The secret to success and staying at the top.

Everyone wants to know how to get to the top, how to be the best at something, anything, whatever it may be. It feels good doesn’t it? To be the best at something, to possess a particular skill or skill set that no one else does. To be…unique. So how do you get to the top?? And more importantly, how do you stay there??

We have all watched action movies at some time or another, and the concept that I want to use as a demonstration would be found most commonly in spy related movies. An expert passing on his skills and knowledge to a protégé. Think of a movie where an agent called out of retirement has to face the enemy who is the protégé that he trained and taught everything he knew…there are so many, so it shouldn’t be too hard.
Who wins?
That’s right, the teacher always wins.
Now ask yourself why?
Experience? Possibly. Experience is no doubt valuable in any circumstance and would give you an edge over someone with the same knowledge. Is it enough though?
Age can be a factor too right?
How many of these films have you seen where the “teacher” is getting on a bit yet stills manages to hand the “student” an ass kicking.
I had a squash coach when I was about fifteen years of age, he was eighty.  I will never forget that no matter how good we got, how many tricks we learnt, it seemed impossible to beat him. A match with him would consist of you running all over the place whilst he was stood more or less in one place. By the end, you would think someone had just thrown you into a swimming pool, while he would just casually wipe away a few beads of sweat that might have formed on his forehead….and that is if you played well!!
How did he do it? How was it possible that my teacher, an eighty year old man could beat any one of his students without so much as breaking a sweat??

Over the years I have discovered the answer to these questions.
Being unique helps to get you to the top, staying unique helps you stay there. Does it make sense now?
Think about those movies, the “teacher” always has some sort of secret, something he has not given away, not taught. It is that something that gives him or her the edge, and keeps them on top. Coupled with experience is a recipe for success.
It’s just movies you say. Not true. I speak from experience, personal experience and have discovered that my flaw was always passing on my knowledge, all my knowledge, which inevitably led to my replaceability in different scenarios.

So let me sum up exactly what I am trying to say. To get to the top, you learn from others mistakes and you use your own unique skills to push past everyone else. Once you are at the top, or on your way there, you will undoubtedly be required or requested to pass your skills on to others. You become the “teacher”.
So pass on your knowledge by all means, but if you would like to stay first in line to the top, or keep yourself firmly at the top, make sure that you keep that little bit of information, your personal secret to success, to yourself. Once you pass on that which makes you unique, surprise surprise, you are no longer unique, no longer irreplaceable.
So I leave you with three words… Knowledge is power.


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