Creative LeadershipCreativity

Success is Primal

When I played football in high school, I learned that the best players weren’t always the ones with talent, skill, or great physical assets.  Very often, the best players were the ones who simply wanted it the most.  They were mean, hard, and focused on their goal. Back in those days, I was fast, but I wasn’t primal. I didn’t have that killer instinct. We had this one guy on our team that was smaller than me, but he didn’t think twice about tackling someone much larger than him.

Looking back, I see the primal nature of success and why it matters. Talent, skill, and ability are important, but when it comes to success, I’m betting on the one who has a gut level, blinding desire to succeed.  They’re the ones who will stay up late, burn the midnight oil, and do whatever it takes to win.  They look at the odds and ignore them.

Certainly they can go overboard, but the fact is, if you want to get to the top, get your voice heard, or get noticed, it will take far more than talent.  It will take a burning – primal – desire.  The kind of desire that doesn’t take “no” for an answer, and simply does not quit.

That can’t be learned – it has to be found deep, down inside.

The question is – do you have it?

Related Articles


  1. Brilliant words for sure, all except for the lacking of a caution.

    Let’s be honest, it’s the passive aggressive, A-type personalities that you’re referring to … mostly. And sometimes those personalities, mixed with the indelible desire to win no matter what, are the ones that walk over people, burn bridges, and end up destroying the ultimate joy that may have come from success … all in order to get there or gain it.

    There is a delicate balance needed. Especially within the church, because when leaders become more concerned with success based off of numbers or feedback, they end up forgoing the reasons we are a church in the first place – to reach the lost, help the hurting, give to the broken, and share an undying, unrelenting love to the world.

    Success is great. Getting there is even better. But doing it all with open palms, allowing God to open the door and then giving Him the glory once you’re there, is the only way to do it. For through this way success is joined with joy and the partnership couldn’t be better.

    1. Totally agree Josh. My problem is the lack of passion and killer instinct I see out there – particularly with creatives. I love the famous quote from a basketball coach who said: “Remember that when you’re not practicing, someone somewhere IS practicing, and when you meet him, he will win.”

  2. Love this, Phil. I’m a type A, work til I drop person. I’d love to read a blog (from you) about boundaries.

Leave a Reply

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker