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Do You Want To Make Success a Given? Listen To What Worked From These Top Leaders

Success isn’t a one size fits all approach. Make it your own.

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BY Laura Garnett - 04 May 2018

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

According to the science of performance, there are some key non-negotiables when it comes to being successful - knowing yourself, knowing what your best at and leveraging that, focusing on enjoyment versus achievement, and having Grit are just a few. Despite these common building blocks, success isn't a one size fits all approach and everyone's personal path to success is different.

While no one person's story is the answer, there is one universal truth - anyone and everyone can be successful. If you don't believe that, then get inspired by these individuals as they share their own personal success paths.


"Do something you are passionate about, do something you love. If you are doing something you are passionate about, you are just naturally going to succeed, and a lot of other things will happen that you don't need to worry about. There are so many opportunities and choices that women can make or anyone can make about what they do. Do something you are passionate about. Life is too short."

Mary Barra, CEO General Motors

"So I love to run. I like to run long distances. And part of it for me is sort of the joy of feeling the pain and the grit and knowing you have to dig deep. And I think a lot of times making business decision is like being a marathoner. In other words, you know what the finish line is that you really want to get to but, along the way, it's not always pure joy. There are really hard moments. But if you keep your eye on the prize, it's part of what drives you to get there."

Helena Foulkes, Executive Vice President CVS Caremark Corporation

"In business and life in general, it is far more important (and difficult) to decide what you are not going to do than what you are going to do. Try to replay every direction in the negative: this means we won't do X, Y, and Z. Focus and simplicity are workforce multipliers.

To people starting their careers, remember to invest in your strengths versus just shoring up your weaknesses. This will increase your chance of finding success, meaning, and purpose in life and, frankly, it is also a lot more fun."

Darren Huston, CEO The Priceline Group

"There's an entrepreneur right now, scared to death, making excuses, saying, 'It's not the right time just yet.' There's no such thing as a good time. I started an apparel manufacturing business in the tech-boom years. I mean, come on. Get out of your garage and go take a chance and start your business."

Kevin Plank, founder and CEO of Under Armour

"It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you'll do things differently."

Warren Buffet, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway

"Embrace tough assignments. Conventional wisdom suggests that it's easier to take the path of least resistance by signing up for an easy job, doing it well, and moving on to something bigger. The problem with that theory is that nobody notices when you do an easy job well. It's far better to challenge yourself by raising your hand for the toughest assignments and work to solve problems that no one else has been able to solve. That's how you truly become a trusted leader inside an organization."

Indra Noovi, chairman and CEO of PepsiCO

"I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that's how you grow. When there's that moment of 'Wow, I'm not really sure I can do this,' and you push through those moments, that's when you have a breakthrough."

Marissa Mayer, President and CEO of Yahoo


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