Successful CEOs and athletes are usually driven by a personal mission, learn from mistakes, are confident and optimistic, and overcome challenges, writes Michael Nathanson is the CEO of The Colony Group. “They see their efforts as a natural, self-sustaining means to achieve their missions,” he writes.



I’ve always been interested in the growing convergence between individuals and their businesses. One particular trend in this growing intersection is a type of corporate personification in which companies now have visions and values, just like people, and people now have missions—just like companies.

I know exactly what my personal mission is: to live my best, most extraordinary life by helping others live theirs. Given my personal mission, it’s probably not surprising that I have a fascination with what exactly it is that allows some people, whom I’ll call extraordinary, to achieve their fullest potential and make uncommon contributions to the world.

Recently, The Colony Group began a podcast called Seeking the ExtraordinaryTM to identify, understand and explore the undiscovered world of the extraordinary. Conversations with guests are structured to reveal how their backgrounds, personalities, accomplishments, adversities, ideas and innovations have led to extraordinary outcomes, personally and for their organizations.

I’ve had the opportunity to interview some very special people, from professional athletes and Olympians, to business titans and pioneers, to leaders of government, philanthropies, and entire communities. I’ve learned something from each of them. But taking them all together, I’ve discerned eight intriguing commonalities that lead to personal, societal, and business successes