Published on January 27, 2021

15 Rare Traits That Set a High-Flyer Apart

15 Rare Traits That Set a High-Flyer Apart

High-flyers are described as individuals who perform above and beyond what is expected and, in doing so, typically reap a substantial sum of the rewards. But what exactly makes high-flyers so much different than everyone else?

I will share 15 rare traits that set a high-flyer apart and provide insights on what you can do to start developing these qualities to experience the same high-flying results in your life.

1. Highly Organized

High-flyers are those individuals who are out in the world, working hard to achieve the goals set before them. Many times, these achievers are working on multiple projects with various deadlines at the same time. Not to mention the fact that these individuals must certainly have to balance a life outside of their business. This includes spending time with one’s family and making time for personal activities such as going to the gym, attending social gatherings, or running everyday errands.

To accomplish all of this, it pays to be highly structured and these individuals are masters at organizational skills and good time management.

2. Detail-Oriented

American Football Hall of Famer Jimmy Johnson once said, “The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.”

Often, this is the secret ingredient to a high-flyer’s success. While ordinary folks are willing to settle on simply getting the job done, the high-flyer demands excellence. It is because this person is willing to put in the extra work to go the extra mile. It means sticking around to make minor adjustments after everyone else goes home. It means being meticulous because they know there is a big difference between 99% and 100% right.

Critics might scoff and poke fun for being perfectionists, but high-flyers recognize that this is where greatness lives.

3. Clear Communicator

The ability to communicate effectively in business is critical. This includes conveying a thoughtful and resounding message to customers, working alongside and sharing ideas with team members, and being able to engage professionally when interacting with supervisors and decision-makers.


Maintaining clear and open communication can mean the difference between completing the project on time and having to explain delays due to rookie mistakes and misunderstandings, making your team look like a bunch of amateurs. High-flyers are experts in communicating their message clearly and ensuring that it is received as intended.

4. Connector

High-flyers know the value of connecting with like-minded individuals. They know how to find and align with the right people to collaborate and share ideas to further their efforts and achieve their goals. This is one reason why networking groups are so popular.

You’ve probably heard the saying, “Your network is your net worth,” which has been written about extensively when discussing the power of networking in business. Essentially, your potential for growth and success is directly tied to the quality of people and associations you keep.

If you want to get ahead in business and life, then make sure your connections reflect where you want to be and can add value to help you get there.

5. Passionate

These are not folks who clock in only to putz around for eight hours before finally retreating home for an evening filled with video games. High-flyers absolutely love the work that they do, and it shows. They have a burning desire that wakes them up every morning and keeps them engaged throughout the day.

This is something that is truly important to them and who they are as individuals. They have a deep connection to the activity that goes down to their very core.

6. Enthusiastic

High-flyers not only love the work that they do but they are excited to do it, too. Doing their work brings so much joy that they frequently look for more to do.

Imagine that! These people actually look for more work. That is because they enjoy the work so much that it does not seem like work in the traditional sense. For them, it is fun, and they look forward to doing it. They think about their work all day long and share their excitement with everyone they meet. When they discover another high achiever who shares their enthusiasm, they will feed off of each other and the excitement will grow exponentially.


7. Competitive

While some individuals are fine with simply putting in the bare minimum effort, high achievers have a need to excel. This desire comes from within. It is a part of them. They have to give their best effort with everything they do because they have to succeed.

These people are not content with participation awards. They need to win. This drives them every day. Their competitive nature is a good thing because they will always try harder to have a winning edge.

Similar to when two enthusiastic people meet, when two competitive people go head-to-head, they tend to bring out the best in each other. Steel sharpens steel, and a little healthy competition is a surefire way to keep people involved.

8. Strategic

Due to their competitive nature and need to win, high-flyers understand the value of making the necessary preparations and developing a solid plan of action. These are people who move with clear and purposeful actions to get the desired result.

