As a youngster, I would often travel with my grandfather across a bridge that spanned the Illinois River. Whenever we came to this place, I noticed that my grandfather would smile. One day I asked, “Grampa, why do you smile whenever we come to this bridge?”

“Grampa helped build this bridge,” he said. “Whenever we pass by, I think of the many people this bridge has helped. I also remember the men who worked with me and the enjoyable time we had together.”

Unbeknownst to me at the time, my grandfather was explaining to me the definition of success in the workplace:

Success = Great Results + Great Ride

Great Results are those outcomes we desire when we go to work each day. For my grandfather, the GR was the bridge itself. For us at Top 20, it’s seeing the positive difference our trainings, curriculum, and books make in developing the potential and enhancing the relationships and experiences of students, parents, educators, and other adults.

Great Ride means we enjoy the experience. We want to enjoy what we do and have meaningful relationships with our colleagues. We wouldn’t consider it a great success if we attained great results in our job, but hated going to work every day. Nor would it be a great success if we enjoyed what we did, but never accomplished anything worthwhile.

Years after retirement, as we drive by the places where we have worked, we would like smiles to emanate from our faces as we recall the results and ride we experienced during our careers.


  1. How would you define success?
  2. To what extent are you experiencing a:
  • Great Result?
  • Great Ride?

From our team…Willow, Kevin, and Tom…who are grateful for the journey.

Paul Bernabei
Top 20 Training