The Student Becomes the Master

What key behaviors do most successful people share?

A few years ago, a student at the University of Tampa called and asked if I’d be willing to serve as his mentor for a class in entrepreneurship. He was bright, articulate, and had an unusual level of focus.

I was impressed. He had done his research and made it very easy to say yes.

What he may not have known then is that a mentor usually benefits as much as the mentee, which was exactly my experience with Scott Shuman. For example, in discussing his ideas, he didn’t just want my advice. He wanted to understand the reasons behind my advice. This was a great gift because it challenged me to reconsider some long held beliefs.

Today, Scott is the Director of Operations at the Sue Adler Team. Oh, and by the way, he’s also finding time to be on pace for about $25mm of real estate transactions of his own. (Whaaaat?!?)

That’s beyond impressive. And yet, it’s not beyond what’s available to each of us when our thoughts and actions are aligned with our most desired outcomes. As I worked with Scott, he continued to impress. I was certain he’d go on to do big things because of two key behaviors he had that most successful people share:

1) Organized Thinking & Prioritized Actions
He arrived to our calls with an agenda, discussion points, and a clearly defined point of view. Having done quality work, he wasn’t satisfied. He insisted I challenge his perspective and find ways to ‘plus it.’ This made my experience of mentoring him an absolute delight! 

 2) Speed of Implementation
He was impatient, just as success is impatient. He wasn’t waiting for something to happen– he was happening to things. My thoughts at the time, were that Scott wasn’t merely taking a class in entrepreneurship, he was attacking it.

How does one adapt these behaviors?

I’m writing about this now because there’s not a person, company, process, or system that can’t be improved with a focus on these two habits – and, among the truly successful, these behaviors become habits. And like all habits, they’re easier to develop with the support of others.

Scott both gets and gives support through his connection to a community of operations badasses led by my friend Christy Belt Grossman. She’s helped him plug into an entire community of people he can help and be helped by. In fact, he’ll be a featured speaker at her upcoming event, which you can learn about here:

Being successful is no joke. It takes dedication, grit, passion, smarts and heart – and, even with all these things, your career will plateau without a focus on operations. Scott was smart enough to see that right from the start of his career and it’s no wonder he’s killing it.

I’m really proud of the progress he’s made and it’s exciting to see him flourish. If you’d like to meet him in person, you should check out Christy’s event. It’s called the Ops Boss Leader Retreat and it’s a kind of nirvana for people ready to geek out on systems, processes, and leadership.

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