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Things Successful People Do

by Conor Meyers, ESQ

I ran across an interesting article on success and leadership. In this entry I discuss, share and expand on the basic ideas it postulates. Before I go on, first start with the understanding that success is not easy, whether it is in business or a matter of personal achievement. It takes drive, diligence and hard work. It involves investing time working on yourself, meaning, spending time and energy working and bettering you.

To me, successful people is synonymous with being a leader. Some are quiet, others are vocal. There are leaders at all levels of a company, not just the CEO. Managers, supervisors, team leads, etc. are leaders and can benefit from developing the traits listed below.

The article identified several unique characteristics that leaders share in common. I've added my own thoughts to expand on the basic concepts.

1. Leaders are in control of themselves.

They do not lose their cool. Tempers, shouting and screaming profanities creates non-productive energy. More importantly losing control creates a feeling in others that you lack the ability to lead. Good leaders control and direct the situation.

2.Leaders forge ahead from failure.

Not everything successful people touch turns to gold. Just ask Richard Branson, founder of Virgin brand. He has started over 100 businesses under the Virgin brand and in a 2012 article he admitted that he has lost count of the number of business ventures that have failed. However, he says "…recognizing mistakes and recovering are essential skills..." I believe that never trying is a bigger failure than trying and not succeeding. Thomas Edison said "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work". My personal favorite quote, and it hangs in my home office, is "I never lose. I either win or I learn."

3. Leaders embrace change.

The world and, therefore, our businesses are constantly changing and evolving. The difficulty is learning to handle and adapt to change. We must learn to adapt because things change all the time. The Greek philosopher Heraclitus said "There is nothing permanent except change."

4. Leaders are happy.

Happiness leads to success as it attracts good people and great things. Pessimism leads to failure while optimism leads to taking on each day with a positive attitude. A positive attitude allows you to take responsibility for errors, address them and cause positive effective change to your business and personal life.

5. Leaders invest energy in the present.

Being present means the opposite of "going through the motions." Being in the present/moment allows us to be our most productive. Buddha said "Relax the mind and productivity will follow." This allows you to get into the moment and embrace the "right now" which is the best part of living.

6. Leaders celebrate other people's achievements.

Celebrating the achievements of others creates appreciation among your employees and improves company moral. Employees perform better when they know they are important to the company's success. This is a trait not everyone has, but is a must for a leader. To be able to genuinely rejoice another's triumph without jealousy or anger is the mark of true leader. Nelson Mandela said, "It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership."

Leaders, whether in business or in their personal lives, are always moving forward. They make mistakes, however they learn from the past and do not dwell there. Anyone and everyone can be a leader. We can all learn from and improve using the character traits detailed above.

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