These are some of the traits that I have observed top performers display in the profession. While this list is not exhaustive, these 8 traits stand out as being the easiest to emulate and most important.
1-They are great at overcoming obstacles and always attempt to think of solutions to problems before involving others
Top performers are great at thinking up solutions to problems and are able to do so before anyone else. Think about what you do with a problem or obstacle. Do you attempt to resolve issues first or do you go looking for superiors to speak to? Try thinking about what needs to be done first. Ask yourself how you might solve the problem before you take it to someone else.
2- They are always learning new things
Top performers like to be challenged and are always looking for stimulation. What have been your most notable successes (projects/work) and what did you enjoy and learn from doing them? Did you learn? Did you grow? Did you actively make note of what worked and what was successful? Top performers actively learn from mistakes and their successes.
3- They actively encourage feedback and take an interest in what their superiors think
Make an effort to understand what your feedback really means and make a note of the areas that you need to improve in. Write down what you think you need to do and run it past a superior or peer. Get feedback at all stages of your project and act on it.
4- They are risk takers, but not gamblers
Top performers are not afraid to try new things. They will carefully assess every opportunity that comes their way and examine whether it makes sense for them to pursue it. Examine what is important to your firm and look at developments in the market. What is the next big thing? What areas should you look at if you want to advance? Don’t be afraid of getting out of your comfort zone, but do so on an informed basis. Never take a gamble on behalf of your firms- it will end in disaster.
5- They have a hard drive to succeed
Top performers plan to succeed and have a target in mind from an early stage. Do you want to make director? Plan for it. Always look several steps ahead and make choices that bring you closer to this goal. Set yourself clear and measurable targets. Find someone in your peer group you can compete with. Speak to people who are where you want to be and read about successful people. Do more of what you fear. Take stock of what you have accomplished and make sure you do more of what worked. Getting to your goal is hard work but it pays off.
6- They are tenacious
Giving up is not what top performers do. They know that the road ahead does not always go in a straight line. They understand a potential client will say “no” more often then they will say “yes”. They are persistent because they plan and prepare and understand their KPI’s and what their numbers and activity at work really means. Keep track of what you do and how you do it then keep at it until you achieve your targets.
7- They know how to establish trust
To be a truly effective professional you will need to earn the trust of your clients and colleagues. Trust is one of the hardest things to acquire and one of the easiest to lose. Research and learn from others in your team and look at books and courses that offer advice on developing trust. This is probably the number one trait or skill that you can develop in the profession. Get this right (and it will take time) and you will be on your way to becoming successful.
8- They seek or create new responsibilities
Top performers look for new responsibilities and create new ones their firms didn’t even think they needed. Look for areas the firm could improve on or get even better at. Seek a niche or examine the processes currently used by your team and think of improvements that you make. Coming up with an area you can improve is a sure fire way of getting noticed by your superiors.
This is from the great Napoleon Hill and neatly sums up one of the most powerful things you need to do to be successful.
“Experience has taught me that the next best thing to being truly great is to emulate the great, by feeling and action, as nearly as possible.”
“I followed the habit of reshaping my own character by trying to intimidate the nine men whose lives and life-works had been most impressive to me. These nine men were Emerson, Paine, Edison, Darwin, Lincoln, Burbank, Napoleon, Ford and Carnegie. Every night over a long period of years, I held an imaginary council meeting with this group whom I called my “Invisible Counselors.”
The procedure was this. Just before going to sleep at night, I would shut my eyes, and see my imagination, this group of men seated with me around my council table. Here I had not only an opportunity to sit among those whom I considered to be great, but I actually dominated the group, by serving as the chairman. I had a very definite purpose in indulging in my imagination through these nightly meetings. My purpose was to rebuild my own character so it would represent a composite of the characters of my imaginary counselors.”
Modelling yourself after your most successful peer group, partners or simply really successful famous people in other areas of life is (in my opinion) is one of the most powerful things you can do to achieve your own success. I have learnt a great deal from the professionals that I deal with. I have studied partners and emulated how they do things with clients. I have purchased the same books and gone on similar courses to individuals in the profession. This has made me better at what I do. Learning from good people is probably one of the most powerful things you can do in any sphere of life. I suggest you take Mr Hill’s advice and do the same.