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8 Differences Between You And Someone Who Is Successful

8 Differences Between You And Someone Who Is Successful

Success is such a lucrative term. Everyone dreams of it. Many have achieved it, while many more never do. What is success?

True success is not an actual “…termination of attempts…”, nor does it necessarily involve a monetary outcome. Far more success , like stated on UrbanDictionary.com, “...it simply means to follow through…success is a journey not a destination.” My definition of success is the sum of an infinite amount of tasks and failures performed while moving towards a specific direction in life. Success is a never-ending process. If you get to point B and stop, you never see what lies ahead at point C, D, and E.

Truly successful people maintain certain habits that keep them on a productive path. They never stop at any point along the way. Their goals evolve and grow. Just as mankind has evolved and adapted, your personal definition of success (or goal) should too. Successful people never strive for perfection, they strive to grow their knowledge and continue to improve their skills.

In order to be a success, one must change their habits. What are the differences between you right now and people who maintain success? Here are 8 differences between you and them:

1. Successful people never stop learning.

Think about how much technology has changed and evolved over the years. Your knowledge of a particular subject may be complete and up-to-date today, but tomorrow someone else may have discovered a new way to do it, a better way to do it, or something no one knew about it. To maintain success in a certain area, you have to continually research, study, learn, and experiment on that particular subject. Successful people have a hunger for learning and obtaining knowledge.

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Many unsuccessful people equate learning with school – which is incorrect. Learning can be obtained from life experiences, researching on your own, shadowing a mentor, on-the-job training, running experiments, relationships, reading, and so on. Try to learn something new everyday.

2. Successful people set specific life goals

Successful individuals set out on predetermined paths. They know what they want to gain, where they intend on going, and they have their course drawn out. They have set short-term and long-term goals for themselves. Successful people write down their goals, and organize their journey by making to-do lists. Everyday they wake up with a purpose. No time is wasted. Nothing can distract them. Successful people pre-plan their days and will get everything they set out to do done.

Others tend to be more laid back and procrastinate. If you want to be successful, you cannot have a nonchalant attitude. Usually when you have defined your goals, and you are passionate about it, it’s easy to get things done. The reason is that your goal is something you truly desire, and you know the everyday tasks you choose to complete will take you closer to achieving it. Make you goal something you absolutely have to do to ensure a happy life, and the hard work will not be so hard.

3. Successful people embrace difficulties

Failures, problems, obstacles- whatever synonym you call them, successful people face difficulties head on. Those who are successful, are considered problem solvers. They enjoy finding solutions for life’s challenges. Think about famous people who you consider “go-to” people in different fields. Ask yourself, “Who would I want advice from?”

Here’s a few from my list:

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  • Psychology – Dr. Phil
  • Business – Richard Branson
  • Technology – Steve Jobs
  • Branding/Celebrity – Oprah Whinfrey
  • Cooking – Rachael Ray
  • Comedy – Steve Harvey
  • Crafting – Martha Stewart

These celebrities may not be first on your list, but you have definitely heard of them and know exactly why they are famous. They are considered experts in their particular realms. These people continually provide solutions for everyday challenges and lead by example.

Let’s not get these highly successful celebrities confused with what success looks like. You do not need to make it to their level to be considered successful. All I am saying is follow their example. If you work as hard as they have, push past the challenges in your life as they have, and never quit, you too will successfully conquer your dreams and be known on some level in your field, as a problem solver.

4. Successful people remain humble

People who are highly successful do not take their success for granted. They know it was not luck that brought them to success. These people never forget where they began and the hard work they undertook to achieve it. Yes, you may see successful people self promoting, but that is all part of the marketing game. Confidence envelops success, not imperiousness.

Others tend to boast and brag about their accomplishments. I am not referring to the level of triumph as the people I listed above. Those who are not successful tend to gasconade about simple everyday, expected, feats. You do not gain respect from anyone with conceit. If the desired result of your effort happens, make sure you exude assurance with your work, but not by gloating afterwards. Conceit shows dubious tendencies, while confidence shows unwavering expertism.

5. Successful people support others

Those who have achieved success, have not done so by caching their knowledge. They are not egocentric. They believe that the more successful people there are, the better the world will be. They volunteer to help those less fortunate. Greed is not a motivating factor for them. They do not think in terms of parsimony, they encompass a yearning to bestow what they have and know to others. Donating their time, skills, wealth, and knowledge to others also helps them remain modest.

