There is something to be said for trying, but luck has a lot to do with where you wind up. I had a thought the other day, if you took a group of equally qualified and skilled college graduates from 30 years ago, and started tracking their progress, what percent would of excelled to the higher ranks of corporate or business success. Obviously not many, I conclude, since the percent of population that are in those slots is small. But what I would want to do is take it one step further, and look at those individual that came in contact with the successful ones, both laterally and vertically. See who they came into contact and where they wound up also. My hypothesis is there is some connection and at some level, call it cronyism, a result of being sucked up into success or pulled. One thing I've noticed in business is the ones a the top aren't the smartest, most charismatic or hardest workers, they all seem to have the trait of following. I saw an episode of Mad Men recently, and this one women was looking to hire someone, but was told by a male co-worker to not hire the best, hire mediocre so as to avoid eventually having that individual pass her by to become her boss. And it dawned on me, if they wrote about it, there must be some degree of truth to it.
Words to the wise: Don't rock the boat, Be a Yes Man, Don't Ever Answer the Question from management,"How can I help you?" your reply should be "What do you want me to do."