The Winner’s List

Today I’m celebrating.

Today, December 17, 2020, it’s been 13 years since I won an award that meant a lot to me as an author.

Further on, I offer you an adaptation of the article for which I got the first prize for the best personal and professional development article in the competition organized by Ionuţ Ciurea in 2007. The article was on par with the one written by Tudor Mateescu: How to be creative and fulfill your dream according to the following criteria: structure, applicability, relevance, concision, and customization. Ionuţ Ciurea wrote that I, the author of the article “The Winner’s list”: “have a dangerously structured and analytical mind. It is a complete article, full of resources, excellently structured.” His appreciation honored me completely, especially since Ionuţ Ciurea is one of the Romanian bloggers I learned the most. That award was an important confirmation for me when I used my previous author name. From now on, you can find it here and on this blog exclusively. On this anniversary, when rewriting the article, I made a significant modification compared to the original version: most of the articles for which you can find a link are written by me.



by Marcus Victor Grant (2007)

I have found a game of personal development.

At one point, I was listening to a colleague working in the field of human resources profiling complaining about seeing so much potential in particular people who choose not to use it. I told him that this was the reason why he was only a manager and not a leader and that things would stay that waythe leader knows not only to observe the potential in people but also to activate it without acting in the sense of «help the old woman cross the street, without her wanting this».

People don’t need to be aware of a particular course of action’s benefits because they haven’t been taught to “buy” ideas like that. Maybe that was the case 100 years ago. Still, leadership has become evident in a world where everyone expresses their personality in a unique, distinct, and observable way compared to others.

Precisely that is why those who truly succeed in influencing the lives of others through the quality of the decisions/actions they inspire have more and more reasons to “be proud of themselves”, and not in a selfish or narcissistic way, but in the sense of being motivated to use their inner power.

Maybe the persons you have encountered so far didn’t know how to discover in you, the reader of this article, certain skills that you actually have. In this regard, I have prepared a small inventory to help you grow your self-esteem and discover, beyond your potential, even the potential to influence others!

I have used this exercise with several persons, filling in, in pairs, one at a time (or alone, or on messenger/Facebook…), the statements below, taken from the book «Fast Track to the Top. 10 Skills for Career Success» by Ros Taylor and John Humphrey.

I even suggest you use this list to play a game in pairs. Since I published the article, I have played tens of times on Yahoo Messenger the “winner’s list”. How is it done? Firstly, give the link to this article – – to your game partner. Then, each of you thinks of a spontaneous answer to complete the sentence about themselves. Whoever gives a correct answer (i.e., positive, about themselves, and specific) gets one point. There are 23 points. In the end, it is counted who has more issues, and that one is the winner for that round. It is a game that brings about good humor and motivation.


The winner’s list

  1. One thing I like about myself is…
  2. One thing others like about myself is…
  3. A recent issue that I have solved very well is…
  4. What I do when I am in my best shape:……..
  5. I am glad I…
  6. Those who know me are happy that I….
  7. A compliment that has recently been paid to me is….
  8. A principle that I try hard to implement is…
  9. An example showing that I care about the fate of others:….
  10. People can count on me when it comes to…
  11. I have been told that I had done an excellent job when I …
  12. One thing I am better at this year than the previous year is…
  13. A difficulty that I successfully surpassed is…
  14. An example of my ability to come through in life is…
  15. I deal best with people when…
  16. A goal that I am now trying to achieve is…
  17. A recent temptation to which I have succeeded in resisting is…
  18. I have pleasantly surprised myself when…
  19. I think I have the courage to…
  20. If I were to say one good thing about myself, it would be that…
  21. A manner in which I manage to contain my emotions is…
  22. One can count on me when it is about…
  23. An important thing that I intend to do in the following two months is….


