In Follow Your Dreams, For Dream Chasers, Learning from Legends

Originally posted on August 13, 2009

What does it take to be great? Why do some people seem to rocket to the top of their fields while others never make it beyond mediocrity? It may seem like greatness happens by chance – some reach it while others don’t – but the truth is, there’s a method to greatness. Whether you dream of becoming an entrepreneur, a doctor, an artist, a writer or an athlete, you can achieve greatness by following these four steps:

  1. Observe. Study those who have gone before you. In business school, we examined hundreds of case studies from Harvard Business Review. Doctors follow the leaders in their field. Artists study the masters. Writers examine the classics. Athletes follow the pros.
  2. Analyze. Dissect the greats. What did they do right? What did they do wrong? How did they get to where they are? When you understand these elements, your own formula for success will begin to reveal itself.
  3. Emulate. Build a solid foundation by honing the same skills and traits that helped others reach greatness.
  4. Personalize. Once you get the hang of the basics, add your own unique flavor. Find your own voice, style or brand of humor and bring originality to the profession you’re pursuing. The world doesn’t need another Oprah, Madonna or Shaq, we’ve got them…now we need you!

“I am always doing that which I cannot do,
in order that I may learn how to do it.” 

~Pablo Picasso

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