5 Inspiring Traits of Successful People

There are a few universal traits of successful people — and you may be surprised to learn they aren’t all that mysterious.


Wondering what makes successful people tick? Don’t miss these 5 inspiring traits of successful people, including tips to emulate these qualities.


What makes a successful person, well, successful? We all know someone magnetic. They’re good at what they do, firing on all cylinders, passionate, and engaged. But what are the traits of successful people (and how can we get some of what they’re having)?

When we meet a successful person, they’ve “got it.” But sometimes, we might also see familiar flickers in these qualities. The truth is, we all have the capacity to become successful and to fully live the life we want to pursue. Yes, there may be logistical hurdles, but everyone has infinite potential.

So, how do we tap into our potential? How do we emulate the traits of successful people so we can enjoy the same high-quality results?

Defining Our Idea of Success

We all know when we meet someone who’s successful. Sometimes it’s hard to put our finger on the quality, but when we connect with inspiring, dynamic, successful people, we’ll likely notice that they all share some commonalities.

  • Successful people are magnanimous.
  • Successful people know how to “work the room.”
  • Successful folks know how to draw people in.
  • Successful people own it.
  • Somehow, the most successful people make every person they meet feel essential and vital to their mission, project, or task.

These universal traits of successful people aren’t all that mysterious. The question is how they acquired these qualities, and is it possible for us to tap into the same dynamic?

Before we examine the traits of successful people, it helps first to define what it means to be successful. Does a successful person make a lot of money? Are they at the pinnacle of their career? Are they attractive? Popular? There are a lot of different definitions of success, and most of us can probably agree that the markers of success may vary.


But in the most significant sense, all successful people are fulfilled. The most successful people are vision-driven. They’re leaders. Successful people have a sense of purpose.


Are these bastions of success happy all the time? Of course not! (Who is?) However, they’re generally positive and enjoying their life. They’re engaged and extracting the most out of every moment. Successful people might feel satisfied and confident in what they have and what they’ve achieved, but they also drive themselves forward to keep reaching the next milestone. Successful people don’t rest on their laurels; they strive for the next peak and the chance to tackle their next goal.

What Makes a Person Successful in Life? 5 Traits of Successful People

1. Successful People Know Their “Why”

Successful people understand their raison d’être: their reason for being. They know why they get up every day and why they want more. Successful people have a larger mission. They have a vision of where they want to end up.

One of the universal traits of successful people is that a higher purpose generally drives them both in their professional life and personal goals. Now, “higher-purpose” doesn’t mean they’re always religious or even spiritual. It means that they understand their true calling and impact on the world. They’re heeding the call, and it propels them forward. They’re not focused on the simple, temporal rewards that will only get them ahead in the here and now.

Successful people are mission-driven with their eyes on the prize. They stay laser-focused on their larger mission, even if it’s broad, lofty, or nearly unattainable.

2. They’re Willing to Fight

When we say that successful people are willing to fight, it might seem to contradict what we mentioned above. After all, didn’t we just say that successful people were magnanimous and driven by a higher purpose? That doesn’t sound like a person who’s argumentative or angry.

But there’s a distinction between being willing to fight FOR someone or something we believe in and being a petty, angry, or argumentative contrarian. Fighting for something means that we aren’t afraid of conflict because we recognize that conflict is sometimes a necessary step toward reaching a larger goal.

For example, it’s healthier for both parties when we fight for the betterment of a relationship (rather than zoning out or resorting to passive-aggressiveness). Similarly, it can be healthy and productive when we’re fighting for a cause or idea that we feel passionate about at work. We might even be the one who saves the company from a disaster rather than silently watching the ship sink.

Successful people aren’t doormats. They don’t ignore problems; they stand up and get their point across. They also handle their frustration responsibly—they don’t demean others or engage in collusion, bullying, or gossip. Instead, they rally and inspire others to their cause. They share the vision and engage in conflict because they believe in their cause and are willing to fight for it.

3. They’re Present in the Moment

Our lives are full of distractions, but successful people don’t let their distractions get in the way of fulfilling their yearnings. Successful people are mindful, present, and work to stay in the moment. Mindfulness roots us in the here and now rather than replaying the past or fearing the future. Mindfulness connects us with what we want—our deeper yearnings.

