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
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.
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 in yourself and in what you do is a must.
At times it’s necessary to put on a brace face and show your courage, whether you feel it or not.
Successful people show high levels of competence in the skills, knowledge and a capacity to do what’s required.
Showing confidence in what you do builds trust in those around you and helps you stay focused on your potential.
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
If you want to succeed in business, you must genuinely care about helping people.
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.
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.
Successful people show incredible determination and will keep trying and working hard in every situation.
Being disciplined means doing what needs to be done, regardless of how hard it is or whether or not you enjoy doing it.
Your ability to show empathy to others has a big impact on whether you will be successful in any field.
Having the characteristic of being able to perceive, understand and manage emotions and feelings, is a strong trait of successful people.
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.
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.
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?
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
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.
Above all else, honesty to yourself and others in every interaction is essential.
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.
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.
There are many different types of intelligence but to be successful, you must posses a good level of intelligence relevant to your field.
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
High performers usually display good judgement and understand how to differentiate between good and poor choices.
You’re going to have to learn to juggle the hard work, commitment and extra investment it’s going to take to achieve success.
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.
Leaders inspire! Leadership is a common characteristic in successful people and strong leadership skills will take you far.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Being organised creates a sense of professionalism and portrays pride in what you do.
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.
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
People with good perseverance are able to stay on task and stay focused on what they’re trying to achieve.
Success takes time and patience is essential if you want to achieve your goals.
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.
Being able to bounce back from setbacks is a common trait among the elite.
If you can find quick and clever ways to overcome difficulties, you’ll succeed where others won’t.
Be kind to yourself. Success is a long challenging journey and you’ll make plenty of mistakes on your path to success.
You’ll perform at a higher level if you have a conscious knowledge of your own character and feelings.
The ability to control your thoughts, emotions and actions is an important factor in staying on the right path towards success.
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 people achieve higher levels of success because they are extremely determined and persistent in their efforts and will not take no for an answer.
Success is rarely possible without help from others so good teamwork is important.
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.
Have a clear vision of where you’re trying to go and what you want to achieve.
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.
Overcoming distractions and temptations requires great willpower which most high achievers posses.
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.