Forbes/B Y Lee summarized the 3 things: grants, papers, kissing
In many academic settings, particularly in medical schools, your research career will live or die based on three things: how much grant funding you bring in to the institution, how much you publish in scientific journals, and who happens to like and not like you, not necessarily in that order. You don’t necessarily have to do all three to advance. For example, those who can’t really do the first two may focus on doing the third, which is otherwise called kissing up or playing politics. Note that none of these three are necessarily indications of how much you really innovate and contribute to science or society.