“If you’re not in touch with your yearnings…you may waste time and energy complaining to friends about how your company is being run by shortsighted leaders. Or you might miss that moment to love and to matter in your child’s life when you’re tucking her into bed, and she wants to talk, but your mind is jumping to all the “to do’s” left at work. Or maybe you dash off a hurried peck on the cheek to your mate on your way out the door and miss the opportunity to really see and appreciate each other for a moment while nourishing your yearning to love and be loved. When you are truly in harmony with what you yearn for, you experience every moment in a deeper and more fulfilling way.”
Transformed! The Science of Spectacular Living

Successful people don’t allow themselves to veer off course and waste time. They’re productive and focused. They don’t while away the hours with soft addictions like television, social media, and other methods people use to distract and numb themselves from reality. Instead, successful people stay fully engaged. They go for it! They’re in the moment because they know each moment gives them a chance to grow, explore, and get more out of life.

4. Successful People Practice “Know Thyself”

Now, depending on how we define success, we know that not all “successful people” are self-aware or self-actualized. Take a look at the current political climate or the latest corporate scandal! But people who are the most successful and get the most satisfaction out of their lives practice a growth mindset.


A growth mindset means learning from our mistakes and constantly exploring ways to be better. We’re figuring out our drivers, yearnings, and what our heart truly wants and needs to feel a sense of purpose.


Successful people identify ways to get what they want—what will bring them a sense of satisfaction. They aren’t afraid to roll up their sleeve and do the work to get to where they want to be.

When we learn new things, we form new neuropathways. These new experiences reshape and grow our brains. Without learning and growth, we become dull and stagnant. We may show signs of aging and cognitive decline. We start to disengage and checkout. We find ourselves on autopilot. When we stop growing, we experience the antithesis of success.

On the other hand, successful people explore their inner workings because they want to understand themselves. They aren’t afraid to do personal growth work. They work with coaches, mentors, allies, and peers to understand who they really are. Successful people know that unlocking the secrets of our personality, motivations, and yearnings helps us build up our emotional intelligence—our superpower!

5. They Listen and Lead

When we’re around successful people, we often feel more successful ourselves. It’s almost like osmosis. Transformational leaders become powerful because they share their vision of success with others. They don’t dictate their goals and tasks, but they lead people to realize their own visions. Then, they explore how those visions align and overlap to bring success to the entire team.

Successful leaders don’t bark orders at people. They don’t talk over others or treat them down. They’re assertive to be sure—they say what they want, but they also listen. They work to hear and understand their peers. They want to learn what drives others and what makes them tick. Successful people know that they’re only as good as their team, spouse, and social circle. Their bosses love them because they make their boss look great!

Listening is a powerful tool for success. Often, we want to power through our discussions with others and drag them toward our point. Yet, listening, suggesting, and guiding would get us better results and allow others to share in the success. We can learn to listen by practicing with others—stay in the moment, engage, and really hear what they’re trying to express. We can share our vision and figure out a path together to get what we both want.

Success isn’t a trait we’re born with or inherent talent. To become successful, we have to work and focus. We must be willing to grow, change, listen, and lead. The traits of successful people aren’t mysterious or secretive. The path to success is clear and attainable for anyone willing to do the work.

If you’re ready to find success, don’t miss our resources at Wright Now! We have courses and materials to help you bring out your best in your career, relationship, and personal life. Get more of what you want today!

 


About the Author

Judith Wright receives the Visionary Leader Award from Chicago NAWBO.

Dr. Judith Wright is a media favorite, sought-after inspirational speaker, respected leader, peerless educator, bestselling author, & world-class coach. She is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.
Loving the content and want more? Follow Judith on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest!


The Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential is a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Foundation performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

Find Your Strengths to Get Ahead at Work

 

We all have skills, right? I bet you can probably list them right off your resume.


You might think I mean typing or data entry or understanding HTML—and sure, those certainly are skills, but they’re not what really makes you shine.

I’m not even talking about the things you studied in school or even what you went to college for—although, I’m sure what you’ve learned has helped you on your career path as well. Whether you’re a nurse or a teacher, or if you have an MBA, you’ve probably acquired some very job-specific skills.

