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The Role of Competency, Network-Building and Character

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    Success: The Role of Competency, Network-Building and Character

                Whether it is in the field of business, medicine, the law profession and entrepreneurship among others, success can only be achieved through the combination of several factors. Among these are competency, network or alliance building and character. Although different disciplines and field have their own definitions of success, for the purpose of this discussion, success is seen as the combination of various resources towards the achievement or surpassing of a preset expectation or pre-determined goals in a given field or game.

    John Wooden, former coach of the UCLA basketball team provided a very concise definition of success: “”Peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable” (Edelhauser, 2007). The following section delves one by one with the concepts of competency, ability to work with others, and character as they relate to success.

                Competency refers to the level of mastery and excellence that an individual achieves in relation to his skill or talent. It directly contributes to the achievement of goals, and consequently to success. For example, in basketball, without good competence in dribbling the ball, rebounding to get it and score points, there could be no success for the individual, as well as for the whole team. On the other hand, in business settings, the entrepreneur should display competency in various skills and knowledge needed to effectively run the business. Without competency, success may be difficult to come by. However, this should not discourage somebody who lacks this. Through continuous practice and training, an individual will be able to gain the much needed competency in the skills and areas needed in achieving success. After all, Thomas Alva Edison finally invented the right incandescent bulb after hundreds of incorrect ones.

                Ability to work with others, or build alliances is another factor that may contribute to success. According to Covey (2004), independence in a person is praiseworthy; however, interdependence is even more highly praised. There are times that individual effort is not enough for a task just like basketball or the marketing of a business. In a business setting, one important trait that an entrepreneur should master is their ability to establish good social relations with prospective clients and suppliers as well as their colleagues in the business (Baron & Markman, 2003).

                The last concept is character. This is an equally important ingredient to success. Character empowers the personal discipline and integrity of an individual. Consequently, this also enhances the competence and the reputation of an individual, which leads to better chances in building alliances. Business executives are now realizing the need to go beyond superficial religion and ethics in the workplace. In its place, they are now developing good character that empowers ethical business dealings and moral habits. In the short term, this may be difficult to implement and adhere to, but as time goes by, the integrity and reputation built by character will help the business (Cavanagh & Bandsuch, 2002).     Character, alliance or network building and character are integral factors to the achievement of success. Not only that, the kind of success facilitated by these three factors is not fleeting nor is it a one-time-big-time affair. Rather, it builds strength from the ground up and contributes to longevity and sustainability of the success earned by an individual or by a group of people. In both basketball and business settings, these three are important factors for success.


    Baron, R. A. & Markman, G. D. (2003). Beyond Social Capital: the Role of Entrepreneurs’ Social Competence in their Financial Success. Journal of Business Venturing, 18 (1), 41-60.

    Cavanagh, G. F. & Bandsuch, M. R. (2002). Virtue as a Benchmark for Spirituality in Business. Journal of Business Ethics, 38 (1-2), 109-117.

    Covey, S. R. (2004). The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. New York: Free Press.

    Edelhauser, K. (2007). John Wooden’s Pyramid Still Standing., Retrieved 31 August 2007 from


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