To be of any relevance to other people, especially in business, you have to have a secret sauce. You may say it is your skill, your flair, your attitude, your perseverance, your sociability, your networked-ness, your professionalism or any combination of these and other factors. But some of these are just vehicles and many others are table stakes. If you strain all of these thoughts, things will boil down to, in my opinion anyways, one of the two things.

One is intuition — the ability to see things far ahead of what others are capable of. May be others will see it too, but will take time. The ability to apply timely judgments — of people, of opportunities, of executive decisions, market direction, outcomes of strategies etc…If you thought you will achieve this through skill alone, you may be missing the point.

Another is rigor — the ability to persevere, the ability to follow up on things through extreme individual rigor, through an almost mechanical process of checklisting, laboriously attempting to connect the dots and enforcing compliance to this rigor both upon themselves and upon the organization they influence.

The truth is successful people have lot of both. You don’t have to have a lot of both — you have to have lot of at least one of them and the other one will fall in line.