While these skills are useful and will serve you well, they’re not what will really make you stand out from all the other nurses or teachers or managers. Those skills are important, but they won’t help you get ahead.

I’m not talking about those “resume skills”…I’m talking about strengths. To be successful, we each have to identify our own unique strengths.

Our strengths come from our personality profile.

You might be a great sales guy or gal and maybe you know how to close a deal like no other.

Maybe they call you in when they need to pull a team together and rally the troops. Perhaps you have the ability to create harmony in any situation.

Or maybe you’re a cheerleader who can bring energy to every project and get the whole team excited about performing.

Perhaps you’re the type who can assess a problem, target a solution and organize technical data without becoming overwhelmed…and maybe you even like it?

These strengths are inherent to YOU. They’re the things that make you special and differentiate you from the rest of the crowd at your office. They’re your social intelligence skills. They help you communicate with others and they shape the way you engage and interact with those around you. These strengths are the “energy” you bring to your team.

There are four core personality types—Cooperator, Analyzer, Regulator, and Energizer (what we call the C.A.R.E. profile). For some of us, we may be surprised to learn our strengths aren’t where we thought.

The sooner you find your strengths, the sooner you’ll be on your way to advocating for yourself, building on your strengths, and overcoming areas that are not-so-strong. The sooner you identify your strengths, the sooner you’ll find your inner leader. Once you know your personality type, you’re taking your first steps toward emerging into your next, most radiant self.

Discover Your Leadership

Are you a leader?

Maybe you don’t think of yourself as someone who stands out. You might be an introvert. You might dread dealing with crowds or public speaking. Maybe the thought of talking in a meeting is enough to turn your stomach (or at least make you sweat).

Guess what? We can ALL be leaders. Each and every person has leadership within them. That’s right! Every person has the ability to bring a team together and inspire others to greatness. YOU can engage, you can listen, and you can inspire! You can lead from wherever you are.

Not everyone has to be the person who rallies the troops (the Energizer), or the one that goes in to make a hard sale (the Regulator)—but whether you’re leading your fellow IT members through a successful data mapping or you’re leading the nurses on your wing to more efficient procedures, there’s leadership within every person.

Learning to work within your personality type to play up your strengths and compensate for areas that might be less comfortable for you is part of increasing your social and emotional intelligence. The foundation and ability to achieve greatness is within each and every one of us.

We are all gifts. We bring our experiences, our knowledge, our strengths and our personality into each situation. We have a blend of experiences that’s uniquely our own. We can draw on those pieces in each new interaction and situation.

To discover your inner leader, you need to unlock your communication abilities and keep working on your social intelligence. Build on your personality strengths and use them as a launch pad for growth. Social intelligence helps you read and interact effectively with different personalities. It helps you “get along” with others…and it also helps you stand out from the crowd.


“We are all designed to live great lives. It is through being socialized that we limit our capacity. The good news is that we can reignite this natural capacity. We have no doubt that you’re capable of greatness. This is not starry-eyed optimism but pragmatic certainty. We’ve coached and trained many people who’ve achieved spectacular results in every area of their lives. They have learned to transform—that is, to consciously reignite their capacity to live ever-greatening lives.

If you think you want…to discover your next most radiant self, then get ready to have more fun, but also to get hurt more. There is no safety from pain—just a commitment to learning and growing from it. Radiance can take the form of laughter…Your next most radiant self will also be more open and less defensive and resistant, so you’ll experience more flow and aliveness. You’ll become increasingly real, sharing your pain and your joy, your anger and your fear, your gifts and your foibles. By continually developing emotional and social intelligence, you negotiate life’s inevitable knocks and problems with greater ease and benefits.”

Transformed! The Science of Spectacular Living


Is unlocking our personal strengths an easy task? Is it simple to discover our own personal power?

Yes and no. Transformation isn’t a switch you turn on and off, but a lifelong journey. Once you become your next most radiant self, you might realize there’s a NEXT even MORE radiant you beyond that, and beyond that…

Fortunately, as humans we have unlimited potential for greatness. We have the gift of neuroplasticity—the ability to grow and adapt our brains over time. When we reach adulthood, we don’t stop growing or learning, and in fact, the more we grow and learn the greater our capacity!

