Why do people succeed? Is it because they’re smart? Or are they just lucky? Neither. Analyst Richard St. John condenses years of interviews into an unmissable 3-minute slideshow on the real secrets of success.








  • (to) frolic – play or move about in a cheerful and lively way; a playful and lively movement or activity
  • put your nose down in sth – to give something intense attention, or to study intensely
  • to persist; persistent (adjective) – to continue a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition


True or False?

1. The teenager the presenter met on a plane was well-off.

2. Richard St. John spent 7 years doing research to find out why TEDsters behave the way they do.

3. One of the things that drives successful people is the promise of a yield.

4. The presenter learned TEDsters are addicted to work.

5. One of the people Richard interviewed said that being successful boiled down to lots of practice.

6. According to Norman Jewison, a filmmaker multitasking doesn’t help in achieving success.

7. Successful people don’t hesitate.

8. It’s ok to give up in the face of criticism.



Key: 1F;2T; 3F; 4F; 5T; 6T; 7F; 8F


Practice Makes Perfect

Read the confessions of CEOs and complete the gaps with the words in bold below:

difficult                               competitors                      myth                     moment             

challenge                           craziest                                recurring                             overrated

What’s it like running one of the fastest-growing businesses in the U.S.? Inc. 5000 honorees reveal their biggest insights and struggles.

My hardest 1. ……….during the pandemic: “Loneliness.” –David Regn, Stream Companies (No. 3,869)

The biggest 2. …… about being an entrepreneur: “That you don’t report to anyone. You still report to clients, your board, your colleagues, your family.” –Jaymie A. Scotto Cutaia, Jaymie Scotto & Associates (No. 3,810)

The 3. ……… nightmare I have about my company: “Missing payroll.” –Yoshio Osaki, IDG Consulting (No. 4,421)

The “most 4. ………… leadership skill” repeatedly cited by Inc. 5000 CEOs: Charisma.

The most 5. ……….. thing to explain to employees about my business: “It is OK to make a mistake, and we need to push as close to failure as possible so we can know our bandwidth and boundaries for success.” –LaShondra Mercurius, JLM Strategic Talent Partners (No. 4,750)

The 6. ……….. tactic I’ve used to grow, win business, or defend my company against 7. ……… : “I worked as a 4:30-to-9 a.m. shelf stocker at the retailer I wanted to get into so I could learn the products and see what was selling.” –Lauren Greenwood, YouCopia (No. 3,594)

My best 8. ……….. coming out of the pandemic: “Learning to trust my leaders and people to do great work and seeing people step up and lead this company without needing me nearly as often.” –Jacob Baadsgaard, Disruptive Advertising (No. 2,926)

Retrieved from: https://www.inc.com/magazine/202109/lindsay-blakely/ceo-survey-people-management-inc-5000-2021.html


Key: 1. challenge; 2. myth; 3. recurring; 4. overrated; 5. difficult; 6. craziest; 7. competitors; 8. moment



  • Why is success always defined in the area of work? What about family, relationships, personal growth?
  • What is your biggest success in life?
  • Are you a hard worker or do you need someone to push you?
  • What success stories do you have of studying English?
  • Is there a formula or a recipe for success?



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