Lots of People are Competent. Here’s Why They Don’t Reach the Top.

The indefinable secret to success.

Karen Nimmo
On The Couch
Published in
4 min readMay 27, 2024

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Image by Freepik

You’re talented; you know your stuff; you work hard.

So, you think, if I keep showing up and learning it’s only a matter of time until I make it “big” in my field. Right?

Well, maybe. But only if you have the essential ingredient that (a) will take you to the top and (b) keep you there.

3 Essentials of Success

I confess, this topic has had me in its grip for a long time. It’s filtered through my work in sports, in business, in life too.

Why do some people succeed over others who are — from outward appearances at least — equally talented and hard-working? Why are some good, but only a few go on to be great?

Any leadership book or course will sell you on the answers to this. The first two are obvious.

1. You must build your skills — you must have mastery in your field. You must know what you’re doing.

2. You must be able to build connections with others — to get them on board with what you are trying to do. You must be able to take your ideas out and beyond yourself.

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Karen Nimmo
On The Couch

Clinical psychologist, author of 4 books. Editor of On the Couch: Practical psychology for health and happiness. karen@onthecouch.co.nz