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Five Personal Qualities To Be Successful

Published in the NPSOA Magazine - November 2023

Fice Personal Qualities to Be Successful

This past week I had time to think about business from a different perspective. I thought about the human qualities that successful business people have. I also thought about the personal traits that our peers and other successful people possessed. Read this list and see how many you have and how many you lack.

The first trait is that they have a sense of humor. Top performers have the ability to find the humor in what could have been a stressful situation. More often than not, you will find them laughing at themselves and the mistakes that they have made over the years. Sometimes those mistakes can be painful. Nevertheless, high-achieving managers learn to laugh at their mistakes. They know, and you will too, that you will enjoy life more fully and move past obstacles much easier if you have an easygoing sense of humor.

The second trait is that they are highly self-motivated. Not every print or sign shop owner I know is motivated, let alone highly motivated. Many are content to sit back and wait for things to happen to them, or for them, instead of being the catalyst for making things happen in their organizations and careers.

The benefits of being motivated are numerous. Creativity, energy, health, magnetism, momentum, multiplication, recognition, and productivity all result from motivation. The desire for gain and the fear of loss are the main sources of self-propelling motivation.

Third, top performers know what they are afraid of. Once you have identified what you fear, you can face it and then approach all of your objectives and responsibilities with confidence. It is not well known that Ronald Reagan was once afraid of flying. The story is told that in order to run for governor of California, he had to travel to Sacramento from Los Angeles in a hurry. Knowing that Reagan was afraid of flying, his friends refrained from telling him about the deadline until he had no other choice but to fly. As Reagan can testify, addressing your fears frees you to pursue and achieve your goals.

Fourth, top performers pay attention to all the people in the organization. There is a story in the wonderful biography of Harry Truman. Within hours of being sworn in as president, he toured the White House. He made a point of talking to every worker, from Secret Service agents to the dishwashers in the kitchen. He shook hands, consoled them in the passing of President Roosevelt, and encouraged them onward. Some of the employees had never spoken to a president before, despite the fact that some had been working there for over 40 years.

Top performers understand that the people who actually make things operate and function smoothly in an organization are not to be found at the top. Those that appreciate the contribution of lower-level employees are in a stronger position to optimize their skills and abilities.

Fifth, top performers understand that "Rome wasn't built in a day." While they may demand high standards of efficiency and output, they understand that doing things well takes time. Top performers look at things from a long-term perspective. They knew that if they just threw things together, they would not reflect well on themselves, their department, or their company. Top performers learn to have patience. Top performers have a plan. Moreover, while they are both patient and organized, they remain focused. They never lose sight of the objective, and always kept moving in that direction.

Do you have a sense of humor? Are you highly motivated? Do you know what you are afraid of? Do you pay attention to the little people in your organization? Do you have the patience and understanding to realize that your version of Rome (your organization) won't be built in a day? If your answer was not what you need it to be, you can start working on that quality today.

Mitch Evans - Five Personal Qualities to be Successful

Mitch Evans is a management consultant and trusted advisor who works with graphic company owners, CEOs, and entrepreneurs. Mitch is a managing director at Graphic Arts Advisors LLC which specializes in Mergers & Acquisitions (valuations, buying and selling, mergers and non-bankruptcy orderly wind-downs). Mitch is also a partner in The Next Level Group which facilitates formal top executive peer groups for leadership, business growth, including revenue growth, improved internal efficiencies, and greater profitability. Please contact him at or call 561-351-6950.


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