Being the best in something is 2 things

chess pieces on table

If you want to be the best leader, runner, or anything, then what you want is two things. You want to be a leader, AND you want to be the best. Those are separate targets.

First things first

To become something means you need to start doing something. Nobody becomes a runner by sitting on the couch and watching YouTube videos. You don’t become a leader by staying quiet in the corner (nor do you become one by being overly loud front and centre).

To become good at anything you have to know how to apply basic principles. To become great at it, you have to know when to violate those principles.

Gary Kasparov

Learn the basics. The more you know, the more it helps you give a frame of reference. Knowledge is under your control, and that is something you should focus on. The more you know, the more creative you can apply your knowledge.

The best

The best is entirely out of your control. Since you are dependent on how good others are and how other people see you compared to these other great people.

What is in your control is to put in the effort and strive for excellence. You can be the best you can be, based on who you are and what you can do now.


Being the best can be a one-time thing. In sports, winning an Olympic Gold medal makes you the best for that one event. For me being the best is not the same as being number one. Being the best is being at the top of your field for a long time. Longevity has the fun side-effect that it is an excellent tool for building up experience, and the more knowledge you build up, the better you can become.

If that make you number one? That depends on how good others are at that very moment. If that make you a top performer for a long time? Chances are highly likely.

The longer you can make your timescale for performance, the more likely you will outperform others. And the more impact you can make.