3 Traits All Effective Leaders Possess

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Titles don’t define leadership. A certain title may have others calling you their boss or you may be referred as one of the leaders of the organization on the company’s website, but true leadership is much more than just a title.

True leadership involves the execution of a grand vision, where leaders enroll others to get passionate about seeing that vision through and then joining on the ride to bring that vision to reality. The hard part is actually getting your team members and employees to buy in to where you want to go and then working relentlessly to move that vision forward.

The leaders that are driven by a title will have a difficult time motivating and getting their team members and employees to not only buy into the grand vision, but actually work hard and come together for a common purpose. Here are three things that all effective leaders have in common:

1. They possess a deep sense of humility.

The best coaches I ever had in football were also the coaches who had the most humility. They were always thinking about those they were leading and rarely about themselves.

In my life as a speaker I see the exact same trait in the high performing and dominant organizations that I get to spend time with. The one characteristic that all of the top executives in dominant organizations possess is humility. Top employees never want to work for or be associated with leaders who are full of themselves.

As Billy Graham once said: “The smallest package in the world is a man all wrapped up in himself.”

2. They radiate positive energy.

Just like in life, the business world is full of unexpected twists, turns and obstacles, but the most effective leaders never let the unexpected deteriorate their positive energy.

It’s your job as a leader to stay positive and strong in the face of uncertainty. Your people already go through enough with the demands of work piled on top of the hustle and bustle of life. Don’t sabotage your organization’s growth by putting energy into the wrong places.

As the leader, you set the tone. Whether that tone is positive or negative is completely up to you. If you’re not radiating positive energy, how do you expect your people to?

3. They lead by example.

This one may seem self-explanatory, but you would be shocked at the number of leaders that would never consider doing what they ask of those they lead. One of the best ways to lose the respect and trust in your people is to continually fail to lead by example.

Look at any phenomenal leader. They are self-starters. They live what they preach. They demand excellence from themselves before they ever demand excellence from anyone else.

If you’re in a leadership position and not seeing the results from your team that you had maybe hoped to see, do a quick audit and ask yourself if you are leading by example to the best of your ability. Be who you say you are, do what you say you are going to do and care like you say you care.

There are a number of different things you can do to get the results that you are looking for out of your employees and team members. I hope these three attributes help to get the ball rolling for you. Having a deep sense of humility, radiating positive energy every chance you get and leading by example doesn’t produce miraculous and instant results, but I promise over time these three characteristics bring massive results.

 

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

Listening Is an Art, and Mastering it Will Make You a Great Leader

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Wise businesspeople and leaders listen carefully. They listen to their peers, they listen to their staffs and they listen to their friends and family.

Carefully listening is especially important during business meetings. Many managers and leaders act as though they’re listening to their teams when they’re not. Often, the words spoken in meetings fall on deaf ears.

Listening is an art, after all, and not everyone knows how to do it properly. But if you can master the art of listening, you’ll improve your leadership and business skills.

A wise business leader knows how to listen and actually hear what others are saying. Epictetus, the Greek philosopher wrote: “We have two ears and one mouth — for a good reason.” It’s more important to listen than it is to talk most of the time. How else can you learn about what needs to be done to improve a situation? No one ever stops growing and evolving in his or her business and one of the ways to learn is by listening to others.

Ask yourself these questions: Should I be concerned with how people listen to my messages? How can I improve my listening skills? How do I know if people are truly listening to me? Am I listening to them?

A powerful listener is someone who is able to focus on what another person is saying without getting distracted with their ego or personal agenda. Being a powerful listener is critical for a leader because listening can be a powerful tool. In addition, leaders lead through conversations and a call to action. If you’re not a good listener, then there is a greater chance this won’t happen.

What do effective, powerful listeners do? Here are some examples:

  • They refuse to be distracted by their own egos and personal agendas. They ask questions and then listen to the answers. Wise leaders focus on their teams, employees and peers.
  • When interacting one on one, they direct all their attention and focus on the other person. They put their cell phones on “mute” and stop looking at it to see if they have any messages. They’re “present,” instead of daydreaming or thinking about who is texting them. Think about your own feelings when you’re in a conversation. Have you noticed how rewarding it is when someone listens to your ideas and thoughts? Likewise, if you focus and listen to someone, that person will feel validated and know his or her input is valuable.

