Advertising
Advertising

10 Things You Never See In Successful People

10 Things You Never See In Successful People

Everyone has their own interpretation of what success means to them, but when you break it right down, everyone can agree that it always has something to do with accomplishing a valuable goal or reaching a meaningful purpose. It could be a career advancement, a loving relationship, a useful skill, a form of artistic expression, a spiritual connection, or even an intention to help a certain person or group of people.

Real success is often not a stable and upward journey that can be achieved quickly and easily. The most successful people are often fully aware of this, and they tend to hold certain behavioural traits that set them apart from everyone else.

If you’re struggling to get what you really want out of life, consider taking a good long look inside yourself so you can start working on the following characteristics listed below. If you can shift your mindset to be much more in line with what successful people do, you’ll drastically improve your own chances of succeeding at whatever it is you want to do.

1. They never sacrifice their long-term goals for instant gratification

Certain goals can take weeks, months, and even years of persistent effort before they’re reached. The types of people who do end up reaching them, though, are usually disciplined and motivated enough to give up short-term rewards and distractions that waste too much of their time or inhibit their progress.

When successful people do decide to take some time off from progressing toward their goal by indulging in guilty pleasures, they usually know how to do it intelligently — in a way that actually supports and enhances their creativity, motivation, focus, and stamina. Any other form of instant gratification that doesn’t serve to rejuvenate them in some sort of way is treated as a hindrance that they need to avoid.

Advertising

2. They never execute without having a proper plan in place.

It shouldn’t be any surprised that a lot of successful people are also very organized and take their planning processes very seriously. They’ll often take every preliminary step they need in order to ensure success, carefully planning out their calendars, project stages, research requirements, testing phases, professional consultations, skill training, and more.

The fact that successful people put so much effort into planning out what they need to do doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re bad at responding to sudden changes or avoid following their gut instincts when immediate decisions need to be made. Most find a happy balance between sticking to the plan and responding accordingly to unexpected obstacles along the way.

3. They never let their fear of challenge get in their way

It’s normal to want to avoid struggle and hardship as much as possible, but in truth, that’s exactly what keeps most people from moving forward. Successful people think differently about struggle and hardship, knowing and embracing the challenges they need to face to achieve what they want. Ellen DeGeneres, one of the most powerful women in entertainment, is just one famous example of someone who faced unemployment and money troubles shortly after she came out as gay on one of the last episodes of her sitcom “Ellen,” long before she made herself into hit a daytime TV talk show host.

While regular folks react on impulse to challenging situations and worry about making big mistakes, successful people have a way of interpreting each challenge they face as a valuable lesson that will make them better for it. They also view challenges in a way that makes the reward of achieving the end goal even more worth it. Whatever stands in their way, the people who are most likely to succeed are the ones who feel confident enough in their own abilities to rise above the obstacles they face.

4. They never allow their egos to control their values, actions, or goals

It’s not uncommon for the idea of a successful career person to conjure up images of egotistical “Mad Men” type businesspeople in suits, with fancy cars and tremendous amounts of money. In reality, though, many of the most successful people in the world are actually very humble and grounded — even in business. In the book “Inside Apple” by Adam Lashinsky, CEO Tim Cook describes himself by saying, “I like to be reminded of where I came from, and putting myself in modest surroundings helps me do that. Money is not a motivator for me.”

Advertising

The people who truly succeed in life are the ones who never inflate their own self-importance and consider themselves equal among everyone else. After all, it can be pretty hard to become successful all on your own without any help from colleagues, teachers, friends, family, fans, customers, and supporters — especially if everyone thinks you’re completely self-absorbed.

5. They never succumb to other people’s negative criticisms and opinions about them

Despite being humble and grounded among their peers, successful people are able to succeed because they believe in what they stand for, and they’re confident in what they can do. This is an especially important trait to have when it seems like nobody else is on their side.

People who have a low sense of self-efficacy often let their doubts, fears, self-comparisons, and public criticisms derail their efforts. People who are destined for success, on the other hand, will use negative feedback and criticism to lift themselves up and strengthen them — even in the most extreme cases.

6. They never do the easy and unnecessary things first when more important things require immediate attention

The way you set your priorities can make you or break you. The most successful people not only plan well — they also know exactly what needs to get done first before anything else, where they need to focus most of their time and energy, and what can be delegated to others.

People who spend too much of their time focusing on frivolous tasks just because they enjoy them and would rather procrastinate on the tasks that are more difficult and important are guaranteed to struggle with moving themselves forward. If you want to be successful, you need to make a commitment to tackle the most critical and influential things first, regardless of how much you enjoy or dislike doing them.

Advertising

7. They never ignore the opportunity to get extra help from others when they know they really need it

When you get excited about achieving a big goal, it’s natural to want to do everything your way. But getting help when you really need it goes hand in hand with the previous point about sticking to what’s important, and the most successful people are often the ones who seek out the right help at the right time.

