Success: The Tip of the Iceberg

Success is something we all crave, and people seem to talk about it endlessly. But what is it, exactly? The Free Dictionary offers these definitions:

1. the favorable outcome of something attempted

2. the attainment of wealth, fame, etc.

At QIP, we’re more interested in the first definition than the second. But there’s another definition of success that resonates with the type of work we do: Success is the product of effort.

The image of an iceberg as a metaphor for success has been making the rounds through social media. The lower, and bigger, portion of the iceberg represents all the unseen attributes that contribute to the higher, and smaller, portion, which represents observable success.

Over the years, we have noticed that six foundational attributes lead to success within our company:

  • Persistence – We keep trying, even when the road is difficult.
  • Failure – We all fail at times, but do we learn from our mistakes and keep trying? As Thomas Edison said, “Many of life's failures . . . did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
  • Sacrifice – Putting energy into one thing means that we are forgoing the opportunity to put it into something else. This is inevitable; we work to make good choices about where to invest our energy.
  • Good habits – For most of us, success is the result of good practices and routines, not flashy ideas, charisma, or brilliance.
  • Hard work – Very few things come easily; you must work for them. To quote Thomas Edison again, “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”
  • Dedication – Sticking to a winning formula is important. We focus on the attributes that have led to past successes as reasonable launching points for future successes.

When teams display these attributes, it’s amazing how powerful the results can be. Focusing on the six foundational attributes is much more efficacious than striving for wealth or fame. The former goes deep; the latter is too shallow to build real results.

However you choose to define success, it always seems to emanate from deep down. Dig deep, and you will rise high. That’s our philosophy at QIP.