I have learned that most people do not listen well. In this day when everyone carries around an smartphone or tablet, people don’t focus on each other when they’re together. Unfortunately, this holds true for businesspeople and leaders. Listening requires putting our own egos aside to listen to someone else.

A powerful listener acknowledges that the person speaking will welcome the opportunity to be heard. A wise listener and leader will validate anyone who is speaking.

In How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie quoted a man speaking of Sigmund Freud: “It struck me so forcibly that I shall never forget him. His eyes were mild and genial. His voice was low and kind. His gestures were few. But the attention he gave me, his appreciation of what I said, even when I said it badly, was extraordinary. You’ve no idea what it meant to be listened to like that.”

This story about Freud shows how powerful it is to listen and give someone your full attention. You never know what kind of influence you have upon another person.

It may seem small and not that important, but some of the best leaders of our time have mastered the art of listening. The art of listening truly can take not only your leadership ability to the next level, but also your success and likability as well, all of which help to create a healthy culture and peak performance.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

 

 

Your Words Have Impact, So Think Before You Speak

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Do you know of those people who fly off the handle without stopping to think about the consequences of what they’re saying? Someone who just reacts to something someone said or did and starts attacking that person with cruel accusations? The damage could be so profound, it will forever sever the relationship. In business, this could forever impact a career in a negative way.

You’ve probably observed this in others many times. Maybe even in yourself. Whether it’s at work, with friends or in some type of social situation, many people speak their minds before thinking. There are many who “fly off the handle” and don’t stop to think about the repercussions of their words. I cringe when this happens because I know people are going to get hurt, and later on people will be sorry for what they said. But the damage is done.

How important are words and speaking to business leaders? Leaders should think about words as being so powerful that they might be the main reason a leader will succeed or fail. Sure, a leader who doesn’t choose his words carefully may succeed to some degree, but the truly great leaders are great orators, as well.

Think about one of the greats: President John F. Kennedy, inaugurated on Jan. 20, 1960. He is known for his famous line: “And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

Within the words we speak is an emotional potency. Each word that we use can have a colossal impact. A word from a manager or boss, may, at first glance, seem inconsequential. But never think of words as inconsequential. Instead, think of them as powerful. Words can build up or tear down. They can motivate or discourage.

Words influence others and build relationships at work and personally. They can tear down relationships. Simply put, language holds massive, colossal power to manifest change, whether it’s good or bad.

Marcus Aurelius, the Roman Emperor from 161 to 180 AD, considered to be one of the most Stoic philosophers who ever lived, said: “Perform every act in life as though it were your last.”

We can take this a step further and say: “Speak every word you say in life as though it were your last.”

Sometimes, it might be best to not say anything at all. I was always told that if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything.

As Benjamin Franklin said, “Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.”

Choose the words that you speak very carefully because they have the potential of accomplishing nearly anything or destroying nearly anything. Just one negative comment can ruin a person’s day. A few might even ruin the person’s life. On the flip side, one positive and encouraging comment can be just enough to increase employee engagement, create healthier cultures and make more of a difference in an individual’s life than you will ever know. We tend to overlook the small things in life.

The way you speak — the attitude and tone — reflects the person you are and impacts everything around you. It can greatly contribute to your success or “non-success” both in business and your personal life. So next time, think before you speak. It will make all the difference.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

The Many Ways Being Kind Leads to Success

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We often hear about the importance of focusing on the positive despite the negatives in our lives, but that can be a tough feat to accomplish. Whether we are experiencing a catastrophic business failure or going through a personal struggle, most of the time it feels impossible to think “positive.” We’re too busy focusing on everything that can go wrong.

There is a way out of this dilemma. It all starts with being intentional. There is an extraordinary power that lies within intention. It will take practice, but it’s crucial to stay positive at all times, especially in times of change and turmoil.

The Power of Intention, written by the late Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, an internationally renowned author of 30 books, offers numerous action tools to help build positivity in your life that are focused around virtues.These can help you register positive experiences so that they sink into the deepest layers of the mind and alter implicit memory. These tools will help you transition your feelings from negativity to positivity more easily, and more often.

Dr. Dyer said in an interview that “The Law of Attraction is this: You don’t attract what you want. You attract what you are.” Dyer is referring to the Tao Te Ching, written around the 6th century BC by Lao Tzu.