Whether you need a mentor, an assistant, a trainer, a teacher, a coach, group support, or just someone who can help take those menial tasks off your hands, it’s important to seek help from other people who are good at what they do. Instead of obsessing over the desire to do everything yourself, aim to get more help so you can free up more time for the most important tasks and build relationships with people who can teach you new things.

8. They never let themselves worry too much about the past or the future.

When it comes to moving forward toward a specific goal, some people end up getting trapped by spending too much time and energy dwelling on the past or planning extensively for the future. While learning from past mistakes and planning for future challenges are both very important and necessary for success, they’re both useless if you’re barely taking any action at all in the present.

The most successful people don’t let past feelings of embarrassment or shame from previous mistakes prevent them from doing what they need to do in the now. They’re also quite aware of how spending too much time in the planning process can easily turn into a procrastination method, so they know how to limit their preparation for the future to what’s only necessary in order to really focus on active progress.

9. They never take their biggest fans and supporters for granted

Even when faced with intense hardship and unrelenting hatred, the people who succeed at achieving their goals are the ones who never forget who their biggest fans truly are. By continuing to serve their admirers and take in their positive energy, successful people are able to supercharge their motivation and stay focused on what matters most.

Advertising

People who end up succeeding at their goals regularly surround themselves by loved ones, get help and support from the people they look up to, and make sure they keep providing value to the ones they’re serving. Anyone who wants to succeed at something that’s challenging absolutely can’t afford to ignore who’s standing right there with them and backing them up the whole way.

10. They never surrender to failure

Last but not least, people who end up reaching their goals and making their wildest dreams come true are able to do so because they simply just never quit. Many of them even fail their way forward, taking mistake after mistake and struggle after struggle as valuable lessons that they can use to improve everything they need to do along the way. Co-founder and CEO of the Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington, says failure is really “a stepping stone to success.”

One of the most essential traits of successful people is their ability to persevere no matter what gets thrown in their way. If they’re passionate about achieving what they set out to do, they always find a way to get there without ever giving up.

So, which of these ten powerful behavioural traits do you think you could work on to improve your own chances of success? It might not be easy to accept the fact that you’ve got some work to do, but if it’s all in the name of something you want to achieve real badly, then it’ll be worth it.

More by this author

Elise Moreau

Elise helps desk workers lead healthier lifestyles. Visit her website on her profile to get a free list of health hacks.

Why You’ve Reached the Point of Burn out at Work & How to Deal with It The Benefits And Drawbacks To Your Preferred Sleep Position How Smartphones Are Affecting The Mind And Body Of Your Children Amazing Benefits Of Greek Yogurt (+5 Refreshing Recipes) 15 Free Resources To Get You More Organized In 2016

Trending in Productivity

1 How to Be a Good Leader and Lead Effectively 2 How Long Does It Take to Break a Habit? Science Will Tell You 3 What Is the Purpose of Life and What Should You Live For? 4 Invaluable Lessons You Can Learn From Your Mistakes 5 10 Things High Achievers Do to Attain Greatness

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on October 21, 2019

How to Be a Good Leader and Lead Effectively

How to Be a Good Leader and Lead Effectively

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a contender for the 2020 Democratic nomination, is a reminder of why I am so drawn to leadership as a topic. Whenever I think it is impossible for me to be more impressed with her, she proves me wrong.

Earlier this week, a former marine suggested that he had been in a long-term sexual relationship with the Senator. She flipped the narrative and used the term “Cougar,” a term used to describe older women who date younger men, to reference her alma mater.

Rather than calling the young man a liar, or responding to the accusations in kind, she re-focused the conversation back to her message of college affordability and lifted up that “Cougar” was the mascot for her alma mater. She went on to note that tuition at her school was just $50 per semester when she was a student. Class act.

But by the end of the week, news broke that U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, another contender for the presidency, had a heart attack. Warren not only wished Sanders a speedy recovery but her campaign sent a meal to his staff. She knew that the hopes of staff, donors and supporters were with the Senator from Vermont and showed genuine compassion and empathy.

To me, she has proven time and time again that she is more than a presidential candidate: she belongs in a leadership hall of fame.

What makes some people excel as leaders is fascinating. You can read about leadership, research it and talk about it, yet the interest in leadership alone will not make you a better leader.

You will have more information than the average person, but becoming a good leader is lifelong work. It requires experience – and lots of it. Most importantly, it requires observation and a commitment to action. Warren observed what was happening with Sen. Sanders, empathized with his team and then took action. Regardless of the outcome of this election, Sanders’ staff will likely never forget her gesture.

Advertising

You would have had to work on a political campaign in order to appreciate the stress and anxiety that comes with it. In this moment, staff may not remember everything that Warren said throughout the lengthy campaign, but they will remember what she did during an unforgettable time during the campaign.

If this model of leadership is appealing, and if you are searching for how to up your own leadership game, read on for six characteristics that good leaders share:

1. Good leaders are devoted to the success of the people around them.

Good leaders are not self-interested. Sure, they want to succeed, but they also want others to succeed.

Good leaders see investing in others just as important as they see investing in themselves. They understand that their success is closely tied to the people around them, and they work to ensure that their peers, employees, friends and family have paths for growth and development.

