A few weeks ago, Dave Kerpen, author and chief executive of Likeable Local, received a postcard that illustrated the traits and behaviors of successful and unsuccessful people.
The card came from fellow Entrepreneurs Organization member Andy Bailey, the chief executive of Petra Coach. Although the two CEOs have never met, Kerpen said in a recent LinkedIn post that the postcard has had a profound effect on him, “reinforcing values I believe in and reminding me on a daily basis of the attitudes and habits that I know I need to embrace in order to become successful.”
The postcard points out 16 big differences between successful and unsuccessful people.Here are our favorites:
1. Successful people embrace change. Unsuccessful people fear it. “Embracing change is one of the hardest things a person can do,” Kerpen says. With the world moving fast and technology accelerating at a rapid speed, it’s imperative that we embrace these changes and adapt, rather than fear them, deny then, or hide from them, he says. Successful people are able to do just that.
2. Successful people talk about ideas. Unsuccessful people talk about people. Instead of gossiping about people — which gets you nowhere — successful people discuss ideas. “Sharing ideas with others will only make them better,” Kerpen says.
3. Successful people accept responsibility for their failures. Unsuccessful people blame others. Truly successful leaders and businesspeople experience both ups and downs in their lives and careers. But they always accept responsibility for their failures. Kerpen says blaming others solves nothing. “It just puts other people down and absolutely no good comes from it.”
4. Successful people give others all the credit for their victories. Unsuccessful people take all the credit from others. Letting people have their moments to shine motives them to work harder, and, consequently, makes you look better as a leader or teammate.
5. Successful people want others to succeed. Unsuccessful people secretly hope others fail. “When you’re in an organization with a group of people, in order to be successful, you all have to be successful,” Kerpen explains. That’s why the most successful people don’t wish for their demise; they want to see their co-workers succeed and grow.
Other major differences: successful people exude joy, share data and information, read every day, and continuously learn, while unsuccessful people exude anger, hoard data and information, watch TV every day, and fly by the seat of their pants.