I have a small task for you. Think about a few people you know and you consider them as great professionals. Don’t limit yourself to any single role – choose anyone who is great no matter if he’s a manager or a developer or a dustman. Got them? Fine.
Now a second step – try to name one attribute which is common for each of them. Something which isn’t, by definition, related to specific role or specific job. Depending on variety of people you’ve chosen this can be pretty hard, but try for a while – there must be something. Got it? Great.
What you’re trying to achieve here is finding a kind of success factor. Something which would differentiate good from great, but at the same time probably not something which would guarantee a mediocre person to become a star. That just isn’t so easy.
What have you chosen?
My choice is: urge to learn.
This is something which constantly pushes us ahead, out of our comfort zone. Even if we err along the way the overall result is positive. As the time passes we get better and better since, well, learning is all about getting better. We grow to the point when someone thinks about us when asked the question from the beginning of this post. We’re not likely to get there though, so chances are good there’s still plenty of room for self-improvement.
Learning can be a part of your job – in this case you should be pretty happy with it. You can also do a job which doesn’t develop you much at the moment, but it is a lame excuse to stop learning. There are tons of great places to get better at whatever you do or learn something completely new. If you stick with whatever you already know you’re heading to side-track.
I have great news for you: if you reading this, odds are you have this urge. If you take time to look for content discussing personal development in context of your domain (I don’t expect many dustmen here really) you’re well ahead of the rest of the pack. You’re here to learn something new. Otherwise why would you spend your time reading this?
If you’ve chosen something else than urge to learn tell me what is your choice and why.