According to Dyer, the Hua Hu Ching, Lao Tzu’s further writings, clarifies, elucidates and reinforces the Law of Attraction. Those who want to build positivity along with Reverence, Natural Sincerity, Gentleness, and Supportiveness in their lives will utilize the following virtues, which can be attributed to the Hua Hu Ching:

1. Gratitude and reverence.

Be reverent and grateful for all of life. This manifests as unconditional love and respect for oneself and all other beings. Every day, and as often as you need, say, “I intend to honor and respect all life and I am grateful for all life.” Take this one step further and write a Gratitude List for all that you are grateful for, including the failures.

2. Sincerity.

The second is natural sincerity. This manifests as honesty, simplicity and faithfulness. Every day, say, “I intend to be faithful to my life, to my dreams and goals, and to my mission.” Give attention to the loved ones in your life every day. Don’t take them for granted. Show them that you are loyal and devoted to them.

3. Gentleness and kindness.

The third is gentleness, which manifests as kindness, consideration for others and sensitivity to spiritual truth. Every day, perform at least one act of kindness for someone else. It can be something as simple as letting someone go before you in the grocery line. Or it can be as difficult as helping a friend move to a new home.

4. Supportiveness.

The fourth is supportiveness. This manifests as service to others without expectation of reward. Do something each day that is supportive.

It can be as simple as something like anonymously paying for someone’s movie ticket who will be approaching the window after you. One young college man I know often puts a $20 bill on the windshield of someone’s car. He doesn’t know who owns the car, but he just wants to give something of himself. Another friend often picks up the tab for young couples who are out on a date in a restaurant. They never know who paid the ticket.

One evening in Nashville, the country music artists, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, were dining in an upscale restaurant. The whole restaurant was filled with young high school students who were dressed in formal wear, heading to their spring prom later. Without disclosing who they were, Tim and Faith paid the bill for the entire group of students. Only later, after some servers leaked it to the press, did anyone know who paid this bill.

When you do something for others anonymously, with no expectations of a reward, you give back to life in a way that sustains you and manifest a “kindness” in the world that will spread a thousand-fold. This “kindness” will in turn bring positivity to your business and personal life in ways that you cannot imagine.

These Virtues are key components of the Power of Intention. They are tools that will help you shift your body and mind from negative to positive, to happiness and success.

Thank you, Dr. Dyer, for the wisdom.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

The Importance of ‘Showing Up’ Every Single Day

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Fall is one of my favorite times of the year because my favorite sport is back in action: football. But this isn’t my favorite time of the year just because of all the incredible college and NFL games that will have millions of people glued to their TV sets, but because of all the potential football upsets.

We see a lot of these at the college level. At some point during the college football season, a highly ranked team will go down at the hands of an underdog team. That win will be the talk of the whole country, and everyone will be in shock as the highlights are replayed over and over on ESPN and other networks for the subsequent week.

These upsets during football season should remind us of the simple truth that applies to building businesses, organizations and whole cultures and ultimately becoming more as people: the importance of simply showing up every single day.

The reason why upsets happen in sports as well as business, the reason people fail to become their best version of themselves, is because people forget to “show up” every day. You will always have the number-one or the second-ranked team in the country being beaten by a smaller-division team because that top team forgot to show up that particular day.

Its members will have let their record, their past achievements and the praise heaped on them by the media get in the way of their executing and treating that specific game as if they were 0-0.

The same thing needs to happen when we build businesses, embark on massive goals or improve an area in our personal lives. Showing up every day and treating each new day, project and task as if your life depended on it is a surefire way to make sure you get better at what you do and move in the right direction to where you want and need to be.

Here are two ways to help you make sure you show up every single day.

1. Create a contract with yourself.

This piece of advice really works. I can attest that it has made a great difference in my own life by motivating me to show up and improve upon what I did the day before.

Have some fun with this: Craft a couple of paragraphs stating that you will show up and give everything you have. How you word it is up to you, but just the act alone of crafting a contract with yourself will have an incredible psychological effect. After you craft this contract, you should laminate it and put it somewhere where you’ll see it multiple times a day.

The real work will come at the end of each day, when you have to be 100 percent honest with yourself by looking at your contract to see if you’ve lived up to the words that you wrote down.

I have talked and written about this advice, but a book that I highly recommend for greater detail about creating a contract with yourself is the The One Day Contract: How to Add Value to Every Minute of Your Life, by Rick Pitino, head basketball coach at the University of Louisville (and cowriter Eric Crawford). It’s a phenomenal book that chronicles how Pitino started using a one-day contract for himself and his team before they won their national championship.