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Others lust over their prosperity in an autocratic manner. They trove their abilities to hinder others from acquiring success. They are prone to step on others to advance in life. They are consumed with only their quality of life. Avarice will impede success. Human beings are programmed with a survival of the fittest mentality. You must fight this and realize you have to give, in order to receive.

6. Successful people control their thoughts and emotions

Those who are successful, have always sustained a positive outlook despite their circumstances. They become conscious of self calamitous thoughts and habits. The successful people overcome debilitating emotional trauma from the past, and live for today.

Unsuccessful people live in the past. They subconsciously replay emotional trauma they have endeared in current life situations. You have to realize that your outer being reflects your inner state. You must find peace within by forgiving those who have caused you pain, and moving on with your life.

7.  Successful people have a balanced life

Those who are successful cherish their time spent with loved ones. They know these people support them and love them no matter what. They know there must be a balance between work and personal time to be happy and peaceful.

Others who are not successful, or those trying to figure out how to be, tend to focus too much time on one or the other. If you have too much personal time, you are not working hard enough to become successful. If you work too much, you will be unhappy and stressed, which will affect your work life. There must be a balance between the two. Find your balance.

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8. Successful people avoid negative energy

Successful people live life with a positive attitude. Unfortunate situations happen to everyone, but they always find the silver lining. They choose who they let into their life wisely. Those who do not support them, who use them, who have a negative attitude, who try to knock them down, and who are envious of them, are not welcomed.

Others find it challenging to let go of negative relationships. This may be because of their low self esteem. This may be the result of fear of being companionless. You must exude confidence and confront your aversions to find success in life.

I am not pointing out these eight differences between successful people and you in order to dismay you. I am simply showing you eight feasible adjustments you can make to transform your life. The biggest step you will take to accomplish these changes is simply taking action and making the effort. You can do it!

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Last Updated on March 15, 2019

How to Be a Leader Who Is Inspiring and Influential

How to Be a Leader Who Is Inspiring and Influential

When I began managing people 15 years ago, I thought having a fancy title was synonymous with influence. Over time, I learned that power is conferred based on likeability, authenticity, courage, relationships and consistent behavior. When leaders cultivate these attributes, they earn power, which really means influence.

Understanding influence is essential to professional growth, and companies rise and fall based on the quality of their leadership.

In this article, we will look into the essentials of effective leadership and how to be a leader who is inspiring and influential.

What Makes a Leader Fail?

A host of factors influence a leader’s ability to succeed. To the extent that leaders fail to outline a compelling vision and strategy, they risk losing the trust and confidence of their teams. Employees want to know where a company is going and the strategy for how they will get there. Having this information enables employees to feel safe, and it allows them to see mistakes as part of the learning journey versus as fatal occurrences.

If employees and customers do not believe a company’s leadership is authentic and inspiring, they may disengage, or they may be less inclined to offer constructive criticism that can help a company innovate or help a leader improve.

And it is not just the leadership at the top that matters. Middle managers play a distinct role in guiding teams. Depending on the company’s size, employees may have more access to mid-level managers than they do members of the C-suite, meaning their supervisors and managers have greater influence on the employee and the customer experience.

What Is Effective Leadership?

Effective leadership is inspiring, and it is influential. Cultivating inspiring and influential leaders requires building relationships across the company.

Leaders must be connected to both the teams they lead as well as to their own colleagues and managers. This is key as titles do not make a person a leader, nor do they automatically confer influence. These are earned through trusting relationships. This explains why some leaders can get more out of their teams than others and why some leaders experience soaring profits and engagement while others sizzle out.

Eric Garton said in an April 25, 2017, Harvard Business Review article:[1]

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“… inspiring leaders are those who use their unique combination of strengths to motivate individuals and teams to take on bold missions – and hold them accountable for results. And they unlock higher performance through empowerment, not command and control.”

How to Be an Inspiring and Influential Leader

To be an inspiring and influential leader requires:

1. Courage

The late poet Maya Angelou once said,

“Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.”

Courage is required in the workplace when implementing new strategies, especially when they go against professional norms.

For instance, I heard Lisa TerKeurst, bestselling author and founder of Proverbs 31 Ministries, explain her decision to move away from her company’s magazine. While the organization had long had a magazine, she saw a future where it didn’t exist.

