We live in an age where instant gratification has become the norm. We measure our success based on social approval of how “liked” we are and how many followers we have.
To some, that’s empowering and feels like success, but success has a bigger price tag and not so much about instant gratification. It’s more like an adventure!
I am not here to define success. Most of us have our own personal definition for success in a way that has a meaning and purpose.
I want to share with you some observations I learned from successful people. These are valuable lessons for life and I continue to refer back to them because they are part of the journey of success.
Notice I said journey, not a destination. Successful people know that this is a ride and not a stopping point of any kind, no matter how successful you are.
The problem for most people it’s not that they can’t achieve success. The key is for someone to understand what success is about.
Maltbie D. Babcock said, “One of the most common mistakes and one of the costliest is thinking that success is due to some genius, some magic, something or other which we do not possess.”
So what are the characteristics of successful Leaders? What do they do differently?
They have a life purpose-Successful leaders are on a mission, they are constantly seek to serve a purpose bigger than themselves. In some respect, they are not power driven but service driven. They want to serve a purpose that goes beyond their own personal interests.
They are not afraid to fail-Successful leaders look at failure quite differently than most people. Failure does not define them, but gives them an opportunity to re-evaluate and re-examine how they can learn from a situation. They look at failure as a discovery that enables them to stay true and humble in the most challenging times. There is no such thing as failure, only experiences.
They are willing to learn-Successful leaders did not stop learning after school. Learning is an integral part of the adventure. Even when you reach the top of the mountain, you are still learning something new. Successful people ask, “What did I learn?”
They are ACTION oriented-Successful leaders are always moving. They are always taking action toward their mission in life. They are not idle or simply letting success happen to them.
Wayne Gretzky, former professional ice hockey player and former head coach said that, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” What does that mean? If you don’t do it, it won’t happen.
If you don’t take a simple step, you’ll never make the goal. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? But how many times have you waited too long before starting something?
No such thing as the “perfect time”-Successful leaders are not caught up in saying, “I need to see if so and so would join me” and I am going to wait until such and such happens…” Action is what gets things started even if it may not succeed.
Your effort keeps it moving. Persistence and perseverance gets it finished. But without action, you will never achieve success.
They don’t shy away from feedback-Successful leaders can’t move forward without listening to others. As Ken Blanchard said, “Feedback is the breakfast of champions.”
They accept responsibility for everything in their life-Successful leaders are not seeking blame. They are not faulting their parents, their education, the government, or the economy. They are focused on how they can change their circumstances by taking complete ownership of their life without finding enough excuses to give up.