At a recent continuing education class, I was speaking with some other home inspectors, and one of them asked the group what was the one trait that made them successful. Most of the group gave predictable answers, touting their experience or explaining how thankful they were for their rewards. I didn’t provide an answer at that moment, as I couldn’t pick out one particular thing that lead to my (relative) success.
Thinking more about it, I wonder if success can be boiled down to only one attribute. If so, what would that one attribute be?
Obviously, intelligence comes to mind. Your location along the IQ spectrum certainly plays a significant part in your career. But there has to be more to it than that. We all know people that are really smart, but just can’t seem to get it together, personally or professionally.
Could something else be driving this? Is there something (other than your IQ) that determines your success? What other factors could there be that have a positive or negative influence on your chance of success?
While intelligence certainly has an important role in determining our level of achievement, many other factors play a role in our success. A few examples of personal traits that play a role are: business acumen, likeability, professionalism, wisdom, tact, attractiveness, confidence, humility and appearance. Very few of us rank high across-the-board in all of these measurements. We may be very smart and likeable, but lack confidence and professionalism. Or we’re attractive and confident, but are lacking in humility and tact.
The fact is that no one is perfect; we all have limitations that we have to deal with in our business lives. But, looked at from a different angle, this shows us that our competition has things that are negative factors for them as well.
The key to success is to learn how to maximize your positives, minimize your negatives and try to move your average traits at a little further toward the positive end of the spectrum. The best way to do this is through continuously learning things that can help you move forward.
My belief is that in business, like everything else in life, success is dependent upon many different factors. These different personal elements come together to form your character. Successful people recognize their character and play to their strengths, taking advantage of their gifts and building their career on the things that they do well.
But most importantly, successful people achieve success by trying new things, learning from these attempts and improving. Hall of Fame football coach Vince Lombardi Jr said, “The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack in will.”
Don’t lack will. Keep trying; keep learning; keep improving. You will achieve success. Guaranteed.
I welcome all feedback (positive and negative) about my take on this subject. Please leave your comments below. Thank you!
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