If you feel like you’ve stifled your inner leader, or you have the skills for the job but aren’t quite able to extract the leadership from your personality, examine where you fall on the profile, and use it as a guide to help you strengthen your social and emotional intelligence.

Within each person is a great leader. Find your strengths and challenge yourself to embrace them and you’re on your way to unlocking your next most radiant self!

For more on building your leadership, visit www.wrightliving.com. Go forth and ignite your world for a better tomorrow.


About the Author

Judith

Dr. Judith Wright is a media favorite, sought-after inspirational speaker, respected leader, peerless educator, bestselling author, & world-class coach. She is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.


Loving the content and want more? Follow Judith on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest!

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Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

Inspire and Ignite :
How to Be a Better Leader

 

When you talk, do the people you’re working with perk up and listen…or do your words fall on deaf ears? Do you feel like you’re constantly yelling or frustrated by the “attitude of apathy” your coworkers or subordinates direct your way?


Maybe it’s time to reconsider your approach and learn how to be a better leader.

Many so-called “leaders” talk and give lip service; they drive through fear and threats of scarcity. They bully, they pout—essentially, they act like big babies, whining until they get their way. Or they act like big toddlers, bossing around their peers and threatening to take things away and punish if they don’t get the results they want.

Don’t believe me? Look at our current political climate (or take a step back and look at the climate in your own office). Are all the people in charge inspiring confidence or are they fearmongering? This climate of fear and stress is an epidemic in many workplaces throughout our country and it’s taking a toll on both workers and leaders alike. People in positions of authority are making themselves miserable and they don’t know how to fix it.

This mismanagement and bossy leadership is particularly rampant in middle management. It’s indicative of people in positions of supervision, but without the autonomy to really affect the change and inspire the kind of work they need to extract from their team. It’s a sign of someone losing his or her grip on control—control they often didn’t need to grasp onto to begin with.

Bully management and demeaning bossiness isn’t real leadership. You might get your team to perform, but inside you know they aren’t fulfilled and they won’t embrace the work as their own. They’ll perform on a mediocre level, phoning it in and doing what you demand, but never taking any steps to go above and beyond.

You’ve got to put the heart and soul back into your team. It’s likely they don’t understand their purpose or share your vision, which are the keys to great performance. Unlocking our purpose inspires us to greatness.

As leaders we will either instill confidence, or we will instill fear and doubt.

Which kind of leader do you want to be?

Taking the Steps to Be a Better Leader

If you’re wondering how to be a better leader, the first step is realizing leadership requires more than simply a loud mouth and cockiness or making a list of demands. You don’t have to be bossy to be a boss.

Leaders don’t have to know it all (or even half). I know many great leaders, CEOs and directors who don’t know half of the technical stuff their staff knows. Yet, they inspire them to perform at a high level, and they get results. They understand the importance of a team. They hire people who know what they’re doing and take pride in their work. They don’t micromanage or nitpick, but they step back and give employees the chance to rise to greatness.

The secret of how to be a better leader is to have a solid grasp on what makes people tick. If we look at great leaders like Martin Luther King Jr., Vince Lombardi and John F. Kennedy, we can see they were great because they understood their audience. They had a great deal of social and emotional intelligence.

They lead by inspiration, not by force.

Does inspiring leadership come naturally? No, of course not! Leadership is a skill that’s learned and built upon. It comes from learning how to help people evolve and transform; leadership grows from helping people find their own greatness within and discovering ways to extract that greatness and apply it.

Unless you directly report to the CEO (or are the CEO), chances are you report to someone, and they report to someone above them. In this chain of reporting and accountability, we all strive to make ourselves appear important. We’re longing for the acknowledgment, praise, and reception of our work indicating we’re special, unique and indispensable.

The real secret to great leadership isn’t in letting go of this longing or yearning to be special and important. The real secret in how to be a great leader is the realization that if your team looks great, YOU look great. If your team succeeds, you all succeed! So rather than focusing on climbing up the ladder by stepping on those below you, you must focus on how to lift up everyone—how to elevate the entire office.

Raising Your E.Q.

Where does the ability to engage with others, transform and elevate those around you come from? It’s a direct result of your social and emotional intelligence. You might have a PhD from MIT or an MBA from Harvard, but if you don’t have the emotional intelligence you need, you’ll never be an effective leader.

