4 key elements for being successful!

Peer Goudsmit
maart 2016

When talking about personal development, the learning & development experts often refer to the 70:20:10 principle from Charles Jennings. Learning and development is 70% about doing, 20% learning from others and 10% learning from courses or books. And I agree, all relevant methods to develop yourself. In the book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell already said that it takes roughly ten thousand hours of practice to achieve mastery in a field. Well, my question is if that is the 70% practice? Indeed, experience is relevant, but is that all? No. In my opinion there are 4 relevant factors that lead to success: Knowledge, Experience, “The art of….” and Motivation.


Let’s zoom in on these 4 key success factors.

  1. Knowledge: The easiest part. Educate yourself, go to conferences, seminars, read, and surf the web for free information and training on the topics you are interested in. You will know where to go: TED, YouTube, Coursera et cetera.
  1. Experience: Practice, practice, practice. So try to get the job/assignment/project with the tasks that will provide you the opportunity to gain the right experience. Probably not your dream job, yet, so see it as a journey. Challenge yourself on doing the right things. Imagine what recruiters will ask you when you get a job interview based on STAR technique (Situation, Task, Action, Result). Failure is a great experience as well. Keep on trying!
  1. “The Art of …”: For me “The art of…” stands for creativity in applying strategy & tactics in execution of the assignment. Creativity stands for "original and of high quality". Remember that creative people;
  • recognize the importance of a deep knowledge base and continually work to learn new things.
  • are open to new ideas and actively seek them.
  • find source material in a wide variety of media, people and events.
  • organize and reorganize ideas into different categories or combinations and then evaluate whether the results are interesting, new, or helpful.
  • use trial & error when they are unsure how to proceed, viewing failure as an opportunity to learn.

As you can see, this goes way beyond the rather directive “How to …. for dummies”- books. You are able to do the same tasks as others in a better way and with much better outcome.

  1. In my opinion, the most important one. A good definition of motivation is: “Internal and external factors that stimulate desire and energy in people to be continually interested and committed to a job, role or subject, or to make an effort to attain a goal”. This is also an area where every professional can make up for possible shortcomings in the first three success factors! When contemplating your own performances, one tends to look at skills and competences. Well in my opinion, Motivation is that driving force which allows you to achieve your goals and go after what you truly want to achieve in life, whether you are an employee or a freelancer.

As in proper mathematics, in case one of the above is zero….. the outcome is 0


Author: Peer Goudsmit

buro BEITSbv

Bezoekadres (op afspraak):
Westblaak 228
7e verdieping
3012 KP Rotterdam
Buro BEITS is een handelsnaam van BeauMel b.v., statutair gevestigd te Gouderak en ingeschreven bij de Kamer van Koophandel onder nummer 24364672.