In order to make the switch, she risked angering her team members and customers. She took a chance, and what started out as a monthly newsletter, has grown into a multi-dimensional organization boasting half a million followers. Had Lisa not found the courage to change the direction of her organization, they undoubtedly would not have been able to experience such exponential growth.

It also takes courage to give and receive feedback. When leaders see employees who are not living into the company’s mission or who are engaging in behavior that may undermine their long-term success, one must risk temporary angst and speak candidly with the colleague in question.

Similarly, it takes courage to hear constructive criticism and try to change. In business, as in life, courage is necessary for being an inspiring and influential leader.

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2. A Commitment to Face Your Internal Demons.

If you feel great about yourself, enter a leadership position. You are likely to be triggered in ways you didn’t think possible. You are also likely to receive feedback that may leave you second-guessing yourself and your leadership skills.

The truth about leading others is that you get to a point where you realize that it is difficult to take people to places where you yourself haven’t gone.

To be an influential and inspiring leader, you have to face your own demons and vow to continually improve. Influential leaders take their personal evolution serious, and they invest in coaching, therapy and mindfulness to ensure that their personal struggles do not overshadow their professional development.

3. A Willingness to Accept Feedback

Inspiring and influential leaders are not afraid to accept feedback. In fact, they actively solicit it. They understand that everyone in their life has a lesson to teach them, and they are willing to accept it.

Inspirational leaders understand that feedback is neither good nor bad but rather an offering that is critical to growth. Even when it hurts or is an affront to the ego, influential leaders understand that feedback is critical to their ability to lead.

4. Likability

Some people will argue that leaders need not worry about being liked but should instead focus on being respected. I disagree. Both are important.

When team members like their boss and believe their boss likes them, they are more likely to go the extra mile to fulfill departmental or organizational goals. Likable leaders are moved to the front of the line when it comes to being influential.

Relatedly, when colleagues feel management dislikes them, they experience internal stress and can spend unnecessary time focusing on the source of their manager’s discontent versus the work they have been hired to do.

So, likability is important for both the leader and the people she leads.

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5. Vulnerability

Vulnerability is critical for being an inspiring leader. People want the truth. They admire leaders who can occasionally demonstrate vulnerability. It promotes deeper relationships and inspires trust.

When leaders can showcase vulnerability appropriately, they destroy the illusion that one must be perfect to be a leader. They also demonstrate that vulnerability is not a dirty word; they too can be vulnerable and ask for a helping hand when necessary.

6. Authenticity

Authenticity is about living up to one’s stated values in public and behind closed doors.

Influential leaders are authentic. They set to live out their values and use those values to guide their decisions. The interesting thing about leadership is that people are not looking for perfect leaders. They are, in part, looking for leaders who are authentic.

7. A True Understanding of Inspiration

Effective leaders are inspirational. They understand the power of words and deeds and use both strategically.

Inspiring leaders appropriately use stories and narratives to enable the teams around them to see common situations in an entirely new light.

Inspirational leaders also showcase grit and triumph while convincing the people around them that success and victory are attainable.

Finally, inspiring leaders encourage the teams they lead to tap into their own genius. They convince others that genius is not reserved for a select few but that most people have it in them.

As explained in the article True Leadership: What Separates a Leader from a Boss:

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“A leader creates visions and motivates team members to work together towards the same goal.”

8. An Ability to See the Humanity in Others

Inspiring and influential leaders see the humanity in others. Rather than treating their teams as mere tools to accomplish organizational goals, they believe the people around them are unique beings with inherent value.

This means knowing when to pause to address personal challenges and dispelling with the myth that the personal is separate from the professional.

9. A Passion for Continual Learning

Inspiring and influential leaders are committed to continual learning. They invest in their own development and take responsibility for their professional growth.

These leaders understand that like a college campus, the workplace is a laboratory for learning. They believe that they can learn from multiple generations in the workplace as well as from people from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds.

Influential leaders proactively seek out opportunities for learning.

The Bottom Line

No one said leadership was easy, but it is also a joy. Influencing others to action and positively impacting the lives of others is a reward unto itself.

Since leadership abounds, there is an abundance of resources to help you grow into the type of leader who inspires and influences others.

More Resources About Effective Leadership

Featured photo credit: Markus Spiske via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Harvard Business Review: How to Be an Inspiring Leader

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