A to Z of characteristics of successful people

Characteristics of successful people

What makes a champion? What characteristics propel one person to success and another only to mediocrity? Given the same opportunities, what separates the person who rises to greatness from another who struggles? Is it talent alone which defines success? As a coach with over 30 years experience working with thousands of people with vastly different abilities, my experience tells me talent has little to do with success. Instead there are certain success characteristics which are common among every individual who succeeds.

Science of success

Whether it’s in sport, arts, music, education, small business, entrepreneurship, emergency services or the defence forces, studies show there are common characteristics to be found in those who the rise to the elite levels. There is a science to success which goes well beyond natural talent and hard work alone.

Here is an A to Z of success characteristics commonly found in people who succeed:

Related post: 9 things to give up if you want to be successful

Adaptable

Along the path to success you’ll have incredible highs and challenging lows. You must be able to adapt quickly to any challenge and any situation.

Authenticity

Be yourself! There’s only one of you and you are the only person in the whole world who can be you. To be successful you should remain true to who you are and what you believe in.

Belief

Belief in yourself and in what you do is a must.

Bravado

At times it’s necessary to put on a brace face and show your courage, whether you feel it or not.

Competency

Successful people show high levels of competence in the skills, knowledge and a capacity to do what’s required.

Confidence

Showing confidence in what you do builds trust in those around you and helps you stay focused on your potential.

Charisma

People with charisma have a huge advantage in building influence and authority over large groups of people.

 

People with charisma have a huge advantage in building influence and authority over large groups of people. Click To Tweet

Care factor

If you want to succeed in business, you must genuinely care about helping people.

Critical thinkers

If you can analyse issues objectively, evaluate each situation and come up with a plan, you’ll have more success than those who lack this characteristic.

Durable

When you have durability, you don’t just bounce back from problems. You have such a good knowledge of why the problems exist in the first place you have the answers already and can remain calm and stress free in the midst of a crisis.

Determination

Successful people show incredible determination and will keep trying and working hard in every situation.

 

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Discipline

Being disciplined means doing what needs to be done, regardless of how hard it is or whether or not you enjoy doing it.

Empathy

Your ability to show empathy to others has a big impact on whether you will be successful in any field.

Emotional intelligence

Having the characteristic of being able to perceive, understand and manage emotions and feelings, is a strong trait of successful people.

Energy

Working towards success is hard work, often requiring long hours and long periods without days off. Keeping yourself fit and healthy so you have maximum energy is a must.

Focused

When distractions are flying at you from every direction, you must be able to keep your focus on what’s important and what will give you the best return.

Fun

High performance in any field is generally serious business but you need to also have a sense of fun! After all, if you don’t enjoy what you do, what’s the point?

 

Grit

This characteristic is the combination of passion and perseverance. People with grit have that special quality which shows incredibly character and an indomitable spirit.

 

People with grit have that special quality which shows incredibly character and an indomitable spirit. Click To Tweet

Goal setters

Elite performers in any facet of life are skilled at goal setting. Being able to trust in your potential and strive for things beyond your previous limits is the key.

Honest

Above all else, honesty to yourself and others in every interaction is essential.

Hard working

Hard work beats talent any day of the week and twice on Sundays.

Hunger for success

If you really want it and have a hunger for success, you’re well on your way to achieving it.

Humility

As much as you need to display confidence and bravado in what you do, it always helps to have a balance of humility thrown in for good measure.

Intelligence

There are many different types of intelligence but to be successful, you must posses a good level of intelligence relevant to your field.

Intuition

Being able to understand what’s required without conscious reasoning is a common trait among the elite.

 

Being able to understand what's required without conscious reasoning is a common trait among the elite. Click To Tweet

Judgement

High performers usually display good judgement and understand how to differentiate between good and poor choices.

Juggler

You’re going to have to learn to juggle the hard work, commitment and extra investment it’s going to take to achieve success.

Killer instinct

Having that killer instinct to do more and go above and beyond what others are willing to do is a sure way to ensure you end up on top of the success ladder.

