How many times have we read stories of leaders, who overcame significant odds, to achieve the pinnacles of success? How many times have we read about the young, brash twenty-something year old that has made millions? The Bill Gates, Warren Buffetts, and Barack Obamas of the world did the unthinkingable. They became highly successful against all odds, living in a world where it’s easy to be average. What gets downplayed throughout the discussion, is the people who supported that individual, to get where they needed to be.
What I’d love to see is a book, discussing the other person behind the success story. The person who was the most instrumental in creating a successful environment for the success to occur. Something to the effect of the 7 habits of highly successful unsung heroes. Chicken Noodle Soup for the supporting actor.
There would be no Barack Obama, if not for Michelle Obama. There would be no Martin Luther King, without Coretta Scott King. There would be no Bill Gates, without Melinda Gates. There would be no Oprah, if it wasn’t for a strong number 2, neither would there be a Martha Stewart or Rachael Ray. Oftentimes, it is the spouse that is the number 2, but in many scenarios it is a mentor, friend, peer, or child.
My hypothesis is that all these unsung heroes share several things in common
- Highly intelligent and visionary
- Deeply involved in the space
- Ability to to be the leader, if necessary
- Type A personality
- The ultimate team player
These are all characteristics that you’d expect to see out of the successful leader!
In my mind, there’s no difference. To reach that top tenth of a percent, two heads are better than one, and is essential to get to that stratosphere. One of my goals is to explore the number 2, 3, and 4s of highly successful people. It will be a small passion project, but I’d love to learn more about the commonalities of the unsung heroes, and explore their own unique leadership qualities.