2. Pick one key area that you are going to get better at every single day.

When I was a former linebacker, in both college and the NFL, we would always pick one key area to focus on for that specific day. After a couple of months, I noticed what a great impact this was making on me in becoming a better player overall. I then adopted this same practice into my personal life. Every day, I would focus on one key area and put on my list whatever was that day’s focal point.

The results were phenomenal. So much so that I still maintain this habit even now that I am away from football. For example, if you’re in sales, maybe you are working on getting better with cold calls one day, and then the next day you are working on improving your communication or prospecting skills. Whatever you do for work, find one key area to get better at every day.

It’s amazing what can happen a year from now if you pick one thing to work on and get better at each and every day. Over time, you will notice a drastic difference, not only in the results you begin to see, but how you approach each new day.

The reason why this practice works is because it’s not overwhelming yourself with 1,000 different areas you need to work on, combined with your already hectic schedule.

Showing up every single day of your life is critical when it comes to the success of your business, organization and individual success. Just when you think you’ve made it or don’t have to work as hard, someone, somewhere is already gaining an advantage over you and working to surpass you.

Champions show up every day, whether that occurs on the field, on the court or in the boardroom. Showing up may help you be one of them.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

Will You Be Stubborn and Break, or Adaptable and Succeed?

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People often experience an inability to adapt, and instead will come to the conclusion that they will always fail and may as well stop trying altogether. They will settle for where they are and become stagnant in life — never moving forward, and may even move backwards.

Take Jack for example. He was a young man in Ohio who wanted to play music professionally. All through high school, he played the guitar and wrote songs. His teachers, friends and family loved his music and told him he was very talented. Finally, he entered a talent contest and came in third. It depressed him so much that he decided to quit music and go to college to obtain a business degree.

This was what his father wanted all along, and the young man just surrendered his dream. He gave up. He let this tiny failure derail him. Instead of recognizing that it was a major accomplishment to win third place, and that if he applied himself and continued to hone his craft he could actually win the contest the next year, he just gave up. That young man will more than likely go to his grave with many, many regrets.

Jack was not in a “variable” state. He was rigid and negative. It’s essential for the health of complex systems, and Jack, like you, are a complex physiological system. If you’re “variable,” then you’re going to see your failure as an opportunity — as a gift to unwrap and use for success.

I remember once talking to a taxi driver in Los Angeles. He explained that when the city experienced earthquakes, the super highways would actually bend and curve with the wind and rolling grounds. I thought this was strange and tried to imagine how solid objects could be fluid.

But when you think about it, everything is made up of atoms and atoms are movable. After some research, I discovered that when architects design bridges, buildings and highways in California and other parts of the world, they create designs with the right amount of variability so the buildings and roads will bend with the earthquakes or with high winds.

Too much variability or flexibility and the roads and buildings will be unstable and crumble. Too little variability and the buildings and roads will be too rigid and brittle and the first serious earthquake will destroy it.

The same is true in sports or business, and really in all of life. If a business leader, teacher or coach is stubborn and refuses to make changes despite evidence that what they’re doing is not successful, then their efforts will eventually end in failure. If an athletic coach never changes the way he designs plays, then the opponents will quickly learn the team’s game and conquer them.

The coach, the leader and you must know how to attain a state of variability. If Jack had been able to attain this variability, he would have more than likely gone on to win music contests and eventually obtain a recording contract. We’ll never know.

Keep this in mind: Variability is not only important in sports and business, but in all areas of life. When you fail in life at whatever it is you’re trying to do, you have to demonstrate flexibility and stick to it to help you achieve the success you desire.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

3 Characteristics of High-Performing Teams

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When it comes to the best teams in the world, whether on the football field or in the corporate arena, they all possess similar characteristics that make them special and different than just the average or good teams that rarely make that jump to greatness.

Here are three characteristics that all high-performing teams instill within their organizations and never lose sight of.

1. High-performing teams are unselfish.

You will never find a championship-caliber team at any level that doesn’t model unselfishness in everything that its members do. Even though the star running back wants to break all the records and the employee wants to earn the big promotions, they put the team first in everything that they do. They fully understand that when the team is better, they will grow and become better as individuals.

Amazing things begin to happen when you have a group of unselfish people that all come together for the betterment of the team. But a team that is completely unselfish is very rare these days because of the individualistic world that we live in. It’s all about glitz, glamor, status and money for most. However, the thriving teams that year after year continually dominate know that those things will eventually come to them if they perform better as a team.

