If you want an uplifting TED Talk for your team—or family—try 8 Secrets of Success by analyst Richard St. John. He’s condensed seven years of research and more than 500 interviews on what really leads to success into just three minutes.

The eight elements are not rocket science, and they probably won’t surprise you. But that it precisely why they can inspire us—because they are not rocket science. Each of these elements is completely within our wheelhouse. We have these things in our toolbox, we just need to dust them off and use them. Success comes from doing common things uncommonly well. No, that’s one of the eight.I wonder what would happen if we each took one of the eight and adopted it throughout our organization? What if everyone encouraged everyone in this core ingredient to success? You know what would happen, right? We would get collectively better at it.

Years ago, I was talking with the father of a close friend. Jim was already retired. When we spoke, he had started teaching jewelry-making at the community college. His work was quite good–even impressive. I said, “Jim. As far as I know, you spent your entire career working for the Sacramento City Parks. You started as a tree-trimmer and work your way up through the administration. When did you learn how to do this? Did you always have this talent?

He smiled at me the way your grandpa smiles at you when he knows he know something that you don’t know. He said, “Do you know what talent is?” Even if I thought I knew the time, I was smart enough to just wait for the answer. And Jim did not disappoint. He smiled and pointed his finger at me and he said very quietly: “An interest pursued.”

Submitted by:
Christopher Maricle
Head Start California