Helping Others Succeed

Helping Others Succeed

“It is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed.” —Napoleon Hill

In the 1800s, many families sought greener pastures and moved West across the undiscovered America. They could travel as far as Cumberland Gap in Missouri, but then had to travel another 3,200 km (2,000 mi) by wagon to the Pacific Coast. Once leaving Missouri, it was near impossible for a single family to forge ahead alone, so they would wait on the side of the trail until a troupe they could join would pass.

Often, these new formed bonds were created over one short conversation. It was connection at the Speed of Trust.

Four or five generations later, this same family culture became many of the risk-takers who started companies in Silicon Valley.

“What we see in Silicon Valley is a legacy of the expansion of the American frontier, which required the creation of spontaneous, high-trust communities among diverse strangers.”

It’s a regional culture of success through cooperation.

There’s a great story told in a Forbes article:

“We would often be in the lab working and get a call from one of our competitors across town- they would have some kind of problem, and they would ask for help. We would drop what we were doing, load up our equipment in our cars, and drive to their lab and lend a hand.  We would work all night if we had to, and fix the problem. We would figure it out and then everybody would head to The Wagon Wheel [a local cafe] to get breakfast together. The next day we were all back at work at our respective companies. That was the way it worked back then, we were all in it together.”

We’ve found that the most successful people we know are the most willing to offer a hand up the so-called “Ladder of Success” in life. They implement an Exhortation Style versus a Parkour Style.

Exhortation Style is encouragement and intrinsically motivating others. In other words, you’re motivated by a great vision and making the world a better place.

Parkour Style is follow the leader as he jumps off of buildings and rolls around on gravel. It’s fun to watch, but scary to follow in the footsteps. In other words, this style shoots the follower down (or breaks their leg).

If you haven't seen parkour in action before, watch this (or see below). This style of leadership feels cool at first, then just turns silly after you start trying to emulate it.

Are you taking risks just to take them? Or are you surrounding yourself with other families, friends, competitors who you can help succeed? Success breeds success.

(photo via binomialphoto)