You will of course recognize the lyric, from a popular, and enduring Beatles song. I was reminded of it yesterday as I sat in the Freshman Assembly at Yale University listening to the Dean address parents and students at the beginning of a remarkable four year journey.

The Dean, in welcoming a truly accomplished group of America’s best and brightest, reminded them that their presence in the room was a result of their very hard work and accomplishment. He told them too that it was the result of a lot of work and sacrifice of others on their behalf. He spoke of their teachers, counselors, school administrators, pastors, scout leaders and parents. His point was that, without the selfless toil of these people, none of these exceptional students would be where they were.

Dean Holloway admonished this elite group that their accomplishment was not merely their own – and that they owed it to those who support them to do their best.

Is this really any different than in business success?

As we build our businesses there are countless people who help us along the way. Of course there are the employees who dedicate themselves to long hours and who go beyond the mere “requirements” of the job. There are the mentors, formal and otherwise, who advise, goad, nudge or inspire us. We mustn’t forget the long suffering spouses and children who eat late and do without so we can grow the company. What about the customers who take a chance on us, or give us the opportunity? There are, of course, many, many more examples of those who we could not succeed without.

So, like the young Yalies as they begin, to reflect on those who help and support us. Let’s begin today, and every day, with gratitude for our opportunities and our helpers. Let’s get started!

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