Hierarchy of Success

I’m thinking of doing an executive MBA. It means I can still carry on working but would work every other weekend to gain what increasingly appears to be an important qualification in the world of business. The communications industry is after all the fusion of commerciality and creativity – and anything that can help that seems worthwhile.

 Part of the application process to all the leading business schools is a course called the GMAT. It’s a test of logic – split into verbal and quantative sections. Put simply, to get into the best schools – you need to be in the top 5-10% of all the people taking it. It’s a real challenge – and really separates the men from the boys. Now, the most intelligent people get the best scores it would seem. People who have high flying careers and have always achieved scholastic excellence get the best scores. That would make sense after all.

 The fact is though, this test is not a test of intelligence – it’s a test of dedication. It’s this point that neatly ties into a recent blog post by Seth Godin. In it, he outlines what he perceives to be the hierarchy of success:

  1. Attitude
  2. Approach
  3. Goals
  4. Strategy
  5. Tactics
  6. Execution

Attitude and approach are what leads to the greatest levels of success. Attitude relates to why we lead our lives and approach looks at the things that we do to make our reasons for living happening. Neither of these are easy to master – if they were then everyone would do them! It’s this reason why the GMAT is such a good test for business schools as it focuses specifically on these areas rather than pure intelligence, which is worthless unless applied practically.

Some more questions that Godin then mentions are:

  • How do you deal with failure?
  • When will you quit?
  • How do you treat competitors?
  • What personality are you looking for in the people you hire?
  • What’s it like to work for you? Why? Is that a deliberate choice?
  • What sort of decisions do you make when no one is looking?

It’s really interesting stuff, and I have found recently that sometimes you don’t know what you want until you take some time to evaluate. In the hecticness of modern life – you presume you are what you are. In reality, you are who you want to be…

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