Rarely will you find these individuals shooting from the hip or just winging it. Their actions are well-thought-out and have sound reasoning behind them. They know what works and what doesn’t. They play to win and having the right plan is a key component to their continued success.

9. Laser-Focused

From the moment we wake up in the morning, we are bombarded with countless distractions. We are flooded with eye-catching images, fancy jingles, and brands fighting for our attention. We are also inundated with a constant barrage of notifications from social media apps, text messages, and important reminders for events happening later today. It is a steady stream of noise from every direction.

High-flyers have learned to eliminate distractions to remain laser-focused on the task at hand. They have long realized the importance of silencing pesky notifications or simply powering down devices altogether. They are also adept at creating time blocks for important activities and utilizing self-management skills to heighten concentration and promote productivity.

10. Demonstrates Self-Control

At some point in time, we have all attended that networking event and been tempted to stay for just another drink or gone out with friends to celebrate an occasion and been peer pressured to keep the party going. High-flyers know that one more drink can turn into three more drinks and staying out for an extra hour can quickly turn into an all-nighter, which could lead to a world of pain and regret the next day.


Practicing self-control means knowing one’s values and establishing priorities. While it might mean disappointing a few friends from time to time or not being up-to-date on the latest binge-worthy shows, you will be primed for optimal performance.

Rather than viewing it as having to make sacrifices, shift your perspective to that of making your goals a priority. And priorities require commitments, which means saying “no” to activities that will ultimately derail or hinder forward progress.

11. Curious

High achievers see learning as an opportunity to develop new ideas and progress, never as a waste of time or burden. These individuals jump at the chance to try new things because the thought of new possibilities excites them.

They are curious in nature—always seeking ways to strengthen their skills to get better results. They are fascinated with how things work and take a serious interest in experimentation to determine whether and how procedures can be simplified or improved for the benefit of the whole. They are not deterred by challenges. There is no such thing as failure, only feedback to keep trying until the answer is found.

12. Solution-Based Thinkers

Have you ever known someone who seemed to overcome obstacles and difficulties with such ease and grace while others continued to beat their heads against the wall?

One of the big factors that set high-flyers apart from others is the way that they deal with problems. Rather than spending their time and energy talking about the actual problem or how they feel about the problem, they focus their energy on looking for the solution. Sitting around the water cooler complaining about circumstances or trying to pass blame will never resolve the issue. The only way out of the problem is to focus on figuring it out.

13. Flexible

While looking for ways to solve pressing problems or when determining the proper course, it is important to remain flexible. That is not to say that we must give in to others but rather to not be too firm so as to miss or ignore instances where adjustments are necessary.

Imagine driving on the highway and you see a bright orange sign letting you know that there is a detour ahead due to road work. Would you pull off to the side of the road and wait for the road crew to finish the job, even if it means waiting a few hours or possibly days solely because that is the road you chose to take? Or would you choose to follow the signs and take the alternate route?


It sounds like a no-brainer. Only a stubborn fool would sit and wait. Yet, there are people in the world who are inflexible and will refuse to adjust course every time.

High-flyers understand that achieving the goal is the most important thing. If it means adjusting or tweaking the process that gets them there, then so be it. If Plan “A” does not work out, then try Plan “B,” and “C,” and “D,” and so on until you succeed.

14. Consistent

At first glance, this character trait might seem at odds with the previously noted quality of being flexible, but they are really two sides of the same coin and complement each other beautifully. Successful people became successful in the first place because they were dedicated to the cause.

This is why the gyms are packed on January 1st but are empty again by Valentine’s Day because people today are sold on immediate gratification. High-flyers know that the best results often take time, so they remain consistent in their efforts. This is why they get to enjoy the rewards that very few will ever experience.

