The single most critical factor to individual success is the extent to which he is embraced by the group.  In a healthy, functional social apparatus, the individual most likely to be uplifted is the one who either is able to competently guide the group to success and advancement, or is someone who is, in some functional area, indispensible to some critical function of the social infrastructure.  Frequently, the individual uplifted fits neither of these two categories.  This is a sure sign that the society is on the decline.