There are several factors that are the right foundation for success. Today I share three from my experience and hope to hear from you about other factors that you consider the key foundation for success.
The Right Foundation for Success
If you think you're tops, you won't do much climbing –Arnold Glasow
Throughout my life I have tasted success many times. As I wrote in my blog last week, in May I was
awarded the Distinguished Toastmasters by Toastmasters International for outstanding accomplishment
and leadership excellence. I am proud of this accomplishment. I also know what it feels like to fail
because I have experienced failures many times.
Do you have the awards on your wall or the scars on your back to prove your successes and failures?
Today I would like to share with you the right foundation for success. I share quite willingly and liberally
my experience of starting out from very humble family beginnings in Kingston, Jamaica to trek across
the global as financial sector subject matter expert. I don’t do it for aggrandizement or boosting but
rather to inspire others through the lessons I have learned along my journey in life. For example, this on
Thursday I will be speaking to approximately 300 grade 6 students at middle school in Peel District
School Board. My experience in life is not purely about my successes as I have had failures such as
recent as 2008/2009 when I almost lost my shirt during the global financial meltdown. However,
ambitions, a positive attitude, a fierce determination to succeed and a willingness to learn the hard
lessons from my shortcomings have being incredibly valuable.
Here are I share three lessons on the foundation for success:
Despite your successes and your failures be humble. Self-pride and arrogance is the landmines for
failures. When you are gracious and humble you will find others who are willing to share their
knowledge with you and this can be tremendously beneficial to your success. If you are full of self-pride
and arrogance no one will want to be associated with you. Just as others are willing to share their
knowledge with you, you too should take delight to teach others what you. For example, today I am
using the communication and leadership skills I have gained from 15 years in the Toastmasters program
to give back to my community by coordinating the 2nd Annual Holiday Season Food Drive for the benefit
of the Salvation Army of Brampton. This is just one way of giving back.
A key fact for the foundation of success is to be humble and you will find others who are willing to share
their knowledge to help you grow.
Be a good listener
After 21 years of marriage my wife constantly reminds me that one of the art of effective
communication is effective listening. Being a good listener is a very important step in building up
friendship and other relationship. It is the very heart of building successful working relationship. A good
listener keeps eye contact so that the speaker knows that you are interested in what is being said. To be
successful you have to be open to new ideas and as such you have to learn to accept views, opinions and
values of others which may be different from yours. It is also very important not pass judgemental
statements or otherwise the speaker may feel being criticised. Do not give advice unless you are asked
to do so. Do not diagnose and analyse. You have to learn to keep the secret. People confide in you
because they believe that you can be trusted. It is also very important that you show your appreciation
when others share their knowledge and experience with you. This shows your deep respect for the
speaker. Being a quality listener requires personal discipline and a high regard for others. The best
leaders I have ever known were patient people who listened attentively to an associate and only asked
questions for clarification. They never lectured or pontificated. They sought to learn and gain new
knowledge by being quiet. They eagerly took notes and added in the margins new and unique
epiphanies. Successful business leaders know how to carefully listen to customers, employees and
Admit mistakes but never be afraid to take action and make yourself vulnerable
A key foundation for success is admitting your mistakes but never be afraid to take action and make
yourself vulnerable and exposed. I have passion for what I am doing. You too should be confident about
your goals and plans. You too should speak freely about your dreams, your accomplishments and
successes. You should pitch your ideas with confidence. Make yourself slightly vulnerable and exposed.
Share with others your stories, experiences and accomplishments so that they may be inspired and
Open yourself up to be scrutinized. Take risk but manage it prudently. Don’t blame others or make
excuses for your mistakes. Admit your mistakes and find ways to fix your mistakes. Remember your
mistakes are valuable experiences for learning and grow. Your mistakes are usually consequences of the
willingness and courage to take action to turn your dreams into reality.
There are several factors that are the right foundation for success. Today I share three from my
experience and hope to hear from you about other factors that you consider the key foundation for
Mark McKenzie is a leading Subject Matter Expert in financial services regulation and supervision as well
as a professional motivational speaker, corporate trainer and youth mentor. He can be contacted by
email firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone 647-406-4622. Read my blog
http://mastbmckenzie.blogspot.ca/ and always write me a comment and share. Follow me on Twitter
@mackynacky. Connect with me on www.youtube.com, Google+, Facebook and Linkedin.