My older daughter just graduated from college and my younger daughter will graduate in another year. As the oldest started to contemplate her career path, I realized that she would have to duplicate a lot of the trial and error learning that I had done to figure out what prosperity meant to me and how best to pursue it. I wondered if it was possible to give her some advice to shortcut that learning process.
I wrote Shortcut to Prosperity for my girls and anyone who thinks that the status quo isn’t enough and wants to read some fresh ideas about how to figure out what they are really excited about creating and 10 proven shortcuts to make it happen.
What are the keys to your success so far?
- Learning from great organizations and people.
- Bringing my best effort to every experience.
- Thinking deeply about what I wanted and creating a personal vision.
- Choosing a life partner who supported me in ways that I could not have imagined (Shortcut 9).
What advice would you give to people in todays current job market and environment?
Let your natural curiosity drive you toward the depth of knowledge (Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hours) it takes to develop a differentiating level of knowledge. This is best done by pursuing a career and learning from a company that excels at providing the product or service that is the focus of your passion. By advancing down the learning curve you earn the right to choose one of two great paths. You can leverage your expertise to become a leader within an established company or find an underserved niche and strike out own your own.
What one thing do leaders need to be doing to influence?
Genuinely care about the people you aspire to lead. Because caring instills trust and organizations built on trust perform at incredibly high levels. When people know that you really care about them, they spend less time and energy worrying about politics and more energy supporting your agenda. It works because you can’t fake caring. It stands out in the workplace and people rally toward people who care.
About Mark Hopkins
Mark Hopkins earned engineering degrees from Cornell and Stanford and then spent the next twenty-five years deciphering the factors that make some people prosperous, successful and happy. After building a leadership career with companies like Hewlett Packard and Emerson Electric, Hopkins founded Peak Industries, a medical device contract manufacturer, which he grew to $75 million and later sold to Delphi. He then founded Crescendo Capital Partners, a private equity firm, and Catalyst, a private foundation supporting Colorado-based nonprofits and micro-lending in the developing world.