2. High-performing teams operate like a strong family.

Mike Krzyzewski, in my humble opinion one of the greatest basketball coaches of all time, once said, “When your organization operates like a strong family, you can’t be knocked out by one punch.”

Walk down the halls of a sports franchise such as the New England Patriots and companies such as Apple and it won’t take you long to figure out that they operate out of love in all they do. These institutions truly love their employees. The employees believe in and absolutely love the organization they work for.

Operating as a strong family and truly loving and appreciating your teammates builds a healthy and thriving culture. Even if employees and teammates don’t hang out much outside of the workplace, they understand that putting the team first and appreciating each other is an absolute must.

3. High-performing teams listen.

An underrated characteristic, but an absolutely crucial one when referring to building strong and powerful teams is the power of listening: Leadership willing to listen to employees within the organization, employees having constant communication with other team members, and listening to the marketplace and current customers on where the company can grow and become better.

Being willing to listen shows that you care. One of the more powerful things that a leader can do to create an exceptional and healthy culture is to let everyone know that there is an open line of communication and he or she is willing to listen. All high-performing teams not only communicate better than most teams, but they are willing to listen more than most teams.

There are so many different qualities and characteristics that make the top teams tick, but the above three cannot be ignored when looking to build a stronger organization and team. Just like anything worthwhile, the above characteristics are not easy and will take some time to successfully implement, but the long-term results and the culture that will be built will be well worth it.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

When Faced With Adversity, Focus on Solutions, Not More Problems

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All too often, the first thing we do when adversity appears is focus on the negatives and all of the problems in our lives. Failure and adversity are only present in our lives to help us, not hurt us. It’s extremely important to never lose sight of this truth.

To turn failure into a gift and grow through the tough times instead of just casually going through them, you must begin to start focusing on ways to actually resolve the situation. Many people let their minds wander toward the negative, which then prompts them to focus on more problems instead of searching for ways to resolve the situation and grow from it.

The individuals and companies that are able to get through tremendous setbacks and actually grow because of them are the ones who focus on solutions, not more problems. Look at Thomas Edison for a quick example. His persistence in continually searching for solutions after facing one failure after another is a prime example of the utter importance of focusing on ways to advance.

Failure is never a final end result unless you make it so. Edison used every experience to get one step closer to where he was trying to go all along. This is the same type of mindset that we need to apply to our own lives and businesses when failure and adversity strikes.

Taking the time to fully analyze your situation in solitude, while focusing on solutions instead of problems, can revitalize your mind and help you focus on where you are headed, how you feel, and more important, how you view failure from that moment on.

If you do what’s easy, your life will be hard. If you do what’s hard, your life will be easy.

This applies to basically everything that we do. What’s easy is to focus on the negative when tough times occur. What’s easy is to focus on the problems in our lives instead of directing every bit of our energy towards the solutions.

We have to remember that what we focus on expands. If we focus on problems, we will get more problems. If we focus on solutions, we will get more solutions.

The next time failure, adversity or a setback knocks you down, make a list of possible solutions for the problem at hand. You don’t have to know the ins and outs of every single thing, but right when a solution of some sort comes to mind, immediately write it down.

The essence of capturing solutions and then putting them to paper activates our brains. We start to think of more ways to overcome our current hardships and how we can grow from the situation at hand. Once we have a list of 20 to 30 solutions, the next objective is to decide which solution is best and getting to work on putting that solution into play.

If you think long and hard enough, regardless of how bad your situation may be, the solutions are there. This type of thinking can be a total game changer for you and your business.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

What Truly Matters Most in Life and in the Game of Business

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Building great, sustainable and meaningful relationships is arguably one of the most important things we can do during our time here on Earth.

All too often, we see men and women who think it’s perfectly fine to neglect their relationships just to move up the corporate ladder or increase their net worth.

Now, don’t get me wrong. You absolutely should strive to get better and advance from where you are to somewhere higher up within a company. And who doesn’t like to make more money and see their net worth increase every year? However, this should not be done at the expense of neglecting what’s most important: relationships.

What a lot of people don’t understand is that creating and nurturing exceptional relationships will actually help advance your career and increase your personal net worth. Relationships and people aren’t just important when referring to living a healthy and happy life, they are also the foundation of creating exceptional businesses.

