In a previous blog post, we discussed how good timing and forward planning were the drivers behind disruptive innovation. For example, companies like Uber and AirBnB have thrived and revolutionised the travel and hospitality sectors because they were launched in a time of austerity, just when people were looking for extra income.
But behind every new innovative venture is an entrepreneur or team of people trying to disrupt ‘business as usual’ – so what is it that determines their levels of success as individuals? Are some people born with a natural advantage to succeed, or can their environment and experiences have more of an impact on their achievements?
Of course there are arguments for both sides. Some people are born to take risks and have personality traits that enable them to become great leaders. Whereas, other people are more comfortable taking up a role that allows them to remain out of the spotlight and are happier to follow rather than lead.
While some experts argue that success is in a person’s genes, education and personal development also play a huge role in our career paths. Some people may be born with a higher IQ, but the ability to learn constantly changes throughout our lives. For instance, if children are given the opportunities to learn and are put in an environment that encourages their development, then they are more likely to do well and go on to achieve great things. Journalist and author of ‘Outliers: The Story of Success’, Malcolm Gladwell, believes that the logic behind who succeeds and who doesn’t lies in a person’s family, culture and friendship. An individual may be extremely driven and intelligent, but to achieve their full potential they need to be given the right opportunities to succeed.
In my experience, I believe there is a place for all kinds of people in the business world, from all levels of intellect and background, and we need companies to be run by a diverse set of individuals. I’ve met a number of inspirational yet completely different people along my own journey as an entrepreneur. In particular, during my tenure as president of the UK’s largest chamber of commerce, Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, I met with many successful entrepreneurs including local leaders of global companies, such as Andrew Tinkler, CEO of Stobart Group, Steve Purdham, founder of SurfControl, Phil Jones MBE, managing director of Brother UK, as well as Jennie Johnson, founder of Kids Allowed, who’s successfully grown her award-winning business locally.
All of these people possess various personality traits, they’ve all had diverse experiences or have followed different paths to lead them to where they are now. But one thing remains the same. Each one has had the drive and determination to succeed and all have achieved great things.
Personally, I would say there is no specific formula that guarantees greatness, every story is different. It’s not about whether a person was born to succeed or whether they acquired the skills to prosper. There are people who seize the opportunities that they are given and won’t (or can’t) accept defeat. That’s the key to success.
To read more on the nature or nurture debate, take a look at the latest article published on IT Pro Portal from our managing director, Dr Moneeb can read the full article here.