We know that it takes hard work and the occasional dose of luck for someone to make it to the top of their chosen field, but is that all? To find out we asked dozens of extraordinary people including celebrities, businessmen, artists and iconoclastic achievers, “How do you do what you do?”
Since we had no preconceived notions of what our superachievers would say, our conversations with them were often part tango, part wrestling match. We tried to both draw out our interviewees and challenge them on their beliefs of what led to their success— their work habits, turning points, experiences, insights and goals. And then we distilled their thoughts, experiences and principles into ten concise strategies—written in their own words—to reveal not only how they do what they do, but how they do it so well.
In the beginning, our goal was to uncover what was unique about each one of the dozens of super achievers we interviewed. But after months of research and over 100 hours of conversations we were often surprised to discover how much a tennis champion, for instance, and a rock band think alike, or how a racecar driver and an extraterrestrial hunter share similar traits. Our participants’ vocations, goals, philosophical perspectives and personalities could not have been more different, but as their responses to our questions accumulated, we began to see patterns. We came to realize that these extraordinary people shared many core principles and practices that had led to their great successes. Perhaps learning about what our super achievers have in common will inspire you to reflect on your own work habits and approaches—it certainly did with us.
In our blog, we will continue this conversation. And in the spirit of revealing how people do what they do, we will also be writing about the behind-the-scenes details of the making of this book.