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by Daniel J. Solove

Ask people what the key factor for success is, and they’ll provide the typical answers: skill, luck intelligence . . .

These things are often keys to success.

But there is one factor that is often underappreciated. What is that factor?


Caring means having a genuine interest in what you’re doing. It means that what you’re doing really matters to you.

When I refer to caring, I mean caring about what you’re doing regardless of the pay. I mean caring because you want to do it well, because doing it well really matters to you.

When I hire people, I look for people who will really care. Are they doing the job just to make money? Or do they really want to help me succeed? This matters more than anything to me. The person who cares can overcome inexperience, lack of skill, and lack of training. The person who cares will rise to the occasion.

When I write books and articles, or when I create training programs, I think about every word, every image, every detail. It matters to me that what I produce be interesting and engaging. I’ve done tons of research that I probably didn’t need to do. I’ve labored over prose and made improvements that I wonder will ever be noticed. I’ve spent hours on finding just the right way to visually represent a concept and the perfect images to do so. I’ve done all this because I care.

Even though the differences might seem small relative to the time put in, I think that care permeates everything, and aggregates over time to make an enormous difference.

That’s why care is what I look for the most in people I hire. It’s what I look for in people I want to do business with, people I want to learn from, people I want to listen to, and people whose writing I want to read.

When care is present, you can just feel it. It comes through. And it really makes all the difference.

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This post was authored by Professor Daniel J. Solove, who through TeachPrivacy develops computer-based privacy training, data security training, HIPAA training, and many other forms of training on privacy and security topics.  This post was originally posted on his blog at LinkedIn, where Solove is an “LinkedIn Influencer.” His blog has more than 800,000 followers.

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