On Success: Cummings vs. Saddington

One of the benefits of actively following 80+ Atlanta tech startup blogs is catching 2 entrepreneurs opining on the same subject. Yesterday, John Saddington and David Cummings both hit the same topic: what makes individual people successful.  Here’s my cliff notes and my favorites.

Saddington hires people who…

  • Are versatile
  • Are teachable
  • Are independent
  • Have an insatiable desire to learn
  • Understand stewardship

Cummings agrees with a Michigan State basketball coach that every “player” should have a

  • Wishbone – Dream big
  • Backbone – Do the hard things
  • Funny Bone – Laugh

I’ve written before that, as a tech startup entrepreneur, you shouldn’t take yourself too seriously because nobody else does. That covers the humble part of being teachable and the funny bone that enables you to laugh at yourself and your mistakes that you will make along the startup road.  If you’re not teachable, you’ll never, ever do the hard things, so I agree with both John and David there as well. I think dreaming big and having an insatiable desire to learn are very much linked.

Stewardship has a life and philosophy all it’s own, and to me that’s a very big character trait.  We’ve all been given gifts and talents.  But gifts and talents add up to jack squat if you don’t use them to their fullest potential.  As I look back on playing competitive soccer for 25 years, I recall some of the most naturally talented players I ever met, many of whom simply did not care, try, or otherwise use their gifts that could have taken them a long way.

What are your gifts and talents? Are you using them to their fullest potential? If you don’t know what your greatest gifts and talents are, you should seek to discover them and use them. When you’re using your gifts, work isn’t work anymore. It’s a joy.  When your work is a joy, you take on another characteristic that is highly favorable: you are easy to get along with. You play well with others. People like to work with you, and want to work with you again and again. You can’t teach that.

What do you think about that?