So with that prefatory thought, I find myself challenged to properly attribute the following likewise admired quote, “Success has many fathers but failure is an orphan.”
For a long time, I thought it was something one of William Shakespeare’s characters said. But I’ve yet to find the precise quote in his works.
And of course, there’s the well-known “Victory has a thousand fathers, but defeat is an orphan,” which is a variant credited to President John F. Kennedy. However, I am fairly certain that it had its genesis elsewhere, derivative as it is from the more familiar quotation above.
Moreover, like a lot of what JKF’s given credit for, those soaring expressions often originated elsewhere. He was fond of cribbing from speechwriters, including even his famously acclaimed “Profiles in Courage,“ which in 2008, Kennedy’s speechwriter, Theodore Sorensen, admitted to ghostwriting. See “Sorensen Admits ‘Profiles in Courage’ Role.”
Indeed, for most of his lifetime up until Ted Sorensen, speechwriter passed away in October 2010, Sorensen was constantly asked how much of Kennedy’s famous inaugural speech was his and how much was Kennedy’s, particularly, ‘Ask not what your country can do for you’. Sorensen later came to deflect the repeated media queries by answering, “Ask not.”
Oft-repeated by a thousand fathers.
So all this said, I was recalling some of my favorite business, nay, practice tips gleaned over time from here and there. This was because of an interview last month conducted by The New York Times writer Adam Bryant with “Barry Salzberg of Deloitte, on Finding the Perfect Hire.” Salzberg is CEO of Deloitte, LLP.
They aren’t new or unique to Salzberg. I’ve seen them or heard them before. After all, you stay on the hamster wheel long enough and eventually you start noticing the same litter.
Out of the entire interview, the 3 salient “lessons” or take-aways were these:
1. “Pay if forward.”
2. “Brand yourself.”
3. “Get out of your comfort zone.” (i.e., “Don’t resist change.”)
They need no further elaboration.
Nine points on success.
Now more than a dozen years ago, I came across in a magazine, a quick ‘take-away’ on achieving ‘success.’ I tore out the clipping, which is now long gone. But I jotted down the 9 bullet points encapsulated therein since they captured the fundamentals of what I’ve also previously believed are essential truths of business and professional life.
Again, my apologies for not remembering or knowing the proper attributions. But then, in one way or another, these, too, like Kennedy’s thousand-fathered victory, have been said before and been paraphrased again and again. As the Scripture says, “. . . there is nothing new under the sun.” See Ecclesiastes 1:9
These, too, then have a thousand fathers and mothers. 
1. Toot your own horn.
2. Learn to negotiate.
3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
4. Learn to play the game.
5. Be well-prepared.
6. Learn to deflect the negative. (or the variation, surround yourself with positive-thinking people).
7. Lose with grace.
8. Be well-educated.
9. Be fair.
 I also savor James Campbell’s “Arrows of insight have to be winged by feathers of speculation” and especially, George Santayana’s, “Skepticism is the chastity of the intellect.”
 Keeping the ‘first liar’ caveat in mind, cognoscenti interested in providing or taking credit are welcome to share what they know about the source of these aphorisms.