While the leaders may be the people in the spotlight, they are quick to point to the people around them who helped them (the leaders) enter that spotlight. Their willingness to lift others inspires their colleagues’ and friends’ devotion and loyalty.

2. Good leaders are not overly dependent on others’ approval.

It is important for managers to express their support for their teams; good leaders must be independent of the approval of others. I explained in an article for The Chronicle of Philanthropy, that:[1]

“While a desire to be loved is natural, managers who prioritize approval from subordinates will become ineffective supervisors who may do employees harm. For example, a manager driven by a need for approval may shy away from delivering constructive feedback that could help an employee improve. A manager fearful of upsetting someone may tolerate behavior that degrades the work environment and culture.”

In yet another example, a manager who is dependent on the approval of others may not make decisions that could be deemed unpopular in the short run but necessary in the long run.

Think of the coaches who integrated their sporting teams. Their decision to do so, may have seemed odd, and even wrong, in the moment, but time has proven that those leaders were on the right side of history.

3. Good leaders have the capacity to share the spotlight.

Attention is nice, but it is not the prime motivator for good leaders. Doing a good job is.

For this reason, good leaders are willing to share the spotlight. They aren’t threatened by a lack of attention, and they do not need credit for every accomplishment. They are too focused on their goal and too focused on the urgency of their work.

4. Good leaders are students.

In the same way that human beings are constantly evolving, so too are leaders. As long as you are living, you have the potential to learn. It doesn’t matter how much knowledge you think you have; you can always learn something new.

I have the experience of thinking I was doing everything right as a manager, only to receive conflicting feedback from my team. Perhaps my approach was not working for my team, and I had to be willing to hear their feedback to improve.

Good leaders understand that their secret sauce is their willingness to keep receiving information and keep learning. They aren’t intimidated by what they do not know: As long as they maintain a willingness to keep growing, they believe they can overcome any obstacle they face.

Advertising

As both masters and students, good leaders read, listen and study to grow. They consume content for information, not just entertainment purposes. They aren’t impressed with their knowledge; they are impressed with the learning journey.

5. Good leaders view vulnerability as a superpower.

It means “replacing ‘professional distance and cool,’ with uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure,” said Emma Sappala in a Dec. 11, 2014, article, “What Bosses Gain by being Vulnerable” for Harvard Business Journal.[2] She went on to note the importance of human connection, which she asserts is often missing at work.

“As leaders and employees, we are often taught to keep a distance and project a certain image. An image of confidence, competence and authority. We may disclose our vulnerability to a spouse or close friend behind closed doors at night but we would never show it elsewhere during the day, let alone at work.”

This rings so true for me as a woman leader. I was raised believing that any show of emotion in the workplace could be used against me. I was raised believing that it was best for women leaders to be stoic and to “never let ‘em see you sweat.” This may have prevented me from connecting with employees and colleagues on a deeper, more personal level.

6. Good leaders understand themselves.

I am a huge fan of life coach and spiritual teacher Iyanla Vanzant. In addition to her hit show on the OWN network, Vanzant has authored dozens of books. In her books and teachings, she underscores the importance of knowing ourselves fully. She argues that we must know what makes us tick, what makes us happy and what makes us angry.

Self-awareness enables us to put ourselves in situations where we can thrive, and it also enables us to have compassion when we fall short of the goals and expectations we have for ourselves. Relatedly, understanding ourselves will allow us to know our strength. When we know our strengths, we will be able to put people around us who compliment our strengths and fill the gaps in our leadership.

Final Thoughts

Being a good leader, first and foremost, is an inside job. You must focus on growing as a person regardless of the leadership title that you hold. You cannot take others where you yourself have not been. So focusing on yourself, regardless of your time or where you are in your career will have long term benefits for you and the people around you.

Advertising

Further, if you want to become a good leader, you should start by setting the intention to do so. What you focus on grows. If you focus on becoming a better leader, you will research and invest in things that help you to fulfill this intention. You will also view the good and bad leadership experiences as steppingstones that hone your character and help you improve.

After you set the intention, get really clear on what a good leader looks like to you. Each of us has a different understanding of leadership. Is a good leader someone who takes risk? Is a good leader, in your estimation, someone who develops other leaders? Whatever it is, know what you’re shooting for. Once you define what it means to be a good leader, look for people who exemplify your vision. Watch and engage with them if you can.

Finally, understand that becoming a good leader doesn’t happen overnight. You must continually work at improving, investing in yourself and reflecting on what is going well and what you must improve. In this way, every experience is an opportunity to grow and a chance to ask: ‘What is this experience trying to teach me?’ or ‘what action is necessary based on this situation?’

If you are committed to questioning, evaluating and acting, you are that much closer to becoming a better leader.

More About Effective Leadership

Featured photo credit: Sam Power via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] The Chronicle of Philanthropy: Why Good Managers Overcome the Desire to Be Liked
[2] Harvard Business Journal: What Bosses Gain by being Vulnerable

Read Next