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Career Lessons from Books: "Clarity of mission is a powerful cornerstone of success" - Will Smith

In his memoir, Will Smith and co-author Mark Manson document Will's career journey from being a rapper and a star in the Sitcom "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air" to building a $8 billion global box office track record and two academy award nominations as one of the best movie stars of our generation.

Will recalls how seeing Eddie Murphy in Star Wars inspired him to set a clear goal for himself, "I want to be the biggest movie star in the world". This was followed by two questions he had to answer:

1. What makes someone a movie star (as opposed to simply an actor)? - this informed WHO he was going to be committed to becoming.

To answer this, he studied the top movie stars to identify the common traits they had which made them get approached to take on big roles.

2. What are the key elements of the biggest movies? - this informed HOW to get there and resulted in him making the decision to focus on only the opportunities that would get him there and not waste his time and energy on opportunities that did not meet the criteria.

To answer this, his manager helped him analyse the top-ten movies at the time and come up with 3 common elements shared by these movies: special effects,creatures and a romantic storyline.

Using this checklist / criteria, Will turned down a $10million offer to star in a gangster movie because it didn't align with the criteria he had set for himself, and accepted another offer of $300k that seemed like it would get him to his goal. The decision did indeed pay off and the rest is history.

Will's story is inspirational, but the lessons are not unique and may even sound cliché because they are common across the journeys of successful people in whatever sector worldwide. No one wakes up successful and goes "Oops, how did I get here?". It takes intentionality and clear goal-setting to get there.

Whether we want to be better leaders, better employees, better entrepreneurs, build better products, improve processes, grow in our careers. The same lessons apply:

✅Have a clear goal 🥅

✅Learn from other people who have walked the journey before you and have become successful in your desired area of success. 📖

✅Understand WHO you need to be - and work on yourself to be that person. 🧑🏾‍💼👨🏾‍💼

✅Understand the path to get there - and focus - say YES to what will get you there, and NO to what will derail you from getting there. 🛣️

✅Surround yourself with the right people to advise you, advocate for you and invest in you. 👬🏾👭🏾👭🏾👬🏾

Everyday we are either walking towards or away from our goals. Are we clear on where we are going?



Hi, thanks for stopping by!

I am a passionate leader, accomplished professional and a mentor. I believe that nation-building depends on how well we build people. Therefore, my mission is to contribute to the personal, professional and leadership development of people to empower them to reach their highest potential.

I do this through a mentorship program that I founded and through this blog where I share principles I've applied and insights I've gained in the past twelve years of my career and leadership journey.

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