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Success Mindset

15 Rare Traits That Set a High-Flyer Apart

Written by Rich Perry
Rich is a Communication Strategist who helps entrepreneurs craft their message and empower them to deliver it.
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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 unsplash.com

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