I just completed reading a book 8 WAYS TO GREAT. It is short (114 pages) but packed with great insight on what makes great people great. I read it in a few hours and as is the case in all the books I read I highlight major points and make margin notes about what strikes me as important enough to share with others. What follows are the eight principles or “ways to great” and the quotes I found worth passing along.
First Principle: Find Your “Why?”
“The reason most people go through life with big dreams but fail to achieve them is because they ask themselves “how” before they know their “why”(9).
Second Principle: Get To Know Yourself
“The perfect trader-if such a person exists-is methodical and careful about making decisions, extremely disciplined, resilient to setbacks, with a high degree of internal confidence. He holds strong opinions but is also able to admit quickly when he is wrong, not take it personally, and view it as a learning opportunity rather than a failure. He understands the value of leaving his ego at the door. He’s willing and able to trust his gut and place big bets when the opportunity presents itself. In fact, that pretty well describes the ideal blend of characteristics of any successful person, no matter what he is doing professionally or personally” (18-19).
Third Principle: Learn To Love The Process
“The best traders don’t think about how many millions they need to make each year. They focus on making the best trading decision they can with each trade they make. And if there isn’t a good trading opportunity right now, they have the discipline to do nothing and just wait. Concentrating on one trade at a time is their process” (38).
Fourth Principle: Sharpen Your Edge
“Gaining a competitive advantage is like having a two-edged sword, and you need to keep both of them sharp. On edge is internal-knowing what unique skills you bring to the table. The other is external and comes from gathering knowledge that makes it more likely you’ll succeed” (45).
Fifth Principle: Be All That You Can Be
“The takeaway lesson for everyone wanting to optimize their own performance without regard for what others are doing is fourfold: 1) know your edge; 2) act only when you have the edge; 3) avoid taking the outcome personally because it involves factors that are beyond your control; 4) measure your success in terms of how well you performed and not only the outcome” (70).
Sixth Principle: Keep Your Cool
“Deciding when to cut your losses is one of the toughest decisions for anyone to make, but traders at the top of their game know that they always have to make the decisions they need to make, which may or may not be the ones they want to make” (77).
Seventh Principle: Get Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable
“In the trading world, you will either make money or lose money on any given trade. All that matters in the end is making more money when you’re right than you lose when you’re wrong. Knowing this, traders have learned to accept failure as part of the game, but they also use the information they acquire from their mistakes as a learning tool. Frequently, what they learn from losing money is more valuable than what they learn when they make money” (90).
Eighth Principle: Make Yourself Accountable
“Commitment, perseverance, and discipline are the characteristics that move people beyond desire to action, that differentiate mediocrity from greatness, and that separate greatness from superstardom” (95).
And to sum up: “True success begins with a state of mind. But it takes specific actions and behaviors to move from intentions into action and get results” (2)