Successful People See The Big Picture

Competence is one of the keys to success in my Common Sense Success System.  I discuss it in detail in several of my books: Straight Talk for Success; Your Success GPS; Star Power, I Want YOU…to Succeed and 42 Rules to Jumpstart Your Professional Success. 

If you want to succeed you need to develop four basic, but important competencies: 1) creating positive personal impact; 2) becoming a consistently high performer; 3) communication skills; and 4) relationship building.  

Lifelong learning is the first step in becoming an outstanding performer. 

I like blogging.  It gives me an opportunity help people create the successful life and career they want and deserve by sharing my thoughts on career and life success.  It gives me the opportunity to continue learning about my subject matter.  Blogging gives me an opportunity to shamelessly plug my books and Common Sense Success System.  And I’ve discovered that blogging has another huge benefit; people send me books that they would like me to review.  I love books and I love seeing how other people think about career and life success, so this is a great benefit.

The other day, I received a great book called The Big Picture: Essential Business Lessons from the Movies, by Kevin Coupe and Michael Sansolo.  That was my lucky day.  I love movies and business, so I read it that evening.  And I’m glad I did.

Kevin and Michael make some great career and life success points like…

  • Denial is never a good idea.
  • Play to your strengths.
  • Take responsibility.
  • Create a vision and make it work.
  • Find a role model.
  • Do the right thing.
  • Stick to the fundamentals.
  • Be different.
  • In tough times, quality wins.
  • Cross the thin line between good and great.
  • Use word of mouth advertising.
  • Protect your brand.
  • Make sure your words count.
  • Take the long view.

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know that I write about all of the above points quite frequently.

On the other hand, Kevin and Michael give their take on a lot of my favorite movies…

  • Jaws
  • The Guns of Navarone
  • Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
  • The Right Stuff
  • Rocky
  • Schindler’s List
  • Citizen Kane
  • Guys and Dolls
  • The Caine Mutiny
  • High Noon
  • Casablanca
  • Big
  • The Producers
  • Bull Durham
  • When Harry Met Sally
  • You’ve Got Mail
  • The Shawshank Redemption
  • Hoosiers
  • In the Heat of the Night
  • Good Night and Good Luck

A couple of my favorite message movies are missing, films like “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “On the Waterfront” both of which make a great point about doing the right thing, even when the odds are stacked against you.  But that’s quibbling.  I really like this book and think that it is an entertaining way to pick up some great business knowledge – especially if you are a movie fan. 

Here’s an example on the importance of branding from an unlikely film: American Gangster

Denzel Washington plays a bad guy in this movie.  He’s a ruthless drug dealer, but he understands the importance of a strong brand.  He brands his high quality heroin as “Blue Magic.” 

This is what Kevin and Michael have to say…

“Lucas (Denzel Washington) finds out that one of his competitors has been taking his product, diluting it and then selling it under the same name.  Lucas, to say the least is not pleased.

“Lucas says, ‘Brand names mean something…Consumers rely on them to know what they’re getting.  They know the company isn’t going to try to fool them with an inferior product.  They buy a ford, they know they’re going to get a Ford, not a f****n’ Datsun.  Blue Magic is a brand name; as much a brand name as Pepsi.  I own it.  I stand behind it.  I guarantee if and people know that even if they don’t know me any more than they know the chairman of General Foods’.”

I am a big believer in the power of personal branding.   I always advise my clients that they need to clearly, consistently and constantly promote their brands.  That the message Kevin and Michael point out in Denzel Washington’s rant about his brand of heroin. 

The Big Picture is full of interesting insights like this one.  That’s why I like it and recommend it.

The common sense point here is simple.  Successful people are outstanding performers.  Lifelong learning is an important key to becoming an outstanding performer.  Reading is one of the best ways I know to become a lifelong learner.  You can find lots of good information on creating the successful life and career you want and deserve in books that at first glance don’t apply.  Kevin Coupe and Michael Sansolo’s book The Big Picture is one of them.  It is subtitled, “Essential Business Lesson’s From the Movies.”  At first glance, it appears to be a light hearted look at movies and the lessons they impart about career and life success.  While it is an easy read, there are some profound ideas inside.  If you want to begin on a lifelong learning journey, The Big Picture is a great place to start.

That’s my take on lifelong learning and The Big Picture by Kevin Coupe and Michael Sansolo.  What’s yours?  Please take a few minutes to leave a comment sharing your thoughts with us.  As always, thanks for reading.


PS: If you liked this post, you’ll love my free 90 minute DVD on career and life success.  To get your free copy, go to  That’s  Go there now and get started creating the successful life and career you want and deserve.

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