It's easy to tell you what you likely DON'T have in common with them - fame, fortune, and
24 hours in a day, and a sphere of influence. The same thing every human on the planet gets.
It's what you do with those 24 hours, and that sphere of influence that matters.
As an IT leader, or an aspiring IT leader, we study successful people and look to emulate them. Too often however, we limit our perspective of what makes them successful to money, position, titles and influence.
"Work hard and get rich" are goals that will leave you empty. How will you know you've arrived?
Each of these people are highly successful in what they do, have earned a great deal of money in the process, but have followed their passions and have individually committed to using their resources to make a difference in this world.
Drive:The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us highlights the research that shows that in cognitive based tasks, money is a poor motivator for increased performance. What does drive performance (or results) is the amount of Autonomy ( the desire to direct our own lives), Mastery (the urge to get better and better at something that matters), and Purpose (the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves) we have in our careers and lives. (If you would prefer the animated version of the book, check out RSA Animate's treatment of the book here)
Which gets me back to the things you have in common with Bill, Warren and Bono.
Each of these men have, and have had, 24 hour days to accomplish what they did. Just like you do.
Granted, they may have had connections and resources that you don't, but they didn't have any more time than you do.
They also had passion which motivated them. If you look at them now, you will see how their passions now drive actions that are having a profound influence in our world. These guys are PASSION DRIVEN, and you should be too. And they are working to something bigger than their careers. They choose to spend their time doing impactive things that align with their passions - both in their career and personal life.
If you are a CIO (or want to become one), and can't articulate WHY you are in this career, then perhaps it's time to reconsider. If you are spending 100% of your time, energy and resources on making money, then perhaps it's time to reconsider. If you are not impacting your sphere of influence to do something in the service of something larger than yourself, perhaps it's time to reconsider.
Sorry to sound preachy. As always, this blog post is written primarily to myself. Consider this my public journal. If I've given you pause to think today, then it has certainly been worth my time to share... and follow my passion, and leverage my sphere of influence.
So... armed with at least 2 of the things that have made Bill, Warren and Bono "successful", what are you going to do about it?
My final thought is a quote from Rick Warren - "Killing time is suicide".