As a successful sales professional working with a variety of business leaders in almost every industry, there are three common traits I’ve seen that lead to SUCCESS:
1. Always be Focused on Learning
- You can’t be an expert on everything, so surround yourself with as many knowledgeable people that you can, and LEARN from them.
- Knowledge is power. But without the ability to apply your knowledge it loses its true power.
- Executives and leaders that believe they’ve “mastered” anything ultimately hinder themselves while demotivating others and potentially causing a negative impact on their organizations.
2. Be Humble
- People buy from people, and being genuine, honest and kind encourages others to “want to help” you be more successful.
- It’s true, you catch more bees with honey and being humble in your dealings will attract great pollinators—people interested in helping grow your business.
- It’s human nature to want to be appreciated, regardless of the level you hold within a company. Treating others as you wish to be treated goes a long way and carries a powerful ROI.
3. Know your Competition
- Competitive Intelligence is fundamental to a successful business strategy and yet is often overlooked or under-appreciated. And what’s more, competition can come from another business as well as another individual.
- Everyone and every business has strengths and weaknesses—this knowledge is powerful—and when you understand your own strengths as well as the strengths of your competition, you’re in a better position to succeed.
The first two traits are commonly accepted and regularly reinforced by organizations and individuals, however; the third trait–having Competitive Intelligence is often taken lightly and minimal effort is put toward it.
Every business (and person) needs a plan that includes information on their competition. It really should be one of the top analysis points in every plan. Taking a close look at the marketplace and the competition is critical to your success. Simply put, you need to LEARN what others are doing and figure out WHY they’re doing it.
So commonly I’ve heard the phrase “we don’t have competition”….. Quick! Try to name a successful business that doesn’t’ have competition… Or a recruiting manager that isn’t fighting for a quality candidate… Or an employee trying to get their dream job?! I imagine you’re not able to…. but that certainly doesn’t stop folks from claiming they have “no competition.” This either means you don’t understand your market or have something that nobody else wants. Neither scenario is good. It’s critical to your success to know what you’re up against and play to your strengths instead of your competition’s weaknesses. That approach IS Competitive Intelligence. It’s a mind-shift to think that your competition is NOT really your enemy. A successful strategy is to build alliances with your competition and let them help you become better and stronger.
Of all the successful business leaders I've had the pleasure of working with over the years, the truly impressive ones share those traits.