On The Path Of Winners
BY BAYO OGUNMUPE
Stay Prepared For Your Opportunity
SUCCESS evolves from working hard at the business at hand every day. Studies have been conducted over the years trying to determine why is it that some people are more successful than others. Thousands have been interviewed, tested in an attempt to unravel the common denominators of success. One success factor discovered however, is the quality of ‘‘action orientation” of a person.
It was discovered that successful people are intensely action oriented. They seem to move faster than unsuccessful people. They are busier, try harder than mediocres. Successful people start a little earlier and they stay on the project a little longer. They are in constant motion.
Unsuccessful people on the other hand, start at the last minute necessary and quit at the first moment possible. Mediocres are fastidious about taking every minute of coffee breaks, lunch hours, sick leave and holidays. They often brag, ‘‘When I am not at work, I never ever think about it.” In his essay on Compensation, the American philosopher, Ralph Waldo Emerson averred that you will always be compensated in life in direct proportion to the value of your contribution. If you want increase in your rewards, you must increase the quality and quantity of your results. If you want to get more out of life, you must put more into it. There is no other way. Researchers have found the key quality of winners, most of whom started at the bottom, was that early in life, they developed the habit of ‘‘going the extra mile.” They knew intuitively that there are never any traffic jams on the extra mile.
In a study of self-made millionaires who in the course of their careers had accumulated more than a million dollars, researchers found, almost unanimously that their success was hinged on always doing more than they were paid for. They had made it a habit of always putting in more than they took out. They were always looking for ways of contributing beyond what was expected of them.
For lifelong career success, I often advise beginners in two ways. First, as soon as you get settled in a new job, go to your boss, tell him that you want more responsibility. Say that you want to make your maximum contribution to your organization and that you would like to get more responsibility whenever it becomes available. But when such opportunities for responsibility occur, if performed well, it will pave the way to promotion and future executive power.
Secondly, always move fast on opportunities. This is how to prepare for your opportunity. It has been said that good luck is the point where preparation meets opportunity. Thus, your success in life will be in direct proportion to what you do after you have done what you are expected to do. Also, at every turn in your career, do more than you are paid for. Do more than others expect. Go the extra mile. Get busy, get going and take action. Determine never to be idle. Gaining the reputation of a man of action will accelerate your career more than anything else you can imagine.
A key to high income is the ‘‘momentum principle of success.” This principle says that it takes great energy to get yourself into motion. But it takes less energy to keep yourself moving on once you have got going. This momentum principle explains success factors. It shows successful people are busy people. They get going and going on all day long. They create meaning out of a meaningless existence. They are constantly moving from targets to goals. The highest paid millionaires with whom eighty per cent of the wealth of the nation is kept, always kept their time in terms of minutes spent on projects. From this came the aphorism, time is money. The faster you move, the happier you become, the more enthusiastic and creative you become. The faster you move, the more you get done and the more you get paid. Have a sense of urgency fast tempo is essential to success. All great people have a bias for action.
Our champion this week is Ludwig Erhard, the West German economist and statesman who as economic Affairs minister (1949-63) was the architect of Germany’s post-war economic recovery. Born in February 1897 in Furth, Germany, Erhard studied economics after World War One, eventually joining an economics research institute. For being untainted by Nazi associations, he was entrusted by the Allied occupation authorities with German reconstruction. Thereafter, he served as economics minister in Bavaria (1945-46) and later director federal currency reform commission. As an adherent of the Freiburg School of neoliberal economics, Erhard promoted the social market economy in which a free market economy is combined with state responsibility for promotion of economic development and a welfare state.
Entering parliament of the new federal republic as a Christian Democratic Union (CDU) deputy in 1949, he was immediately appointed minister for Economic Affairs by Chancellor Konrad Adenauer. Then, Erhard initiated policies responsible for the German economic miracle which gave full employment and prosperity to Germany within five years.
Erhard was appointed vice chancellor as a reward for his economic prowess in 1957 and succeeded Adenauer as federal chancellor in 1963. His government was troubled by tepid foreign policy and a budget deficit. His decision to raise taxes in response to recession in 1966, caused the refusal of his coalition partners, the Free Democrats. He was forced to resign in October 1966. Later he was named honorary leader of the CDU. He lived in retirement until his death in 1977.