1. THEY HAVE A PURPOSE
All successful people have one thing in common whether they are athletes, politicians or business leaders; they all have a dream. Not just an aspiration, this is something that consumes their thinking 24 hours a day and becomes a burning desire. Napoleon Hill called it, “the strangest secret in the world”. He discovered that, “we become what we think about.” Successful people have their goals and dreams firmly planted in their minds, they talk about them and constantly seek to touch, smell, feel and see them at every opportunity. All their actions lead to the achievement of their desires.
2. THEY ARE WILLING TO WORK
People who are on the road to their dreams get as much done in a day as others would need a week to accomplish. They develop a sense of urgency with everything they do that gives them focus and sets their priorities. They still make time for the people they love but they use that time well! No sooner have they thought of something that needs doing, than they have already done it! When they hit a brick wall as everyone does they know that the answer is to keep going. They match the work to the dream. Consistency is their byword and they fall in love with the work!
3. THEY ARE HUNGRY FOR KNOWLEDGE
One thing you will notice about people truly “in the zone” for success is that they are always willing to listen whilst also learning from their own mistakes. They are willing to fail yet they forget the experience and learn the lesson. They are quick to recognise that learning from successful people is the smart way to grow. They are always asking questions and are hungry for inspiration. As important as acquiring the knowledge, they are quick to apply it to their own situation, changing the way they do things and letting go of wrong thinking. They understand the law of association that say “you become like the people you associate with”.
4. THEY TAKE RESPONSIBILITY
Success doesn’t fall from the sky and land in the lap of the lucky few. It’s available to everyone. However to become a success takes a decision backed by action, which always thins the crowd. Winners in the game of life don’t wait for circumstances to be perfect before they act; they take control and create the circumstances they want. They recognise that the achievements for the future are 100% their responsibility. However difficult, they recognise that accepting excuses or blaming others are characteristics of the crowd. By taking responsibility they find a new energy and confidence in working towards whatever goal they set. No longer are they held back by past failures. They focus their energies on getting better at everything they do. They enjoy the chase.
5. THEY ARE DETERMINED
Their biggest successes often take place just one step beyond where most people would have given up. One of my biggest mentors summed it up this way, “I will do today what others will not, so I can live tomorrow as others cannot.” Once the decision is made to claim their dream there is nothing that will stop them. Their obstacles are often bigger than most people experience but there is always a way through, round, over or under, and they know they will find it. They don’t find it difficult to be persistent, they make one decision to win and they stick to that decision.
6. THEY THINK FOR THEMSELVES
Leaders think for themselves and for their people. Good leaders are good servers and working out how best to serve their organisations is a big part of leadership. It is important to take time to develop strategies and plan ahead. Leaders think for the long term avoiding knee jerk reactions. Although working closely as team players they don’t wait to be hand fed a list of things to do – they work it out themselves and get on with it. They are practiced at using their common sense and initiative.
7. THEY ARE HONEST
In all their actions strong leaders are first honest with themselves, not only in evaluating their own development but their actions and results. Their focus is to win which needs a continual improvement in skills, habits and abilities, and by being honest with their leaders they get the help they need. The ability to be honest with themselves creates an open communication with their team. This transparency builds trust amongst all members of the team and sets the standard for others to follow.
8. THEY ARE A TEAM PLAYER
A good leader is first a good follower. Only by learning to be a good follower can they go on to be considerate of others and understand the needs of the team. Even if their nature is to be independent and proud and to enjoy working on their own, a good leader understands the limitations working by themselves and develops the team focus. They are willing to sacrifice their needs for the needs of the team and together everyone achieves more.
9. THEY HAVE INTEGRITY
Whatever the circumstances a strong leader has a powerful inner compass that tells them the right approach to any issue. A leader of integrity does the right things even when no-one is looking. A person of their word, people trust their judgement and advice. They are the same on the inside as they are on the outside, and they build their dreams and their teams with a sense of fairness and justice which is a constant source of respect from their followers.
10. THEY HAVE A GOOD SELF IMAGE
Being proud of who they are and of what they do makes it easier for them to feel confident when dealing with people. Leaders have a good ego but are not aggressive, overbearing or continually seeking approval! The inner confidence provides them with unwavering courage to take action and get results. Leaders understand that they need to continually build their self-image (they read great books constantly) and they guard it against soul destroying habits and energy sapping people.
How do you feel you score for each characteristic?