Regardless what capacity an individual may have within their organization - whether they are salespeople, or software developers, or executive assistants, or any other function you can conceive of - there are certain facets of their work ethic that distinguish those whom are successful from those whom are unsuccessful. Successful people straddle many lines, all the while remaining in full control of their destiny.
Indeed, it becomes hard to point out our own deficiencies that prevent us from reaching the peak of our personal performance. Much of the time, those individuals who find themselves on the losing end of a sales deal or even just a more basic interaction with their colleagues have one or more of these particular deficiencies in their work ethic:
- Successful people are open-minded: Ideally, this would be self-explanatory. But let me explain further in order to ensure we are all on the same page. People whom have a propensity to being successful don't discount ideas simply because they do not fall into their preconceived ideas or because those ideas did not originate from them; rather, highly successful people relish the opportunity to work in conjunction with their team and are open-minded with the ideas brought forth by their colleagues. This idea applies in our personal lives, too; if you're successful in your life, you never did it on your own; rather, you loved working with others to not only expedite the completion of the work but also to learn new skills that can be transferred to future tasks.
- Successful people take ownership of all ideas - good and bad: Have you ever met someone who took tremendous pride in all the good things that they did, but retreated when the going got tough and opted for someone else to take the fall? Those are highly unsuccessful people in the long run. Failure is a big part of what forms a successful individual both personally and professionally. If you're unwilling to own the bad times with as much fervor as you own the good times, then you're selective in your presentation of yourself. You're not doing yourself any favour by omitting the bad times because you're not giving yourself a chance to reflect on what went wrong and on how to mitigate that for the next time.
- Successful people function as leaders whether they're called to it or not: You may not have 'manager' or 'executive' in your job title; however, you still have an affinity for all things that put you reasonably close to the driver's seat if you're driven by success. Whether your team leader is asking for ideas on how to sharpen a sales strategy, or your spouse wants you to confirm dinner plans for the evening, it's important for you to lead the charge in a non-aggressive manner. In other words, don't force the issues at hand; be assertive and give ideas that have substance and weight to them, let those ideas be what compels your boss, or your spouse, to make a decision one way or another. This applies, too, for people in a leadership capacity and lends itself handsomely to the point of being open-minded in all things we do.
- Successful people are well-rounded and reasonably educated: Let me clarify this point. I do not mean to suggest that only individuals educated in post-secondary institutions have the means to be successful. Instead, what I am offering is that successful people are more inclined to make educated decisions by way of gather examples of proof, researching, finding references and perhaps even relying on the testimonials of others. This lends itself to the idea of being well-rounded since people whom are well-rounded are willing to look at the bigger picture and make decisions based on the larger scheme of things. It's not that they are experts at what they do, but they are focused on having a reasonably good understanding of what it is that they are speaking about. Being well-rounded also means to make time for things that improve your love of life outside of work - just don't let that consume you and set you off-track of your career ambitions. Let it complement your career ambitions!
- Successful people are focused on delivering results, rather than the minutia around them: This is the easiest to explain, and yet the most challenging to implement, of all elements that make up successful people. Often times, those people whom are successful are laser-focused on the task at hand. They dislike distractions in their lives and especially dislike distractions while they are completing a task. Their primary objective is to get from point A to point B without losing focus of the goal-post, so to speak. If you can find the means to be focused to this level, you are guaranteed success. If you're having difficulty completing a delegated task, then ask for support - but always have the final objective be to complete your tasks with the highest level of proficiency.
In your pursuit for success, always monitor how closely you align yourself with the above stated points. This is what will separate you from your colleagues and allow you to reach the points of success you know you deserve.