LA 025: The Three Step Secret to Your Success

Let me start by telling you that I have found the secret to
success is not a 20 step process. It's not even a ten-step journey.
No, not even seven steps to success. It's three steps.

Seriously. After all this time and experience I've stumbled upon
the secret to success, and it is a three step process! That's it,
just three. And it's not going to be a secret for long. But before
you get overly excited it's not a shortcut, nor is it a silver
bullet. But it is a simple three step process.

Why are there No Shortcuts?

As I look back on my life, I finally begin to see a
pattern emerging.

You see, if you looked at my CV (resume for those of you
preferring American English), it's rather difficult to make sense
of all the, rather odd, directions my career appears to have

The term "chef" is a little grand for my first real job. More chief pot washer and floor scrubber than chef exactly.

The term “chef” is a little grand for my
first real job. More chief pot washer and floor scrubber than chef

If you already know me, then you almost certainly know that my
first career was as a chef. Well, perhaps the term ‘chef' is a
little grand for my first real job that was frying eggs and bacon,
peeling potatoes, washing pots and scrubbing floors.

I did, later train as a commis chef, became a sous chef and
became a head chef. I also did my stints behind the bar and waiting
in the restaurant.

You see, while I had some abilities in cooking, no one was going
to allow me to run a kitchen until I understood what was happening
in all parts of the kitchen, and to know my diners.

I went to University to study hotel management because now I
wanted more than a kitchen. I loved being front of house as well. I
enjoyed running back of house too. My industrial placement, which
today would be Americanised into an internship, exposed me to the
delights of housekeeping and cleaning rooms after an Irish stag
weekend. And many other delightful and disgusting moments.

I presided over a disastrous lunch for 3500 militant unionists
at their conference that, due to my lack of leadership, was served
lukewarm and two hours late. Used the wrong extinguisher on a fryer
fire to the amusement of everyone who did not lose their eyebrows.
I even managed to spill soup on the lap of a kindly Royal

If you speak to anyone in the hotel business, they too can
regale you with stories of exhaustion, disasters, drunkards and
learning. Yes, learning.

But there are those who insist that it
has to be easier than this.

Then I'll meet a young manager in another industry. They got
themselves a degree in business, for example, and they get an
Associate Director title or a Vice President title. It's an entry
level position but with a fancy name and a pretty fancy salary.

They expect to be in a managerial role within a year or two and
want to know what they need to know to get there as fast as

The expensive shortcut that isn’t

The MBA is regarded as an instant success secret to mega buck salaries. Another myth.

The MBA is regarded as an instant success
secret to megabuck salaries. Another myth.

Many have embarked on an MBA, and having spent a small fortune
on their education, want to know why they haven’t gotten to be a
senior manager yet.

People are signing up for courses that promise instant results
even though they've been burnt more than once already.

I've fallen victim to this thinking myself on many more
occasions that I like to admit.

I cast an envious eye on someone else's success and think that
if only I can emulate them, I too will have that instant

Of course, it's nonsense.

You know that it is nonsense. You too have found out that there
are no shortcuts. Or at least, according to Maya Angelou,

there are no shortcuts to any place worth going.

So now, I look back and think, if only I had cut across the
meandering path of my career. There are some useful diversions but
many useless ones.

And ultimately, had I known that I was coming this way, I could
easily have cut across.

The trouble is, of course, that we don’t know which direction is
the real shortcut.

If I had known that I would essentially end up teaching, writing
and recording audio, I should really have taken a course in
journalism or teaching. Or both, just to be sure.

But then my Godfather did ask me some 40 years ago what I wanted
to do with my life as he watched me scrub the floor of the café's
kitchen. Then, I wanted the shortcut to having a clean floor
without actually putting in any effort…

What's Better Today? Cover

The leadership field guide that promises
to require work and effort to achieve success. Buy yours now and get

I wrote the book

When I wrote my leadership field guide: “What's Better Today?” I
set out to be different from all the other leadership instant
success books out there. I even wrote on the cover as a warning
“There are no silver bullets; no quick and easy solutions; it will
not happen overnight.”

It's one of the very few times I actually agree with the Iron
Lady: “I do not know anyone who has got to the top without hard
work. That is the recipe. It will not always get you to the top,
but should get you pretty near.” — Margaret Thatcher

Hurry up already, what are the three

The world is an impatient place I know, and you are keen to find

The real road to success is often long and winding. You get there by putting one step in front of the other and keep on keeping on.

The real road to success is often long
and winding. You get there by putting one step in front of the
other and keep on keeping on.

Success starts

  1. deciding what you want from life and
  2. choosing that you are going to work for it every day
  3. And every day you keep on keeping on

If you’re disappointed, you’re not alone.

And if you’re young and hungry, the chances are pretty high that
you’re going to forget this for a while and seek a much nicer
answer and some other magic formula. But that's the thing, this IS
the magic formula. It's no shortcut. It's no silver bullet; it's
not instant.

As George Bernard Shaw said:

“The people who get on in this world are the people who get up
and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can’t find
them, make them.”

Link to Sean d'Souza's Podcast on Three Incredibly
Silly Business Myths


Check out this episode!

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