It utterly amazes me when I see someone neglect a relationship for the sake of closing a deal. It may give you short-term satisfaction and build your ego, but as time goes on, it will do more harm than good.

The companies and organizations that dominate their competition and market completely understand the extreme importance of creating a memorable and unbelievable experience for their customers. They understand that people matter. They understand that every single relationship and interaction matters.

A piece of advice that changed the direction of how I operate and look at business is as follows: “If you want to make a million dollars, serve a million people.” Regardless of what business you are running or what field you are in, when you aim to serve people, build meaningful relationships and adopt the “people matter” mentality, you will eventually win in the game of business.

We live in a technology-driven society, which is both a blessing and a curse. It’s unreal the amazing things that technology can do for us these days, but we are at the point where human interaction and relationships with actual people are being pushed to the side by a large portion of entrepreneurs, organizations and companies.

Besides creating a world-class product or having an exceptional service to offer, the quickest way to grow your business and build a loyal and growing fan base is through care. Care for every relationship, interaction, tweet, email and phone call that you come across. Go out of your way to make people feel special. People matter.

These wonderful words from Max Lucado sum it up perfectly:

“When you are in the final days of your life, what will you want? Will you hug that college degree in the walnut frame? Will you ask to be carried to the garage so you can sit in your car? Will you find comfort in rereading your financial statement? Of course not. What will matter then will be people. If relationships will matter most then, shouldn’t they matter most now?”

Relationships matter most. People matter most — in life, and in the game of business.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

10 Things the Best of the Best Do Differently

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Something that has always fascinated me over the years is what are some of the things that the best of the best do differently than everyone else.

While there are many different qualities and habits that the best possess, here are 10 of some of the most common things that I have found that have helped them differentiate themselves from everyone else:

1. They constantly expand their vision.

Instead of letting their past mistakes, failures and hardships define their destiny, they constantly expand their vision as to what’s possible. They know that as long as they’re still breathing and get the opportunity to live another day, there is more for them to be, do and achieve.

2. They are extremely goal-oriented.

They take time out of the year to sit down and visualize what they want in their lives. Once they know what they want, they write down their goals and come up with a detailed plan for everything they have to do for it to become a reality.

3. They take massive action.

After they set their goals and come up with a detailed plan, they fully understand that absolutely nothing will work if they don’t work. Many people want to complain about their circumstances or how hard life can be, while the champions, the best of the best, just gets moving.

 

4. They surround themselves with supporters.

They have friends and people in their inner circle that help them grow, get better and achieve their biggest goals and dreams in life. They want nothing to do with people who suck the life out of everyone they come in contact with. The best of the best know how vitally important it is to surround themselves with a team of like-minded individuals who are going to help them win in all facets of life.

5. They are lifelong learners.

They are constantly searching for ways to grow and get better. They invest in their personal development and regardless of how successful they already are, you can always find them eager to learn something new, refine their skill set or simply grow in some way, somehow in some area in their life. They work harder on themselves than they do anything else.

6. They serve others.

They understand that true success and fulfillment comes from serving and helping others get to where they want to go. The best sales people serve. The best parents serve. The best executives serve. The best entrepreneurs serve. Regardless of what field or what one does for a living, the best of the best operate out of a servant mentality.

7. They work harder than anyone else.

Many people might think that they are just lucky or privileged but the truth is that a great percentage of the men and women who are at the top of their game and dominating their selected field work harder than anybody else. They have a ridiculous and what some would call a sickening work ethic. They still put in the long hours regardless of their bank balances and are absolutely never satisfied.

8. They don’t let failure stop them from taking action or trying something new.

The best of the best thrive under pressure. They love when their backs are against the wall and they have to perform at a high level. The best of the best actually love failure. They understand that the trials and tribulations that they go through are only present to help mold them into something better.

9. They believe in and work toward a vision or mission that is bigger than themselves.

Instead of being temporarily pushed by motivation or some exterior reward, they are being pulled by their powerful mission or cause that is way bigger than them.

10. They never give up.

This last one sounds so cliché but it’s unbelievable the amount of fight, persistence and perseverance that the best of the best display over the course of their journey. No amount of setbacks and failures will stop them from waking up each morning and getting ready to work.

They love the fight that it takes to be the best and completely understand that it’s not about instant gratification but who can persevere through the most crap. They have a last-man-standing-wins mentality. The day the best of the best gives up is the day that they will be in their coffins.

Adopt these 10 things into your life and maybe you too could eventually be among the best of the best.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

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