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Career Performance

by Randall Craig on July 21, 2009

Filed in: Blog, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Planning,

Tagged as: , ,

What do Stevie Wonder, Leonard Cohen, and Elton John all have in common? They are all musicians, all internationally famous, and they have all been writing music and performing for decades. But what accounts for their success?

  • They had great teachers and mentors.
  • They practiced their scales and rehearsed their music, and got very good at what they did.
  • They listened to other musicians, and incorporated other styles into their own.
  • They evolved, growing better – and different – over the years.
  • Despite a focus on the music, they didn’t ignore the business of music.

This is exactly how successful people manage their careers: They invest in education, learn from their mentors, evolve over the years, and despite a focus on their current jobs, they actively manage their careers. They get very good at what they do.

This week’s action item: Are you doing as well managing your career, as these musicians are in managing theirs? Look at the list above, and choose one thing that you may have been ignoring, and plan how to do more of it.

Postscript: We can’t know whether Wonder’s, Cohen’s, and John’s name in music will be as well known as Mozart, Bach, or Beethoven, but we do know that without working hard today, they won’t have that long-term professional success. (And neither will you.)

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Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)



Randall has been advising on Web and Social Strategy since 1994 when he put the Toronto Star online, the Globe and Mail's GlobeInvestor/Globefund, several financial institutions, and about 100+ other major organizations. He is the author of seven books, including the recently released "Everything Guide to Starting an Online Business", and speaks across North America on Social Media and Web Strategy. More at and

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