No matter how diverse their goals or crafts, the super-achievers shared many of the same habits. How can you follow in their footsteps? These are the 10 qualities that will set you apart.
Dedication To A Vision
Every great success starts with inspiration, but not every inspiration leads to success. The most common thing we found was these people’s devotion to the day-to-day struggle. Glossy magazine success stories often don’t show the dark moments, the daily grind or flagging energy that super-achievers endure to realize their goals. However, that dedication is essential to their success.
One thing successful people know: Dedication and blind persistence are two very different things. You can work hard but not smart. When something’s not working, you’ve got to tweak it. Some people just keep banging their heads against the wall. Instead of doggedly using the same ineffective tactics, super-achievers pivot and try to tackle the problem from a different angle.
Fostering A Community
Star performers know they can’t achieve success on their own. Instead, they must galvanize a group of people around their idea or goal. Teamwork, or having an ecosystem of supporters, turns out to be critically vital for success. It doesn’t just include partners and coworkers. It might also mean employees, customers, investors, mentors, fans and social media followers. They quote business guru Guy Kawasaki: “First you have to create something worthy of an ecosystem. Then pick yourevangelists.”
We found that managing emotions is a key element to success. It’s so easy to be derailed by them, but these people are able to channel anger and frustration into their work. This was an important lesson for Jessica Watson, the Australian sailor who circumnavigated the world alone at only 16 years old. While out at sea, when loneliness or negativity set in, she would acknowledge her emotions and remind herself that she could get past them. “You can’t change conditions—just the way you deal with them,” Watson said.
Successful people maintain success by consistently learning and adapting to the environment around them. Tennis champion Martina Navratilova realized this when her game suddenly started sliding. She decided to transform her training routine and diet, and soon was back on track to become an all-star athlete.
Listening And Remaining Open
You don’t normally think of hard-charging, action-oriented leaders as being good listeners. These people’s ability to practice the art of listening helped them learn what they needed to know about the world around them.” For example, Zappos’ Hsieh asked all his employees to share their personal values so that he could incorporate them into the company’s values and culture.
Stories have the ability to transport people to your world, and then they’re more likely to invest in you and your brand. Philippe Petit, famous for his high-wire walk between the Twin Towers of New York City’s World Trade Center in the 1970s, believed other wire-walkers were trying to make it look hard. But he wanted to be a poet in the sky and seem effortless. His narrative wasn’t in words, but it was a story he was communicating.