5 Things Successful People Do

By | September 12, 2014

Senior Leadership[September 12, 2014] Actually six! Sorry, but I couldn’t help adding a sixth to a very good article on success. The 5 things successful people do are also those things that leaders do. The author wrote that that there are five things that successful people do “that others don’t.” I’ve listed his five below and added my sixth … but before you get to that point, the theme of the author is that by studying successful people and by adopting what they do, you too can be successful. Good point and no surprise at the statement but it is inconceivable that unsuccessful people and those with very bad luck, keep repeating what they do day-to-day and expect different results.

The author listed five things successful people do and they are (see link):

  1. They go to work to prosper, not just to work. He is saying that these people work to get things done and to better themselves and others, not to put in eight hours and get a paycheck.
  2. They exercise incredible drive. He is writing about that passion and inner drive, as well as, noting that these people are able to keep their attention on getting results and overcome obstacles in their way.
  3. They never make excuses. Excuses are for the immature, and besides, it never changes things any way. When things go wrong, the successful person sees it also as an opportunity.
  4. They focus on their goals daily. Unsuccessful people allow their lives to drift. In other words, they don’t have clear-cut goals. For the successful person, every day is another opportunity to reach their goals regardless of how large or small.
  5. They are willing to fail. The author says that successful people know that failure is a common part of success and that they embrace it for what they gain from failure. Thus, they will take calculated risks to achieve their goals. Unsuccessful people play it safe.

Note that these five things are about the successful person – what they do. My sixth thing that has helped make me successful in my military career is:

  1. Take care of people. Yes, that’s right. People need to know that you support them in what they do, that you provide opportunity, and that you are there for them if they need you. I don’t mean babysitting people, that would be both disrespectful and would lead to failure. Taking care of people means that the leader does those things that helps people achieve their personal goals. Sometimes this is simply encouragement with a pat on the back for a job well done.

“The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.” – Vince Lombardi

I just as likely could have added this “taking care of people” to my list of good habits for senior leaders. Oh, being successful or being a leader, like coach Lombardi says, is hard. No surprise here.

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Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article everyday on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.