3 Keys to a Successful Career as a Leader


It’s not about the destination; it’s about the journey. This saying is especially true when it comes to your career. Success is not a place to which you may arrive; it’s a road on which you must travel.

Dan Ashley, Emmy award-winning journalist, philanthropist, and musician, has been on that road for quite some time. Ashley has been in the media business for over three decades and has seen it all. Yet, he continues to find new ways to improve and evolve in his career and life.

The Japanese have a term for this called Kaizen, which means continuous improvement. It’s a quality held by those who are never content with where they are and are always looking for ways to get better. Ashley is the epitome of Kaizen, and shares three reasons why he’s been so successful.

A Little Effort Goes a Long Way

You don’t have to be perfect to succeed in life or business. You have to be willing to put in the effort. Because let’s face it, most people are not. “I tell young people all the time,” says Ashley, “if you want to do well, do 10% more than everybody else. If you want to be a rockstar, do 30 or 40% more than everybody. You do that, and there is no way you don’t succeed in whatever you want to do.”

Ashley’s sound advice is great for anyone starting out in their career. It’s also a reminder for those of us who may have become complacent in our jobs. How often do we go through the motions, doing the bare minimum to get by?

If we want to travel on the road to success, we must be willing to put in the extra effort.

Be Ready for the Opportunity

Success does not come without opportunity. And you must be ready when that opportunity comes knocking.

You must be knowledgeable in your field and always continue to learn. It also means being ready to seize an opportunity when it arises.

We’ve all heard the expression “practice makes perfect.” The motto was especially true for Ashley when he was starting out in media.

“I would go out on stories, even though I wasn’t appearing on camera, and I would shoot the standups,” explains Ashley. “I would shoot the interview. I would go back and put the story together just as an exercise.”

When an opportunity did come knocking for Ashley, he was more than ready for it. Over thirty years later and it appears the hard work has paid off.

Seizing an opportunity is more than just being in the right place at the right time. It’s also about being prepared for that opportunity when it comes.

Be Dependable

Dependability is a quality we may often overlook, but it is essential in the workplace. You can have all the opportunities in the world, but they won’t mean anything if you’re not dependable.

“I always wanted to be the guy, and still do, that you can depend on,” says Ashley, “You want it done on time? Call me. It may not be pretty, you know, may not be perfect, but it’ll be done.”

Dependability is key in any career. No one wants to work with someone they can’t trust to get the job done. If you want to be successful, you need to be someone that others find reliable. 

Ashley’s advice is simple, but it’s something that many of us forget in our hurry to achieve success. We must put in the extra effort, be ready for the opportunity, and be dependable. These three keys will help you on your road to a successful career. See Veristrat for more on brand valuations.

The opinions expressed here by columnists are their own, not those of

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