15. Resolute

On the road to excellence, you will find no shortage of naysayers, downers, and critics who will try to break your spirit and dismantle your dreams. To combat these obstacles, high-flyers have learned to keep their beliefs firm and efforts steadfast. They do not give credence to the criticisms of others nor do they allow the statements of nonbelievers to shake their sense of purpose. They remain strong and committed despite the odds and regardless of setbacks or what the others are saying.

When these individuals truly believe, in their heart of hearts, on a particular course of action, then they remain faithful in unwavering pursuit until the goal is achieved.

Final Thoughts

How many of these fifteen traits do you see in yourself? Which ones would you like to develop further? If you want to be a high-flyer then these are the traits you will need to acquire and nurture along the way.

Start today by choosing one trait and think about how you can bring it into your daily life. Choose a new trait tomorrow to focus on and keep going until you go through the entire list. Again, high-flyers are consistent so do this activity every day.


Once you complete the list the first time, then go through it again and this time look for ways to improve earlier efforts. Remember that true high-flyers strive to improve daily. Keep reaching for new heights.

More Tips on How to Be a High-Flyer

Featured photo credit: Ante Hamersmit via

More by this author

Rich Perry

Rich is a Communication Strategist who helps entrepreneurs craft their message and empower them to deliver it.

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Last Updated on June 4, 2021

10 Famous Failures to Success Stories That Will Inspire You to Carry On

10 Famous Failures to Success Stories That Will Inspire You to Carry On

Failure occurs everyday, in school, jobs, housework, and within families. It is unavoidable, irritating and causes pessimism.

While the thought of flinging your hands in the air and walking away is all too appealing, take a second to connect with the people who have been there and survived.

Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently. — Henry Ford

Here are 10 famous failures to success stories around the world that will inspire you to keep going and achieve greatness:

    1. J.K. Rowling

      During a Harvard commencement speech, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling outlined the importance and value of failure.[1]

      Why? Simply because she was once a failure too.

      A few short years after her graduation from college, her worst nightmares were realized. In her words,

      “I had failed on an epic scale. An exceptionally short-lived marriage had imploded, and I was jobless, a lone parent, and as poor as it is possible to be in modern Britain, without being homeless. The fears that my parents had had for me, and that I had had for myself, had both come to pass, and by every usual standard, I was the biggest failure I knew.”

      Coming out of this failure stronger and more determined was the key to her success.

      2. Steve Jobs

        The now revolutionary Apple started off with two men in a garage. Years later we all know it as a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees.

        Yet, almost unbelievably, Steve Jobs was fired from the very company he began.


        The dismissal made him realize that his passion for his work exceeded the disappointment of failure. Further ventures such as NeXT and Pixar eventually led Jobs back to the CEO position at AppleJobs said in 2005:

        “I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me.”

        Lost your job today? Keep kicking and you could be just like this guy!

        3. Bill Gates

          Bill Gates was a Harvard dropout. He co-owned a business called Traf-O-Data, which was a true failure.[2]

          However, skill and a passion for computer programming turned this failure into the pioneer of famous software company Microsoft, and the then 31-year-old into the world’s youngest self-made billionaire.

          In his own words:

          “It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.”

          This isn’t to say that dropping out of Harvard will make you into a billionaire, but maybe that shiny degree isn’t worth as much as the drive and passion to succeed.

          If you haven’t found your passion like Bill Gates, this will help you:

          How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up

          4. Albert Einstein

            The word ‘Einstein’ is associated with intelligence and synonymous with genius. Yet it is a famous fact that the pioneer of the theory of general relativity, Albert Einstein himself, could not speak fluently until the age of nine. His rebellious nature led to expulsion from school, and he was refused admittance to the Zurich Polytechnic School.

            His earlier setbacks did not stop him from winning the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921. After all, he believed that:

            “Success is failure in progress.”

            To this day, his research has influenced various aspects of life including culture, religion, art, and even late night TV.

            Just because you haven’t achieved anything great yet, doesn’t mean you can’t be an Einstein yourself.

