast in Atlanta where leaders like Soledad O'Brien, Tim Tebow, Patrick Lencioni, Marcus Buckinham, Urban Myer, Roland Fryer, Angela Ahrendts, John Maxwell, Andy Stanley, and Sheena Iyengar will be speaking. This is a world-class event with world-class leaders who are recognized by everyone as being some of the best in their fields. I look forward to hearing what they have to share and I know I will walk away having been motivated to grow and develop as a leader for my organization.
So whether you are taking “The Leap” and starting your own venture, changing careers, or looking for that thing that you are totally passionate about to invest your life in, make sure you have a tremendous work ethic and total commitment to excellence in all you do and you will be successful in any endeavor you tackle.