By Jas Singh
Often I am asked what makes a person successful in their career. Believe it or not, the differences between most people and super-achievers are very subtle.
All of us have a burning desire for achievement. Most of us make sacrifices and work hard. We all look to grow and to plan our way to success.
Yet very few people become leaders in their chosen calling.
However in my career as a hiring specialist, there is one thing that I have noted that leaders do very differently. It’s something that has nothing to do with knowledge, experience or even ability.
Leaders react differently to the actions of others than the rest of us.
Here are some ways how.
Don’t take things personally
Top of the list is that people who achieve in an outstanding way learn not to take things personally. Most of us have big plans but are often concerned by what others might say. What if my business becomes a failure? What will people say if we have to downgrade to a smaller house? What if other’s make fun of my ambitious idea?
Criticism is part of achievement. There is not a single person who has achieved leadership in their chosen calling who has not had to suffer strong criticism at some point in their life – from a famous entrepreneur to the biggest pop star.
It’s a sign of resentment and the reason why most people do it is because it works. Most people will fold, the leaders will march on unfazed to success.
No is just a word, not a belief
Rejection is naturally painful. As social creatures we are programmed to crave “acceptance”. It’s human nature to avoid rejection at any cost and should we receive a “no” to accept if and find the next willing prospect (if we can muster enough courage to put ourselves on the line again).
For leaders, no is just a word – a temporary state. They react to every “no” as an opportunity to try again – maybe when the timing is better, or they understand more about the other person, or when they have gained their respect.
Leaders never accept a no as permanent and react to find another way.
No such thing as failure, just feedback
Mistakes are an essential part of life. We all accept they happen and theoretically are prepared for them – however they still hurt and for the majority of us can often overwhelm us. Regretting our past actions, believing that we have missed opportunities and even quitting when everything has gone wrong (often with the support of others) is something everyone has done.
But leaders learn to react to failure differently. They see it as a valuable opportunity to learn – the knowledge that something is definitely wrong with their plan. They learn to never dwell on failure but to immediately build another plan and act on it.
The bigger the failure the bigger the lesson learned.
Understand everyone does something for a reason
When reacting to the actions of others, the immediate response by most people is to look at ourselves. It’s the person we know the most, love the most and feel the most.
Did she hang up on me because I was rude? Is he angry because I forgot to invite him? Are they making fun of me because of my new haircut?
Just like our thoughts revolve around ourselves, leaders understand that the same is true for everyone else. People’s actions are due to who they are and what they believe – not because of anyone else.
She hang up on you because she was just too busy. He’s angry and unfulfilled because of insecurity. They laugh at your haircut because they envy you and it makes them fell powerful.
Leaders react by understanding others.
Most of us have goals and dreams and often even plans for achieving them.
Often the only thing preventing us is not our actions – but our reactions to others.
Hiring managers can find the leaders of tomorrow by focussing on those who react to others in a positive way.
How do you react to the actions of others?
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