            5. Abraham Lincoln

              Failing in business in 1831, suffering a nervous breakdown in 1836, defeated in his run for president in 1856, Abraham Lincoln was no stranger to rejection and failure. Rather than taking these signs as a motivation for surrender, he refused to stop trying his best.

              In this great man’s words:

              “My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure.”

              Lincoln was elected in 1861 as the 16th President of the United States of America.

              The amount of rejection you receive is not a defining factor. Success is still within your reach.

              6. Michael Jordan


                “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

                This quote by retired basketball legend Michael Jordan in a Nike advertisement speaks for itself.

                It would be an easy misconception that Jordan’s basketball skills revolve around natural talent. In fact, in his earlier years,  basketball coaches had trouble looking past the fact that Jordan didn’t reach the minimum height. It was years of effort, practice, and failure that made the star we know today.

                Michael Jordan’s success all came down to his Intrinsic Motivation, one of the most invincible types of motivation that drives people to succeed.

                7. Steven Spielberg



                  Regarded as one of the most influential filmmakers of all time, Steven Spielberg is a familiar household name. It is surprising to realize therefore that the genius behind Jaws and E.T. had poor grades in high school, getting him rejected from the University of Southern California three times.

                  While he was in college, he caught the eye of executives at Universal, who signed him as a television director in 1969. This meant that he would not finish his college degree for another 33 years.

                  Perseverance and acceptance of failure is the key to success, after all.

                  “Even though I get older, what I do never gets old, and that’s what I think keeps me hungry.”

                  Bad grades in high school aside, there is no questioning the genius involved.

                  To date, Spielberg has directed 51 films and has been awarded three Oscars.

                  8. Walt Disney


                    Mickey Mouse creator Walt Disney dropped out of school at a young age in a failed attempt at joining the army.[3] One of his earlier ventures, Laugh-o-Gram Studios, went bankrupt due to his lack of ability to run a successful business. He was once fired from a Missouri newspaper for “not being creative enough.”

                    Yet today, The genius behind Disney studios is responsible for generations of childhood memories and dreams. From Snow White to Frozen, Disney will continue to entertain the world for generations to come.

                    The logic behind this is simple:

                    “We don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious… and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

                    9. Vincent Van Gogh

                      During his lifetime, Vincent Van Gogh suffered mental illness, failed relationships, and committed suicide at the age of 37.

                      He only ever sold one painting in his life, pinning him a failure as an artist. However that did not put a damper on his enthusiasm and passion for art.


                      He would never know that years and years after his death he would become known as a key figure in the world of post-impressionism, and ultimately, one of the greatest artist that ever lived.

                      He would never know that he became a hot topic in art classes and his image was going to be used in TV, books and other forms of popular culture.

                      In the words of this great, but tragic man:

                      “If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.”

                      10. Stephen King


                        As a paranoid, troubled child, tormented by nightmares and raised in poverty, it is no surprise that Stephen King grew up to the title: “Master of Horror”.[4]

                        An addiction to drugs and alcohol were his mechanisms to cope with the unhappiness he felt with his life. The frustration he felt towards multiple rejections by publishers in combination with illicit substances caused him to mentally contemplate violence towards his own children.

                        These intense emotions were those that he focused onto his writing. And that’s why he said:

                        “We make up horros to help us cope with the real ones.”

                        Writing became his new coping mechanism, and this is how the master author we know today grew to success.

                        Fail More Often in Order to Succeed

                        Like Albert Einstein said, failure really is just success in progress. If you’d rather not to fail, you will probably never succeed.

                        Success comes from moments of frustrations when you’ll be most uncomfortable with. But after you’ve gone through all those bitter times, you’ll become stronger and you’ll get closer to success.

                        If you feel like a failure and think that you’ve failed all too many times, it’s not too late to change things up! Here’s how to turn your limitations into your opportunities:

                        Don’t be afraid to fail. In fact, start failing, and start failing often; that’s how you will succeed.


                        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via


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