Fast Track to the Top. 10 Skills for Career Success, by Ros Taylor and John Humphrey

The authors of this book have conducted a study interviewing 80 leaders in the economic and public sectors who worked for companies such as Pricewaterhouse Coopers, World Trade Center, Ford, Pfizer, Savoy, and Reuters. The conclusions regarding the factors that have determined their success show a few interesting positions; next to them, I have also included links to articles/references that will help you to achieve this. Read the articles!


The list of the fundamental factors for success

The capacity to solve problems in crisis situations

The need to get results

The ambition to succeed

The capacity to work with various types of people

Creating and maintaining an effective team

Better resistance to distress than others
The capacity to initiate changes

The capacity to transact and negotiate

More confidence in oneself than in those around

The desire to take calculated risks

The use of organizational values to impulse others.

The elegant approach to conflicts

The network of relations

Regularly setting achievable personal objectives


Magic of leadership

Leadership, by definition, is a set of traits that someone has most recently formed by practicing specific skills, either consciously or subconsciously, which exerts a non-formal power of influencing others’ decisions and actions. Developing leadership skills requires overcoming obstacles to achieving the leader’s plans.

The American series «The Apprentice» (I am referring to the original version created by Mark Burnett for Donald Trump in the USA – the series on entrepreneurs that I have reviewed here) has an entire series of examples of people who were fired for the mere reason that they lacked even one of the components of leadership. For example, one of them asked the others if his decisions were good, and another was too confident and took an unjustified risk, showing how important those traits that are part of leadership can be.

To understand how it works, we should think of the answer to the question: «How could it not be so?». To answer this question, I will take the multi-level marketing structures as an example. The involvement of a certain number of people in the “team” of the recruiter very much depends on the leadership abilities of the respective person.

Here, leadership can be measured objectively, whether it is about someone who knows how to find the right person for a particular sales scheme. Here comes the observation in the practice of the ability of a specific person to overcome the current difficulties and generate inspiration for others so that they would find their own motivation.

Thus, the responsibility of having certain persons in a formal structure is worth nothing if it is not doubled by the quality of an informal relationship. Moreover, when this responsibility exists, self-esteem is strengthened by the results that this type of approach generates in a particular group.

Now think about it: when you are among people, are you the factor that all comes together in the short or long term? If the answer is “in the short term”, then you are just an animator. You manage to “get people riled up”, but you can’t push those “buttons” that help them figure out what precisely in their inner motivation will help them achieve their potential.


What a leader does, in short

The capacity to teach others how to use their potential is doubled by the knowledge and information that the leader uses to teach others how to use them to their advantage and to meet their objectives. This transmission of learning is done in a way that, on the one hand, empowers those who receive this information, giving them independence from the leader. On the other hand, it provides the satisfaction of the leader’s personal fulfillment, which greatly matters for self-esteem. Involvement is considered by him a reward in itself.

Each person has a specific mission and perceives, more clearly or less clearly, a particular role or purpose. It is the one that, once implemented daily, creates a vision. However, the vision is contradicted by behaviors, actions, and habits. Habits determine the quality and level of success we achieve in life, both personally and professionally.

A leader knows how he obtained specific results, what precisely made him get those results, how to replicate his success, and how to teach others to do the same. People follow a leader and a vision, but first, they follow a leader. «If people don’t like the vision, but they like the leader, they will change the vision. If people like the vision, but they don’t like the leader, they will change the leader.” (Jim Rohn)

From the list of fundamental factors of success, the first things on the list are impossible not to bring more confidence in their own strengths beyond the opinions of others (excluding a blind trust or neglect of spirituality). Otherwise … it will be left with an undeveloped potential, as illustrated by the parable of the talents in the Bible.

Marcus Victor Grant

Copyright © Marcus Victor Grant 2007-present Translation by Cristiana Brezeanu of the article “Lista învingătoruluipublished initially by Marcus Victor Grant in Romanian on December 16, 2013, on Discerne. Copyright © Marcus Victor Grant, all rights reserved. Originally written in 2007. Updated for republishing in English in 2020. 

The materials on this blog are subject to this disclaimer.

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