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Book Review - Success Built to Last

Success Built to Last …by Jeff Porras, Stewart Emery and Mark Thompson

This is a book that sets out to tell the reader about success … what it really is, (and isn’t); how successful people stay successful; the psychology of success; and the action styles associated with success.

The book’s authors interview hundreds of “successful” people from around the world, President of countries, billionaires, Nobel lauriats, celebrities and CEOs along with “unsung heroes” who have had an impact without fame or fortune.

Their contention is that the traditional dictionary definition of success is outdated, at the end of the day the book talks about three “circles” that need to be aligned to attain success … “Meaning”, ”Thought” and “Action”.

Some of the points that come through in this book …

1. People have to have meaning to their lives in order to be able to dedicate themselves to the cause … whether it is a company, idea, charity or any other driver in their lives.
2. People’s “personal capital” is what defines their ability to be successful. This is not about money, but it about their skills, relationships, enthusiasm and talents. In today’s work environment this is also your job security … the stronger you are in these areas the more likely you will be employed.
3. People with a driving passion about “what they do” do not look for “balance” in their lives. They truly live their lives and are happy because they do not resent any part of it.
4. Trying to emulate perceived success is not the way to be successful. You need to find a passion, and apply all of your skills towards that passion.
5. You don’t have to be naturally charismatic to be successful, a passion about a goal/target/mission will transform you and people see that.
6. People with a passion will battle through adversity, problems, set-backs. It is not so much about “positive thinking” but more about a style of always moving forward towards the goal.
7. Successful people let go of things that don’t work … and move on towards the end goal.
8. Often successful people create a goal (sometimes a Big Hairy Audacious Goal) but don’t know how to get there. They just eat the elephant one bite at a time!
9. Successful people challenge those around them … to create the right kind of creative tension from which new ideas emerge.
10. Successful people build networks and strong relationships and they draw their networks into helping them with their mission.

Worth a read … the more books like this that I read, the more I broaden my own thinking. I might not always agree with the authors, but there is always something in these books that strikes a chord.