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As part of our Secrets to Success series, we called upon successful business leaders across tech, consulting and finance, to share their perspectives on success - personal, professional and otherwise. Below Martin Dalgleish,an experienced Media & Telco Director and Technology Investor, shares his secrets to help you on your path to success.  What does success look like and mean to you? Success is the pride in achieving what you set out to do. In my case, this is always doing my best, being good to people, enjoying what I do, and providing for my family. No more, no less. Financial success is an outcome, not a goal. Family, friendship and spirit are so fundamental, never let them break. Everything else can be replaced.

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What advice would you give your 20-year-old self? Take more risk – enjoy life, accept nothing as sacred, and always be respectful.

What are your 3 biggest accomplishments?

  1. In a life sense, to have raised a great family with great values.
  2. In a business sense, to have seen companies I work with thrive and create value for those who believed in them.
  3. In a personal sense, to still believe in what I do, and to still have bounds of energy.

Is it important to be passionate about what you do? Why?

I can’t imagine any other way. During my career, I have often made risky choices because the passion was waning. Never let life be a chore. I’m a glass-half-full person and hate negative energy. It drains me, so I avoid it.

What risks have you taken on your path to success?

About eight career changes. And giving up a big title/salary for the chance to take control of my life and pursue a diversity of business interests, and dedicate more time to my family, my health and my spirit. It took a family health issue to break the cycle, but I am glad I did.

Caring about what others think is it important or destructive?

We live and work with people. How can you not care? I hate arrogance in any form. I try to be as respectful as I can, even in hard circumstances. I firmly believe in a collegiate management style – ensure everyone has a voice, encourage that voice, and when a decision is to be made, ensure you’ve considered the options, then firmly lock the organization around that decision.

What is the best (or worst) piece of advice you ever received? Why?

BEST advice - In negotiations, always seek a win/win. And your word is your bond - your reputation is all you have. WORST advice – I was once told never to pursue a portfolio career as that is what “old guys” do!

What was your first ever job and what did it teach you?

My first job out of university was a marketing rep at IBM. After five years I realized I stayed four years too long and vowed to never do that again.

Can you tell me about a time when you almost gave up? And what you did instead of giving up?

There are always times when it gets hard. But rarely can you not work through a situation. Dig deep and find a way. I pride myself in always having a plan.

Did you ever leave a job or opportunity too quickly or too late?

Yes – too long in my first job (IBM). Too short in my second (PepsiCo). But I got it right thereafter!

Who do you look up to?

I like people who have a go. I’ve worked for some great people in my career who are true believers. I admire the risk-takers, the dreamers, the square pegs in the round holes. … (thanks to Steve Jobs for that great quote…). And most of all I value those who do what they say will do.

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Secrets to success

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