Winning Words

Top performers share their secrets to success


One myth about top performers in any field is that they tend to keep their secrets of success to themselves. Engaging in conversations with very successful senior executives, top-performing sales and business leaders, and high-achieving athletes, the more information I seem to gather. And not only that, I find them really open to sharing some of their very best practices.

The myth has been around for a while. Some sort of belief that top performers in any field like to hold on to their secrets so that they can maintain a comfortable lead over the competitors, internal rivals, and sometimes teammates. Well that may be true for a few top performers who only care about themselves, but not for the majority.

The majority live with an abundance mentality. They also know that they do not ever want to commit the sin of the desert. The sin of the desert, as told by a Bedouin shepherd, “Is knowing where there is water but refusing to tell others.”

Top performers and successful people typically like to help others. Not so much by giving a handout, but always willing to give a hand up. And there is a big difference between the two. Top performers and highly successful people also like to associate with or hang out with other high achievers. They will tell you that they walk away from conversations feeling more energized, inspired, and creative. They walk away from encounters motivated to try even harder while thinking of new ways to improve themselves, their business, or their game.

I have made thousands of trips over the years and have sat next to a wide variety of people. Although travel can be a bit tough sometimes, I love and enjoy the people I get to meet. I have learned so much from the people who have sat next to me. From CEOs and celebrities, to professional athletes and everyday people. Each person’s story added something to my life and to my learning. My natural curiosity and asking appropriate questions help to facilitate a discussion around some of their best practices and secrets of success. They do not commit the sin of the desert, as they openly share where the water can be found.

Competition in every industry and at every level of sports is at an all-time high. The job market is tight and tough right now. Everyone is looking for that slight edge. Being prepared, doing research, understanding how to leverage data are all great ideas to help us understand how to position value in our company, our products, and ourselves. However, one of the very best things we can do, my own best practice and secret to success, is to meet with and talk with the top performers and high achievers in the business or in the game.

Again, maybe some people who live with a scarcity mentality may not be willing to share what they know. And just like people in general, and by human nature, top performers and high achievers are no different than the rest of us. Most of us will often try and help people whenever we can.

And even though you may not have access to asking the top performers and high achievers for their best practices or secrets to their success, there are some amazing and inspiring biographies available to read or listen to. There are local Master Mind Groups we can join or, we can start our own, inviting some of the best and brightest and who will openly share how they have achieved a higher level of success.

So how about you? Are you committing the sin of the desert or do you look for opportunities to help others, offering your experiences, ideas, and best practices? I would love to hear your top-performing story at, and when we can share our secrets of success and learn from others how they achieved success, it really will be a better than good week.

Michael Norton is the grateful CEO of, a personal and professional coach, and a consultant, trainer, encourager and motivator to businesses of all sizes.

Michael Norton


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