(1) The Science of success, University of Michigan


Goals of this course: 

  • Simplifying researchers work so that we can understand it



What is success?

  • Achieving results, engaging in meaningful work

“In another study of over 70,000 employees in over 100 countries, researchers from the Gallup organization found that the employees who said that they experienced their work as meaningful were more likely to feel engaged, enthusiastic and committed to their jobs”


Researchers have found that a supportive and intellectually stimulating environment can result in a 12 to 18 point difference in IQ scores for some people. Now this increase in points can move someone from being categorized from low to average intelligence, or from average to above-average intelligence. Some researchers have found that for each year that a student misses in school, their IQ scores decline about six points.

Researchers have found that successful people develop beliefs that propel them forward rather than hold them back. They develop expertise that is meaningful to them, and that matters to others. They are self-motivated to achieve their goals and they move steadily toward their goals despite the inevitable failures and setbacks. And they do so by being conscientious and gritty. And they develop mutually supportive relationships through which they give and get resources that are necessary to their success and to the success of others.


What I’d recommend for success is that you think about a purpose that you have in your life, or multiple purposes. And how to build the energy and willpower to maintain alignment with that purpose every day. And so, that’s why I talk about sleep, and presence, activity, creativity, and eating. And figure out what works for you, because you’re different from me. So for me, it’s creativity and it’s presence. But for you, it may be sleep and it may be eating well. Whatever it is, you need to figure that out. And once you have that, then you’ll start building the energy you need and the willpower you need to be successful. because, believe me, to be successful, this is a long term. To be successful, it’s like a marathon. It’s not a sprint.



Growth Mindset


people who have a growth mindset believe more in nurture than in nature. They believe that intelligent, talents, and personality characteristics are learned and can change over time with effort and practice. They are more likely to say, she worked hard to get where she is today. I can become a great speaker if I put my mind to it. And leaders are made, not born.

They believe that effort, careful planning, and ongoing learning, more so than natural ability, predict people’s ability to achieve success, and they make their day-to-day choices and pursue their goals according to this belief.

Because they believe their strengths are the result of effort rather than innate abilities,

they are more likely to take on projects in which they can learn things that they have not yet mastered, even if doing so highlights their current weaknesses.

They are more likely to take risks because they are more interested in growth than in protecting themselves from the possibility of mistakes and failure.

they believe in the adage that the harder I work, the smarter I get.



  • The mutual goodwill, trust, cooperation, and influence that you develop through your relationships help you get the resources you need to add value to your organizations, achieve your career goals, contribute to your communities, and take care of yourself and the people you love.


Myth number one,


it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.

What you know, your knowledge, skills, expertise, as well as your dependability, are as important as who you know. After all, people want to work with people they trust, and who will add value. People that are unlikely to put their reputation on the line, and recommend you for an opportunity if they don’t think you live up to their endorsement of you.


Myth Number two,


proactively networking is manipulative.

Many people assume that there’s something insincere about connecting with others for instrumental reasons. For example, to ask for help on a task, or to get introduced to a contact who can give you information about a potential job. But the most effective instrumental relationships, like all relationships, are those that are built on authenticity, respect, goodwill and reciprocity. And if your job is to add value to your organization, then it’s your responsibility to reach out to let others in the organization, to let them know what you’re good at, where you need help, and how you can help others, so that they can place you where you could add the most value and make your best contributions.


Myth Number three,


extroverts have better networks than introverts.

Although it seems intuitively likely that extroverts would have more effective networks than introverts, research is quite mixed on this. The general consensus is that if there is a significant relationship between extroversion and network size, it is small. Researchers have found that extroverts may spend more time talking to other people, but they may not be more strategic or more skilful than introverts in developing effective networks.




Unfortunately, self-awareness seems to be in short supply in organizations. In a study of almost 7,000 professionals in almost 500 publicly traded companies, Korn Ferry researchers, David Zess and Dana Landes found that nearly 80% of the professionals had at least one blind spot. Which the researchers define as a skill area that the leader perceives to be a strength, but others perceive as weakness. 40% of the professionals they studied, had at least one hidden strength, a skill area that a person perceives as a weakness but others see as a strength. And having hidden strengths matters because it’s hard to make the most out of strength if you don’t know you have it. \


Another effective way to increase your self-awareness would be to get feedback

colleagues and direct reports all complete an assessment for you. You can then compare how you’re perceived by your boss or bosses, peers and direct reports and identify in which ways these groups see you similarly and differently.


If your organization doesn’t offer you 360 feedback, you can take it upon yourself to ask others to give you the feedback. You can ask them what your three greatest strengths are, as well as your three greatest weaknesses. And then compare their answers with your own perceptions of your strengths and your weaknesses.


To create your brand, Tom Peters recommends that you answer the following questions.

  • What do I do that I’m most proud of?
  • What do I do that adds remarkable distinguished, distinctive value?
  • What do my colleagues and customers say is my greatest and clearest strength and most noteworthy personal characteristic?
  • What I have done lately, this week, that added value to the organization?
  • Do people view me as a dependable colleague and team member who is interested in the success of others?
  • Are my skills difficult to copy?
  • Is my work clearly aligned with the organization’s goals, strategies, and priorities?
  • And am I doing what it takes to make sure that my brand is not at risk of becoming out of date?


Becoming an ENERGIZER


It’s important for you to know that there’s nothing in the research that suggests that energizers are extroverted or particularly charismatic, nor do they always focus on the positive. They don’t avoid giving bad news, they don’t avoid making tough decisions or having difficult conversations. But when they do address problems, they do so in a way that focuses on resolving the issues and learning from the experience rather than blaming the people involved. So now you know more about the power of being an energizer and the cost of de-energizers, you can take the assessment that accompanies this session to assess the degree to which you may be an energizer or de-energizer. You can also ask others to answer the questions for you so that you can see how other people perceive you, and after taking the assessment, ask yourself these questions, do your scores lean more toward energizing or de-energizing? Are there some areas in which you are more energizing than others?





Steps one and two will be the heart of your action plan. Because in these steps, you will identify the parts of your life that matter most to you in your heart of hearts. As well as the specific goals you want to achieve in each of these life areas. Step three will be the head of your action plan. Because in this step, you will think carefully and select the one goal you will work on immediately to make progress toward the kind of success that you desire in life. Steps four and five will be the hands part of your action plan. Because in these steps, you will identify the specific actions you will take in the one area that you want to work on immediately.

Step 1 (HEART)

  • write down 3 parts of my life that are important to me
  • why they matter


Step 2

  • goals that i want to achieve in the part of my life important to me
  • multiple checkpoints


Step 3 (HEAD)

  • Feasbility of changes

In this step, you’ll choose only one of the goals that you listed to begin working on immediately. For example, you may want to focus on developing a particular expertise, or getting a promotion, or spending more time with family, or taking better care of your health. You’ll also write down why you chose to invest in this one goal, and what you expect to gain if you accomplish this goal.


Step 4 (Hands)


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