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Cornell Student Articles on Topical Affairs

Braxton Yoeman: An Educational Case-Study in Success

The modern era seems to be the time of the self-made industry magnates. From John D. Rockefeller laying the foundation of the industrial age of the late 1800’s, to Bill Gates advancing the computer age in the early 90’s, these visionaries have not only shaped the world with their work and influence but also formed the ultimate personas of business success. But it’s not just about these extreme examples, it seems that every self-made millionaire (or billionaire in some cases) can attribute their success to not just business savvy and acumen, but also to their advisors and who they have learned from over time.

But is having the propensity to succeed an exemption than a rule? Truth be told, success rates for new businesses do not inspire confidence. New business failure rates can be as bad as 80% in the first year, and for those businesses that succeed past the first year, then only 15% of those can expect to last past the next five years. Why businesses fail and why others succeed has long been a topic of research and debate.

Those who easily qualify as experts on the topic, like Mr. Gates for example, neither have the personal bandwidth nor the inclination to create for others a systematic know-how for replicating their success. Not that the founder of Microsoft is being selfish about his trade-secrets but there’s just a difference between being successful and having the vocation to teach success at an instructional level. Just like in sports – not all superstar athletes will also make good coaches. Being a high performer, and being a high performing coach are two very different things.

But even a trainer or sports coach require credibility rooted in strong personal performance. They need to have ‘been there and done that’ in order to others to trust them. The same can be said for business. Only those who have truly ‘been there and done that’ know what it really takes to succeed. And a great coach will know how to cut the fastest path to that success and will be able to guide others successfully on that path.

Braxton Yoeman is one such coach. Before committing fully to MySuccess.Team (which providing professional and technical development services for a variety of clients), Yoeman first made a name for himself as a successful project manager in the fields of consultancy, talent placement as well as finance. Those his business dealings, he was exposed to many kinds of leaders and business structures – seeing what worked well, and most importantly – what would cause businesses to fail, even at the highest levels. His early career afforded him to study his subjects intimately, making comparisons to which a combination of business factors yielded the best results for success.

Mr. Yoeman described that the most important factor of business success is a clear goal and leadership to work towards that goal. However, he found that education and organizational structure affects the efficacy of leadership, both to the good and bad.

To put it in more simple terms… even the best leaders won’t succeed it they don’t have a clear plan AND the proper educational and organizational structure to execute that plan. While larger organizations may provide safeguards in their operational protocol against bad leadership, these only tend to buffer the effects in the short-run. Leadership has a more immediate effect with a smaller size organization, affecting every aspect of operations, from financial management to company moral. However as an organization succeeds and continue to grow, this is the part that can be either the easiest, or the most challenging depending on the support in place to handle these new changes.

Key leadership traits that Yoeman has consistently found in successful organizations include a clear vision of business goals and how to achieve them. A good example of this according to Yoeman is Richard Branson, the billionaire founder of Virgin Group.

While the company is a multi-national conglomerate, Richard Branson has managed to delegate responsibilities properly so he can have a life, while enjoying the success of his business.

Braxton Yoeman mentioned, “other business leader will celebrate their relentless work ethic, or how hard they can work, but that’s not what I believe life is all about. You need to achieve your dreams, yes, that is important, but you also need to use that success for good and enjoy your life. Dreams are different for different people. Not everyone needs to be a billionaire or even a millionaire – sometimes just not living with worry, or being able to do what you want when you want to do it – those are the things that make life fun and inspiring. Family is also extremely important, and just purely business success doesn’t equate to success in life. I think that’s why we’ve been so successful for our clients, because we consider really the whole person, not just the business.”

Yoeman also points out another unique trait among successful leaders that are often overlooked by others who study them. Great leaders invest in themselves. People tend to regard a large part of success to talent or inclination as if leaders are hardwired to seek success. According to Yoeman, nothing can be further from the truth. He finds that the best leaders constantly seek out ways to better themselves. Leaders are always acutely aware of their deficiencies, a lot more than what they let others on. It could be a technical limitation or it could be a lack of a certain temperament. Whatever it is, if a leader sees personal shortcomings as a hindrance and purposeful self-improvement as a necessary means to achieving their goals, he makes no second thoughts to remedying it.

This is where education is most important, and not all education needs to be as formal as a college or university. Sometimes just hard fought experience is the best education (that money CAN’T buy).

With his keen observation and a knack of enlightening others with his findings, Yoeman himself has had great success in instilling unto others a mindset tuned to success, and looks forward to a bright 2020. And from our perspective, we tend to agree with him and see this form of online education only continuing to grow in leaps and bounds.

For more of MySuccess.Team’s acclaimed personal and professional programs, visit and view their full range of products and services.







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