Goose: [as Maverick is looking around the room] What are you doing?
Maverick: Just wondering who’s the best.
Viper: In case some of you are wondering who the best is, they’re up here on this plaque on the wall. The best driver and his RIO from each class has his name on it, and they have the option to come back here to be Top Gun instructors.[turns to Maverick]
Viper: You think your name’s gonna be on that plaque?
Maverick: Yes, sir.
Viper: That’s pretty arrogant, considering the company you’re in.
Maverick: [pauses] Yes, sir.
Viper: [smiles] I like that in a pilot. Just remember, when it’s over out there, we’re all on the same team.
How do you become the best at what you do? The banker every pension plan wants to hear from, the Trustee the scheme members all know will stand up for them even at great personal cost, the asset manager whose touch is the stuff of legend, the pensions lawyer who always has a practical answer, the financial journalist whose pieces always get read? The Top Gun.
Passion. If you hate what you do, you’ll never be the best at it. If you can take it or leave it, ditto. But if you love it, think about it most of your waking hours and talk about it to everyone you meet, you’re in with a chance.
Practice. If you put in your 10,000 hours, day after grinding long day in rain and sun, winter and summer, you have a shot at making it.
Pushing. The boundaries. Asking why “it” has to be this way, believing it will be better another way, listening to the critics, hearing out the sceptics but pushing the boundaries nonetheless to make new stuff actually happen.