What separates the individual who has a rewarding career from those that merely show up for work every day and leave unsatisfied?
My experience shows that successful individuals are more hungry than their competitors; it’s as simple as that.
Certainly there are other factors at play that influence performance and success such as education level, practical experience, reliable mentors, and good old fashion luck, but I have seen that “being hungry” is the one single thing that stands out from all others.
In fact, many individuals manifest the common traits and capabilities of success yet don’t rise to the top of their game. I have seen highly educated people, for example, with a deep experience profile and excellent skill set fall short of their potential while others who possess less emerge to finish first.
Those “qualified” individuals who fell short lacked the desire to finish; they didn’t seize and apply the raw power of emotion to grab the opportunity presented to them and drive to capture it like no one else.
The hunger drive to succeed isn’t an intellectual matter; it’s a visceral one which is a fundamental part of who they are.
People don’t think about applying their hunger, they do it involuntarily just as you don’t have to tell your heart to beat.
This is the profile of “the hungry one”.
They’re the first one in
They are the first one to put their hand up and volunteer for a new project. They are driven to find a way of being part of new horizons rather than perpetuate the status quo. They want to be known for coveting uncharted waters.
They love change
They are always leaning in to conversations that address a different direction the organization should take. They are at ease with personally introducing the necessary discontinuities required to force current momentum to another path. They are a true change agent.
They don’t talk about the past
They talk about what needs to be done not what yesterday achieved. They don’t suffer “custodians of the past” lightly. Dwelling on what worked yesterday frustrates them to no end. They see reflection on the past as an impediment to taking action and moving forward.
They are mindlessly focused
They are extremely focused on the critical few things that need to be done in order to achieve the end objective. They are not a fan of brainstorming and see it as only a way of defining what COULD be done as opposed to what MUST be done.
They never stop learning
They are voracious learners who pursue knowledge paths that are consistent with the new competencies the organization needs to adopt to perform at high levels. A shift from a monopoly business to a competitive one requires adopting marketing and customer service expertise; the hungry person acquires the knowledge and skills necessary.
They take risks
They are extremely proactive and never have to be told to do anything. When they see that something needs to be done that gather the expertise around them they need and they just do it. While others around them ask for permission, the hungry ones assume the inherent risks of taking action and are confident they can achieve positive results.
They execute first; plan second
They monitor execution relentlessly. They understand that the plan isn’t good enough to achieve results; rather flawless implementation is required. They are fanatics about ensuring that people assigned tasks complete them on time and on budget.
They have “spider senses”
They are restless, waiting to be on the move. They are anticipatory people who are always poised to act. Some might describe them as impatient and frustrated when they are hovering and waiting as opposed to acting. Their “spider senses” are alive to spot the opportunity to jump.
They have ridiculous goals
They have “unrealistic” career goals. They declare a bold audacious goal without any idea of how they will achieve it and they go for it. They trust trust that they will find a way to get to where they want to go.
They value what you’ve done not what you know
They are proud of their practical achievements and don’t dwell on what they have accomplished at school. In fact they rarely mention their intellectual strengths, but love to discuss a tough project they successfully implemented despite the roadblocks, barriers and impediments the organization threw in their way.
Successful people have competencies that go beyond the normal. They are based on the instinct to survive and win by standing out from those around them.
They don’t win by being the smartest.
They win by being the hungriest.