How Do Successful People Become Successful?

Dr. Ruth Gotian is the Chief Learning Officer and Assistant Professor of Education in Anesthesiology and former Assistant Dean of Mentoring and Executive Director of the Mentoring Academy at Weill Cornell Medicine. She has been hailed by the journal Nature and Columbia University as an expert in mentorship and leadership development. In 2021, she was selected as one of 30 people worldwide to be named to the Thinkers50 Radar List, dubbed the Oscars of management thinking, and recently won the Thinkers50 Distinguished Achievement “Radar” Award ranking her the #1 emerging management thinker in the world to bridge theory and practice. She is also a semi-finalist for the Forbes 50 Over 50 list. In addition to publishing in academic journals, she is a contributor to Forbes and Psychology Today where she writes about ‘optimizing success’. Her research is about the mindset and skill set of peak performers, including Nobel laureates, astronauts, and Olympic champions. Her forthcoming book, The Success Factor, is now available.


2:44 – Happy Book Birthday!

4:48 – 4 Attributes of high achievers.

5:20 – I’ve always been obsessed with top achievers.

5:40 – Success is a learned skill.

6:25 – I had my Jerry Mcguire moment, grabbed my fishbowl and started my own firm.

7:35 – As an adult educator I can’t just tell you what to have without teaching you how to do it.

8:20 – 20% of your time on passion in order for the rest of your job not to suck the life out of you.

9:00 – Have you ever done a Passion Audit?

10:02 – INVEST in your passion, don’t FOLLOW it.

14:06 – Will you get through this hurdle vs. how will you get through this hurdle?

16:18 – Surround yourself with a team of mentors who believe in you more than you believe in yourself.

17:50 – Top achievers fear not trying more than they fear failing.

18:51 – They embrace their lack of knowledge and are open to learning.

20:17 – If you’re the most interesting person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.

23:14 – What did it take to get there?

24:12 – I always thought success was for other people.

26:01 – It’s not just about getting the opportunity but knowing what to do with it.

29:20 – Olympians who win bronze medals are happier than those who win the gold.

33:15 – Have you ever done a Goal Audit?

35:00 – How do we teach this to our kids?

37:20 – Surround yourself with people where the expectations are higher.

39:43 – Create your own personal learning network.

41:47 – Surround yourself with incredible people and your habits are sure to change.

47:17 – When do things get easier? Where is the momentum for us mere mortals?

51:05 – Getting to the top of Mt. Everest isn’t success, it’s the getting back down to the bottom alive part.

54:28 – Don’t give away your gold time.

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