9 Traits of Successful People

By December 4, 2013Strategy

I have encountered a lot of very successful people over the years, and there are certain traits I notice with every one of them.  I am not talking those who are in middle management, or even upper management, but the people running the show—the bosses, the stars, the owners. These are the nine traits of successful people:

  • No Wasting Time – Time is all that you have.  If you value yourself (which most successful people do) there is no wasting time.  Everything is intentional.  This doesn’t mean a successful person doesn’t relax, have fun, and spend time not working, it means they do that with intention.  Most successful people don’t just “fill time” doing nothing at all.
  • Be Confident (a.k.a. Fearless) – Most successful individuals end up where they are because they believe they can.  No one is going to tell them it isn’t going to work, and they won’t be pushed any way except forward.  They have conviction, they have confidence, and they KNOW they will succeed.
  • Doer not Talker – This is a big one.  The successful people I know do a lot less talking and a lot more DOING.  Everyone has a genius idea, everyone thought of “that” first, and everyone is “working on something.”  The difference here is that successful people get it done.  They are executers.  If they have a good idea, it rarely stays an idea, it quickly becomes a reality.
  • Be Reliable – Another big one. This is something I see commonly separates moderate success with major success.  The most successful people I know are the ones that are reachable, stick to their meeting times, are punctual, and when they say they are going to do something, it gets done.  As much of a no-brainer as this should be, I run into more unreliable people, than reliable ones, and generally the reliable ones are the ones that become more successful in what they do.
  • It’s OK to be Demanding – Successful people expect a lot of themselves AND those around them.  If you surround yourself with successful people, expect them to expect a lot of you, WHICH IS NOT A BAD THING.  We can all afford to give a little more.
  • Be Organized – This goes hand and hand with reliability.  I have seen some very messy desks of very successful people, but that doesn’t mean that person doesn’t know where every piece of paper is.  Being able to stay on top of A LOT is key to success.  It is your job to figure out how you need to handle the load.
  • Have to be Creative – It goes without saying, but to be successful, you need to think a little differently, do things a little differently, and be able to come up with creative ideas and ways to solve problems.
  • Logic Wins – Successful people are all about logic. They weigh the pros and cons and make a quick decision.  Emotion is detrimental to success.  Don’t confuse this with compassion, which is very important.  Emotion means that if you need to make the decision to cut a product you may love because it is hurting your bottom line, you do it.
  • Remain Calm – Successful people are faced with daily crises, but what separates them is their ability to listen, calculate, and react in a calm way that fixes the problem.  Freaking out doesn’t help anyone.  This doesn’t mean successful people never yell, get angry, etc., but they also know how to handle a situation appropriately.

If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to email me at erik@hawkemedia.com.


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