The 13 Characteristics of Successful People
Copyright 2002 by Jeffrey J. Mayer
Ive spent many years studying successful people and have identified the skills, talents, and characteristics that enable them to succeed. As you look at and study these skills, talents, and characteristics, youll realize that you possess many of them yourself. Some of these skills and talents are more dominant than others and will play a greater part in your being, or becoming, a success in the business of life. These are the things you do well. The things you do easily and effortlessly. These are your strengths.
When you find you need a skill or talent you dont have, just go out and look for a person or group of people with the skills, talents, and training you need. Skills and talents that complement your own. These people will become your teammates, colleagues, co-workers, professional advisors, and friends. With these combined skills and talents organizations grow, prosper, and become successful.
These are the five things youll find every successful person has in common:
1. They have a dream.
2. They have a plan.
3. They have specific knowledge or training.
4. Theyre willing to work hard.
5. They dont take no for an answer.
Remember: Success begins with a state of mind. You must believe youll be successful in order to become a success.
The following is a list of the skills, talents, and characteristics youll find in successful people:
1. Successful People Have a Dream. They have a well-defined purpose. They have a definite goal. They know what they want. They arent easily influenced by the thoughts and opinions of others. They have willpower. They have ideas. Their strong desire brings strong results. They go out and do things that others say cant be done.
Remember: It only takes one sound idea to achieve success.
Remember: People who excel in life are those who produce results, not excuses. Anybody can come up with excuses and explanations for why he hasnt made it. Those who want to succeed badly enough dont make excuses.
2. Successful People Have Ambition. They want to accomplish something. They have enthusiasm, commitment, and pride. They have self-discipline. Theyre willing to work hard and to go the extra mile. They have a burning desire to succeed. Theyre willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done.
Remember: With hard work come results. The joy in life comes with working for and achieving something.
3. Successful People Are Strongly Motivated Toward Achievement. They take great satisfaction in accomplishing a task.
4. Successful People Are Focused. They concentrate on their main goals and objectives. They dont get sidetracked. They dont procrastinate. They work on the projects that are important, and dont allow those projects to sit until the last minute. Theyre productive, not just busy.
5. Successful People Learn How to Get Things Done. They use their skills, talents, energies, and knowledge to the fullest extent possible. They do the things that need to be done, not just the things they like to do. They are willing to work hard and to commit themselves to getting the job done.
Remember: Happiness is found in doing and accomplishing, not in owning and possessing.
Anecdote: Many years ago I was asked: "Jeff, do you like pleasing habits or pleasing results?" As I pondered that probing question, and squirmed in my chair like a worm at the end of a hook, I felt as if I had painted myself into a corner. A few moments later I answered: "I like pleasing results." From that moment on my life changed. I began to do the things that were difficult, because they enabled me to achieve my goals.
6. Successful People Take Responsibility for Their Actions. They dont make excuses. They dont blame others. They dont whine and complain.
7. Successful People Look for Solutions to Problems. Theyre opportunity minded. When they see opportunities they take advantage of them.
8. Successful People Make Decisions. They think about the issues and relevant facts, give them adequate deliberation and consideration, and make a decision. Decisions arent put off or delayed, theyre made now!
SuccessTip: Spend more time thinking and planning before you make your decision, and youll make better decisions.
SuccessTip: When you dont get the expected results from the decision youve made, change your course of action. Decisions should never be carved in stone.
9. Successful People Have the Courage to Admit Theyve Made a Mistake. When you make a mistake, admit it, fix it, and move on. Dont waste a lot of time, energy, money, and/or other resources trying to defend a mistake or a bad decision.
Remember: When people are wrong, they may admit it to themselves. If they are handled gently and tactfully, they may admit it to others and even take pride in their frankness and broad-mindedness. But people become very defensive and angry when others try to cram their mistakes down their throats.
10. Successful People Are Self-Reliant. They have the skills, talents, and training that are needed in order to be successful.
11. Successful People Have Specific Knowledge, Training, and/or Skills and Talents. They know the things they need to know to be successful. And when they need information, knowledge, or skills and talents that they dont possess, they find someone who does possess them.
12. Successful People Work with and Cooperate with Other People. They have positive, outgoing personalities. They surround themselves with people who offer them help, support, and encouragement. They are leaders.
13. Successful People Are Enthusiastic. Theyre excited by what theyre doing, and that excitement is contagious. They draw people to them because these people want to work with them, do business with them, and be with them.