Last Sunday I got to hang out with Singularity University’s Executive Program participants for dinner on the first day of their program. When one of the participants asked my colleague Paul Saffo about some career advice for her son he responded by telling her about the “Hollywood-way of being successful”:
In Hollywood three things matter – in this particular order:
- Whom you know.
- How much fun you are to work with.
- Your talent.
Point one gets you in the door. Point two shows if people want to work with you. And point three is pretty much table stakes, as the is so much talent in Hollywood that you better be good at what you do.
Having reflected on Paul’s comment for a week now – I couldn’t agree more. I have seen this play out over and over again; both when I was looking for opportunities as well as when I was hiring.
What this means for all of us is: Be a good person. Give more than you take. Make friends. Make work (and life) easy for others. Be nice. Master your craft.