I have had the luxury of working with very successful leaders who have mentored me over the years. These are highly driven people whom I admire and have taught me many valuable lessons.
Let me tell you about a few of these important lessons…
- They are fervid on integrity
Integrity is an over-used word, ubiquitous, in the business world and I’m not sure it’s well understood. Integrity is the adherence to moral and ethical principles; it’s about character and honesty. When I think of integrity, to me, it’s rather simple; “it’s doing the right thing when no one is looking.” Integrity comes from within but it’s also a learned behavioral skill. I also believe that there’s something much more to it, almost innate I think -kind of like, you either have it or you don’t.
- They commit to their goals
There are always going to be challenges and roadblocks to one’s goals. That’s to be expected, yet what I have witnessed is the sheer tenacity to not give up on their goals no matter what. Their persistence is remarkable, and in the end they achieve their goals. It’s what successful people do.
- Hard work is ingrained
I don’t know anyone who is immensely successful yet lazy. Hard work means there’s going to be some sacrifices in your life. Something’s going to give, yet the truth is that the road to success is rewarded through very hard work. I had a salesperson of mine once tell me that “if it were easy, everyone would do it…” Great success isn’t easy and it does not come about without hard work and paying your dues.
- They observe everything
We know how important it is to listen to others, but it’s just as important to observe and keen observation at that. Assessing a situation through detailed observation enables them to react much faster and often under difficult circumstances. They see possibilities everywhere and translate that into actionable items. Observation is ultimately a way to better understand the complexities and contradictions of our own minds and decisions.
5. They have a vision
Not only do they have a clear vision, they believe wholeheartedly in that vision. They have unshakable confidence in themselves and in their vision and see to it that it becomes reality. More so, they see things that others don’t. They anticipate things that others don’t.
How’s your vision? Do you believe you can achieve your dreams?
Well they do, and they work like heck to achieve them.
- They seek out new experiences
Creativity in business and in your personal life and exposing oneself to new experiences is incredibly important. The same experience is going to lead to the same experience, more or less. Curiosity never really killed the cat; it just brought on a new experience that it learned from. The same holds true for intellectual curiosity and an openness to new ideas and a new way of doing things. They constantly learn and they constantly take on new experiences.
- They take risks
There is such a thing as foolish, stupid and not fully thought out risk-taking and then there is meaningful risk-taking; the kind of risk-taking with odds slightly in your favor. Risk taking is not a job for the timid, but hedging a bet on a positive outcome is part of successful leadership. All the facts may not be fully understood, but being afraid to make a mistake and not take that risk, might very well set you and your business backwards. Gary Cohn, CEO of Goldman Sachs said he was adamant about making mistakes and that it’s part of any successful leader’s job to make mistakes. It also seemed as if he’d fire those people in his organization that were not making mistakes, hence taking risks.
- They follow their true passions
They are intrinsically motivated from an internal desire. They don’t look for external reward or recognition. They get energized by being around other people, listening and learning from them and they drive that energy to everyone else around them. People stand up straight when they are present. They smile. They listen, they observe. It’s the passion and energy they are feeling from them and it’s very contagious.