The StoneRounds Success Camp

Introduction to Success Camp – Edwin M. Stone

In 1986, I thought that the main things that would be necessary to cure heritable blindness were clinical and basic scientific discoveries: test tubes, DNA sequencers, new diagnostic methods, new surgical instruments, hypothesis driven experiments – that sort of thing. My perspective thirty-two years later is quite different. I now believe that while scientific discovery is important, the most important thing that is needed to cure heritable blindness is a better understanding of human behavior and a better use of that understanding in the design and daily operation of large collaborative research organizations. What is our culture? How do we live this culture every day? How do we recruit the best people? How do we foster their career development? How do we best acknowledge and appreciate their performance? How do we support their creativity and encourage their interactions? How do we teach young physicians and scientists what we have learned about inherited eye diseases and translational science as quickly and effectively as possible? How do we provide realistic hope for our patients without overpromising things that will be limited to some degree by experiments that have not yet been performed and regulatory agencies that have not yet seen the results? How do we raise the large amounts of money that will be needed to pay for everything?

I have been thinking about this pretty seriously for my entire career. During this time I’ve read a lot of what others have thought about it and I have written down a lot of what I have thought (and felt) about it, some of which I will share with you here.

You can’t learn everything you need to know about your and other humans' behavior in a weekend just as you can’t learn everything you need to know about medicine or science in a weekend. You have to read it a little at a time, and think about it, and write down what you think about it, for it to do you any good. People who enjoy spending time in Success Camp (and come to camp frequently) will benefit the most from it. People who think that this stuff is all wooly nonsense will not benefit from it at all.

To get you started in your own personal camp experience, I will share twelve ideas that I think are central to personal and professional success and use these twelve ideas to introduce you to other writing. In some cases, I have expanded on these central ideas a bit more myself, and in some cases I have referred you to quotes, chapters or entire books by other authors.

The Twelve Keys to Success

  1. Show up.1
  2. Be interested.2
  3. Develop and maintain a positive attitude, positive thinking, and positive self-image.3-9
  4. Study your own temperament and values. Notice, remember and ponder what happens when you interact with others who have similar and different temperaments and values.3, 9
  5. Have vividly detailed written goals (e.g., a personal mission statement, a personal vision statement, an institutional culture document and/or mantra, and written job expectations). Refer to them frequently and update them as needed to keep them ALMOST PERFECT for you.3, 10-21 Choose an employer (or, alternatively, create your own company, department, division or institute) whose goals are in good alignment with yours.
  6. Aspire to be an important contributor to something much larger than yourself.22, 23 Dream no small dreams for they have no power to move the human heart.24
  7. Avoid goats (crazymakers25), sharks26 and pessimists3. If you are a leader, do everything you can to protect those in your organization or group from these species. Foster the highest Mazlow levels27 possible for yourself and for everyone in the organization that you are responsible for.
  8. Manage your time well (try to live in quadrant IIA).3, 11, 28 Remember that Napoleon is not always right and working harder is a poor substitute for working smarter. Had Boxer coupled his strength to a truly shared vision that was constantly honed and polished through good education and open discussion, the animals would have succeeded.33
  9. Try to maintain optiumum bit speed at all times.3
  10. Be a systems thinker (e.g., understand the beer game,29 the difference between common and special causes of variation,30 Deming’s 14 points for management30, 31, and the importance of good training30, 32).
  11. Aspire to “level 5 leadership”34(and be very wary of personal recognition3).
  12. Read and/or write something relevant to your work every day (beyond the normal notes and correspondence associated with the routine performance of your job).35,36

Success Camp PDF (1.19 MB)