Leadership

Leaders inspire! Leadership is a common characteristic in successful people and strong leadership skills will take you far.

Management skills

Understanding, developing and deploying people and their skills is an valuable thing to be able to do in any situation where you work with others.

Momentum

Relying on pure motivation is risky as it’s a fleeting phenomenon. Instead you need to be able to create consistent momentum in your daily tasks.

 

Relying on pure motivation is risky as it's a fleeting phenomenon. Instead you need to be able to create consistent momentum in your daily tasks. Click To Tweet

Money in reserve

You must understand the need to invest before you get a return. Particularly if you’re launching a new startup venture, it’s important to plan for the fact it might take a while before you break even.

Mission

Being able to clearly state your mission helps others understand your why or your purpose behind what you do.

Never give up

There will be highs and lows along every path to success. Regardless of what happens today, you must have a never give up attitude and be ready to look at tomorrow as a new day with new opportunities.

Niche

Those businesses who have defined their ideal client and who cater for their niche, outperform other businesses who try and be everything to everyone. If you try and help everyone, you end up serving no-one.

 

define your ideal client

Organised

Being organised creates a sense of professionalism and portrays pride in what you do.

Problem solver

Problems are inevitable in any path to success. What matters is how you go about solving them and how quickly you can get back on track. Go over, under around or through the blockage, just find a path and keep going.

Peak performer

Successful people know how to get the best out of themselves and how to perform at their peak on a regular basis.

 

Successful people know how to get the best out of themselves and how to perform at their peak on a regular basis. Click To Tweet

Perseverance

People with good perseverance are able to stay on task and stay focused on what they’re trying to achieve.

Patience

Success takes time and patience is essential if you want to achieve your goals.

People skills

Particularly in business, people skills are vital. Business is about people and relationships so if you’re good with people, you’ve got half the battle won.

Quickly resolve problems

High performers have little time for problems. They typically show characteristics of being able to quickly solve problems and find solutions.

Resilience

Being able to bounce back from setbacks is a common trait among the elite.

Resourceful

If you can find quick and clever ways to overcome difficulties, you’ll succeed where others won’t.

Self compassion

Be kind to yourself. Success is a long challenging journey and you’ll make plenty of mistakes on your path to success.

Self aware

You’ll perform at a higher level if you have a conscious knowledge of your own character and feelings.

Self control

The ability to control your thoughts, emotions and actions is an important factor in staying on the right path towards success.

Strategic thinker

This success characteristic is an extremely effective and valuable trait. Those who can think strategically can assess, view, and create the future they want for themselves.

Tenacious

Tenacious people achieve higher levels of success because they are extremely determined and persistent in their efforts and will not take no for an answer.

Teamwork

Success is rarely possible without help from others so good teamwork is important.

Transparency

Hidden agendas are hurtful. Successful people are transparent and openly share information which fosters collaboration and co-operation.

 

Hidden agendas are hurtful. Successful people are transparent and openly share information which fosters collaboration and co-operation. Click To Tweet

Thirst for learning

The moment you feel you have nothing more to learn, your path to success will be over. Keep your thirst for learning alive.

Understanding what it takes

Achieving success in any field requires a level of commitment, hard work and sacrifice which many people are simply not willing to accept.

Vision

Have a clear vision of where you’re trying to go and what you want to achieve.

Values

Knowing how you will work towards your vision gives you clear guidelines and boundaries around everything you do.

Willingness for personal growth

The elite are always willing to work on their personal development and so should you if you want success.

Willpower

Overcoming distractions and temptations requires great willpower which most high achievers posses.

X factor

Most successful people have an undefinable special quality which helps them rise above and standout over others.

Yearning for something more

Think of success as a journey and not a final destination. Always be striving for more.

Yes to opportunities

Richard Branson suggests “if someone offers you an amazing opportunity and you’re not sure if you can do it, say yes then learn how to do it later.”

Zig when others zag

Instead of playing by everyone else’s rules, be a pioneer Anderson create your own.

 

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