In his role as publisher of SUCCESS magazine, which contained business and self-improvement advice from high-achievers, Darren Hardy interviewed a wide range of “fascinating, interesting people”. This post centres around his advice for success, including the power of the compound effect, and explores aspects like consistency, hard work, setting goals, making improvements, tracking progress, and the positive impact of advisors and mentors.
Read more to watch a video of a presentation Darren gave about the lesson he learnt from his most personally meaningful interview for SUCCESS magazine, as well as discover key ideas from “The Compound Effect”*, a book about the impact of everyday decisions that Darren published at the start of the decade.
In a recent discussion with one of our earliest proteges about his career evolution and his ambition to become a Chief Operating Officer (COO), we were delighted when he asked that we share a paper he’d read with others in a similar situation. He’d found it particularly useful to frame the skills required for his desired executive position, and to compare his current experience and abilities against to identify where he should concentrate on improving – active career management in action!
As he was also preparing for an upcoming appraisal at the time, we reminded him of our post “Ace your Performance Appraisal”, and guided him on questions to ask his managers in his development discussions in order to indicate his eagerness to excel, as well as showcase the progress he has been making.
This post summarises elements from the paper he recommended, as well as a related one also by EY, the consulting firm “building a better working world”. Both papers were guides to aspiring COOs and their organisations, and they provide helpful direction on the skills needed to perform such a broad executive role, and how to develop them. The second paper gave more industry-specific insights, and illustrated the career paths of several COOs. EY’s research was based on detailed analysis of the career paths of nearly 100 COOs, across five sectors: consumer products, financial services, life sciences, oil and gas, and power and utilities. For these reasons, we’re including this post within our Routes to the Top series.
Chief Operating Officers can come from different professional backgrounds, and breadth of experience is particularly important as the role varies widely in practice. Given this, roles in other functions (for example, marketing, distribution, IT, programme management etc) can help diversify experience so that it is not purely operations-focused. Often a COO is the right hand to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and many say that it is a stepping stone into a CEO role – to a greater extent than other C-suite roles like the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) in certain industries. The COO is often seen as the go-to person for issues of every description, making individuals who thrive on solving problems a good fit. And, EY argue that “the reason many companies appoint a COO in the first place is to help provide the right balance between the CEO’s overall vision and the practical operating solution that underpins this”.
Read more for information on the role of a COO, to uncover the core capabilities and skills required by the role, to gain insight on additional factors which could help you stand out among potential candidates, and to see the links to EY’s full papers.
Susan Cain’s fame ironically stems from her introversion, which gives her first-hand appreciation of the value of quieter environments. And, her work has raised its profile, giving a voice to many introverts and validating their contribution to the world. The TED description to her famous talk “The Power of Introverts” explains this with: “In a culture where being social and outgoing are prized above all else, it can be difficult, even shameful, to be an introvert. But, as Susan Cain argues in this passionate talk, introverts bring extraordinary talents and abilities to the world, and should be encouraged and celebrated.”
As a result of that speech, her books, and the “Quiet Revolution”, Susan is possibly the world’s most famous introvert (or famous because of introversion)… This article describes her personal career transition from lawyer to writer, as well as celebrates the impact she has had, and continues to have, on the world. Read more to discover how she made her professional transition, the emotional aspects and the new skills she built during the change.