Advertising
Advertising

10 Things Highly Respected People Do Differently

10 Things Highly Respected People Do Differently

When people are highly respected, they stand out from the crowd in many ways. They may be media stars, politicians, sports stars, actors or writers. Maybe you know these people already. But did you know how they gained respect and success? Not without hard work, I can assure you. Here are 10 ways that will help you spot them.

1. They always over-deliver

Highly respected people never fail to deliver on their promises. Many go that extra mile and over-deliver. A great example is Bill Gates who certainly over-delivered on fighting multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) in South Africa. His team gained an 80 percent cure rate at the cost of $100 for six months of treatment. This was an astonishing achievement, given that the previous rate was only 50 percent at a cost of $2,000.

2. They show appreciation

Let’s face it, anyone with emotional intelligence can gain respect and loyalty. They do this by simply showing appreciation and expressing gratitude for a great job. Unlike Tina Turner who never expressed gratitude to America where she amassed fame and millions of dollars. She is now renouncing her American citizenship to become Swiss.

“Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.” — Voltaire

Advertising

3. They leave nobody behind

Involving millions of people and engaging them in noble ventures is always mind-blowing. Bono’s work in trying to end global poverty and AIDS is a great example. He likes to be known as a ‘factivist,’ as he outlined in his TED talk.

4. They acknowledge your existence

Many famous people rarely pay attention to ordinary mortals like us when they enter a room or respond to a tweet. But there are some glorious exceptions when highly successful people will make the effort to acknowledge you. If you are really into getting celebrities to notice you on social media, try Reddit’s Ask Me Anything. Some very famous people like Barack Obama and Neil deGrasse Tyson have answered people’s questions there.

“A real gentleman is as polite to a little girl as to a woman.” — Louisa May Alcott

5. They influence and better people’s lives

Melinda Gates’s mother presented Bill and Melinda Gates with a challenge at their wedding. She said: “From those who are given great resources, great things are expected.” Melinda Gates, in her role as co-chairman of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, divides her time between field visits in Niger and organizing a family planning summit for world leaders. This project hopes to make safe contraception freely available to 120 million women in developing countries.

Advertising

“All lives have an equal value.” — Melinda Gates

6. They act rather than just talk

Richard Branson is one of the most respected entrepreneurs in the whole world. He could have sat back and enjoyed the good life. But he was determined to make the world a better place and acted rather than talked about what needed to be done. He never let things like recession scare him and it is no accident that he is known as Dr. Yes at Virgin. His motto is to turn ideas into reality.

“I’m fortunate enough to have only ever worked for myself – so I’ve always liked my boss! From selling Christmas trees to records, flying planes to spaceships, I’ve had a blast every step of the way.” — Sir Richard Branson

7. They like to share

“The person who dances with you in the rain will most likely walk with you in the storm.” — Anon.

Advertising

Tony Hsieh (pronounced Shay) is not only the CEP of the Zappos online store but also a founding member of the Downtown Project for Las Vegas. The project founders hope to transform downtown Las Vegas into a community focused city. They aim to do that by encouraging entrepreneurs to work with the community to share interests, ideas and passions to build a connected urban core. They do not envisage dilapidated buildings but rather repurposed shipping containers. Las Vegas may become the shipping container capital of the world!

8. They do not seek the limelight

Many highly respected entrepreneurs and celebrities beaver away in the background and are rarely seen. They build high-performing teams, they do not seek accolades and they are able to stand back and let others thrive. They can celebrate their achievements through others. There are many other people who never get the recognition they deserve.

The University Partnerships Programme’s Unsung Heroes Award is a great example of how these people, who would otherwise have flown under the radar, are given credit for their achievements.

9. They are modest

You will never hear a humble or modest person say: “Let me deal with this. No one else can do it better than me.” David Packard, the co-founder of Hewlett-Packard is an excellent example of humility. He says: “You shouldn’t gloat about anything you’ve done; you ought to keep going and find something better to do.”

Advertising

10. They pay it forward

Confident and respected people can pay it forward in many ways. A selfless, respected leader can mentor, help and guide coworkers. They set the example of selflessness in giving their time, energy and money. The US Marines are a famous example where the officers always eat last.

Featured photo credit: Richard Branson/D@ALY3D via flickr.com

More by this author

Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

10 Reasons Why People Are Unmotivated (And How to Be Motivated) 12 Secrets To a Super Productive Meeting You Should Know Work Smarter, Not Harder: 12 Smart Ways to Be More Productive What Your Fear of Being Alone Is Really About and How to Get over It 10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

Trending in Productivity

1 The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain) 2 What to Do When Bored at Work (And Why You Feel Bored Actually) 3 6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills 4 How to Concentrate and Focus Better to Boost Productivity 5 15 Productive Things to Do When Bored (So Time Is Not Wasted)

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on July 17, 2019

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

What happens in our heads when we set goals?

Apparently a lot more than you’d think.

Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.

According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.

Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.

Advertising

Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.

Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams

The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.

Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.[1]

So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.

Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.

Advertising

One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.

Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.

Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.

The Neurology of Ownership

Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.

In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs![2]

Advertising

But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.

This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).

Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.

The Upshot for Goal-Setters

So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?

On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.

Advertising

It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.

On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!

But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!

More About Goals Setting

Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next