Forbes Coaches Council members explore ways to practice and adopt traits most successful people share. PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS.
CRA Leadership Explored – USA
Expert Panel® Forbes Councils Member
While there’s no surefire formula for success in every arena, the most exceptional leaders in business and entrepreneurship do tend to share a number of specific attributes. Fortunately, these aren’t intrinsic qualities but rather deliberate approaches that every leader can adopt.
We asked the experts of Forbes Coaches Council to tell us about the traits they see most often see in highly successful individuals and how business leaders can foster the same in themselves. With the right focus, guidance and practice, you can improve and inform your own leadership style by fostering these 15 positive characteristics, attitudes and outlooks in yourself.
Successful people are adaptable and solution-focused. They face unexpected situations with a belief that they will find a way to make things work. When they face in the direction of the solution, rather than focusing on the problem, their minds offer ideas and resources that allow them to take the right actions and get results. The key is to stay curious, flexible and open to possibilities. – Vered Kogan, Momentum Institute™
2. Emotional Intelligence
It’s easy to say “emotional intelligence,” but it is so much more. Successful people understand who they are first, as the basis for understanding others. This awareness of self and others provides an authentic relationship built on trust. With a foundation of trust, those in the relationship have permission to challenge each other, resulting in better consensus in decision-making. More consensus means less anxiety! – Brad Cousins, Ingage Human Capital Strategies
A common trait that I’ve observed in successful people is perseverance. They have an uncanny ability to push through, forge ahead and stay focused on what’s important to them. They don’t allow drama, chaos and noise to disrupt their focus on achieving goals. Even during a moment to pause, they discern and think through, pick themselves up by the bootstraps, adjust and fuel forward. – Sheila Carmichael, Transitions D2D, LLC
Discipline is an essential trait of successful people; it’s a matter of simply doing what must be done without trying to justify doing otherwise. The most effective way to develop this is to practice discipline at smaller levels to make it second nature, then account for or remove distractions that prompt a lack of discipline. – Corey Castillo, Truth & Spears
5. Humble Self-Awareness
The most successful people I know practice humble self-awareness. They recognize and are thankful for their strengths, talents, abilities and knowledge. They also know their areas for improvement and seek support from others who are strong in those areas. Role modeling how self-awareness can maximize the potential in oneself and others is key in demonstrating what success looks like. – Sandy Schwan, Evolving Strategies LLC
I have found that successful people are always curious. Curiosity drives successful people to always ask questions; they will always ask before they take action. Unsuccessful people do not ask; they simply respond. Thus, they are doers and not thinkers. Start asking why and researching what things are. Don’t just accept things simply because. – John Knotts, Crosscutter Enterprises
All successful people are true to their calling. You can’t fake real success; it comes from being 100% authentic to who you’re meant to be in this world. There are a lot of fake “happy” people and businesses that appear successful on the surface out there. Don’t be one of them! Do the inner work. Create your path. Lead by example. Live your calling. That’s when you’ll truly find success. – Miranda VonFricken, Miranda VonFricken – Masterminds & Personal Growth Coaching!
8. Risk-Taking Capabilities
Successful people have the innate ability to identify and seize opportunities, even when it terrifies them. This is why some successful people dismiss their achievements as luck, often saying, “I was just in the right place at the right time.” Of course, it wasn’t luck. It was the ability to recognize there was an opportunity and to take a risk in pursuing it. This is a key component to success. – Cheryl Czach, Cheryl Czach Coaching and Consulting, LLC
The most successful people are the most accessible people. Being accessible and approachable allows you the best chance to connect with people and invest in your employees. If you manage people, make sure not to schedule yourself back-to-back so that you can walk and talk and keep open hours for stop-ins. Success is determined by your ability to connect, and being accessible removes the barriers for you. – Jon Dwoskin, The Jon Dwoskin Experience
10. Observant Decisiveness
Two things are essential: listening and being decisive (quickly). Listening, observing, gathering information quickly—these features lead to quick decisions and a leader’s ability to get beyond the mountaintop and forecast the future. When you do so, you are more likely to prepare for necessary pivots that others may not see coming. – Shelley Smith, Premier Rapport
Successful people in any walk of life tend to own their decisions and hold themselves accountable for what they accomplish. They don’t fall into the trap (as often) of blaming others and coming up with excuses for failures. They reframe any setbacks as learning opportunities, and they act proactively rather than reactively to challenges they face, avoiding procrastination. – Jonathan H. Westover, Ph.D, Utah Valley University & Human Capital Innovations, LLC
12. Genuine Respect
There are many ways to define success. One trait of leaders who engender more than just money and things is that they focus on how they treat each person, not just people who can help them. When leaders are not cordial to hourly workers, part-time employees or those who have less prestige or power, it gets around. Treating “the little guy” with respect also resonates. The truly successful know this fact. – John M. O’Connor, Career Pro Inc.
13. Viewing Failures As Learning Curves
Successful people view failures as learning curves. Failure does not stop them from trying again; it only shows how and where to correct course. By choosing past shortcomings as opportunities to correct course, leaders can change their perception of failure to delayed success. Ultimately, people who know they cannot fail always succeed eventually. – Amera McCoy, McCoy Consulting LLC
14. A Growth Mindset
Successful leaders have a growth mindset: They learn continuously and adapt to changed situations without losing their vision. They also build diverse teams in which trust, productive conflict engagement, clear decision-making rules for buy-in, peer-to-peer accountability and a results-oriented team focus prevail. – Michael Thiemann, Strategy-Lab™
15. Customer Centricity
Whichever industry or business you find yourself in, customer centricity is key. This is about always taking the time to be at the forefront of your customers’ needs, which may change and evolve over time. The only way this is possible is by paying attention to your customers and nurturing relationships with them so that you can preemptively know what they may need, potentially even before they do. – Linda Aiyer, InfinitU Consulting
Credit to Forbes.