Transformational leaders understand this and they work to evoke their empathy in all their interactions. They share their vision with the team—not the vision they want for themselves or the way they want the company to grow for their own personal gain—but the vision they have for everyone involved. They find ways to bring out the success in every single member of their office, from the intern and the entry-level clerk to the CFO and the Chairman of the Board. They listen and they learn. It’s not about the money, the power or the fame—it’s about making a difference in the lives they touch.

No matter what you do in your business—whether you’re a teacher, an artist, a software developer or a lawyer, you can lead others by exploring what makes them tick. You can find success by figuring out where the overlap happens in the Venn diagram of your success and vision, and the vision of your customers, clients, and coworkers. How does the widget you make or the service you perform make the world a better place?

Understanding things on an intellectual level isn’t enough. You have to connect with the emotions, the empowerment—the heart of what you’re doing. You have to engage with others.


“Many people, including some very smart people, have a lot going on in their minds but are unable to translate all this mental activity into action. Or they take action, but only within the confines of their regular routines, rarely doing or saying anything that varies from what they’ve always done or said. In these situations, it’s very difficult to take action in ways that are congruent with their yearning, to experience emotional involvement in their words and deeds and to learn and grow.

If you need further evidence that real engaging is worth the effort, consider that prominent scientists offer highly motivating evidence that you have to engage in two distinct areas—feeling and doing. They make it clear that intellectual engagement is insufficient. You have to recognize and honor your emotions and get off your kiester and act!” from Transformed! The Science of Spectacular Living


In other words, you can’t lead, inspire or bring forth your vision by reasoning it to death. You have to bring others on board and explore things with them on an emotional level. You have to ignite, excite, impassion and get them involved to take things to knock your entire team up a notch (or several)!

For more on how you can bring out your best leadership skills and become a stronger leader wherever you are, please visit www.wrightliving.com. Go forth and make the world a better place! Join us for our next More Life Training to jumpstart your social and emotional intelligence.

 


About the Author

Dr. Bob Wright

Dr. Bob Wright is an internationally recognized visionary, educator, program developer, leadership and sales executive, best-selling author and speaker. He is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.


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Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

How to Handle a
Hostile Work Environment

So you’ve decided to embrace the power of positive thinking. You’ve learned of the paradigm shift a positive outlook can bring about, and you’re ready to bring the change into your life. 

Unfortunately, your coworkers seem to have missed the memo.

Whether your office is experiencing a “case of the Mondays” or worse, it can be deflating and defeating to work in an environment where you’re constantly battling the negative vibes of others.

Now, it is true that people complain and vent at work. It creates a sense of camaraderie and a shared experience. Sometimes it can be an attempt by your coworkers to make small talk or simply connect.

Even if those around you seem to feel very strongly about their negative complaints, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re terrible people or even bad employees. When we’re invested in what we’re doing, we’re going to feel strongly about things. Emotions go into our work and when we’ve poured in our blood, sweat and tears, we can be easily wounded, frustrated or upset simply because it’s so important to us. Our work and our careers can be a big part of our identity and how we see ourselves. This doesn’t make for light emotions.

However, some people just bitch to bitch. It has nothing to do with them feeling strongly about their job or caring too deeply. It’s just that they feel like “harshing your mellow” and raining on your parade. Your positivity might rub them the wrong way or they may simply be someone who hasn’t realized their negative words and thoughts lead to more frustration and sorrow.

The first step in how to handle a hostile work environment is to separate the naysayers and Negative Neds and Nancys from the truly hostile, toxic people. There will always be complainers, and while they might be frustrating and annoying to deal with, they generally aren’t out to make your work environment intolerable.

Dealing with Complainers

When you’re faced with a Dan or Debbie Downer, try to shift the conversation. Focus on having more meaningful interactions with them. Offer to grab a cup of coffee and lend them an ear. Remember conversation is about give and take.

Ask your coworker, “What did you do this weekend? Why was it so great?” Conversely, if they say, “Thank God it’s Friday—this week can’t be over soon enough,” ask them, “What’s been so bad about your week?” Sometimes, when they start to articulate all of their complaints, they’ll have a change of heart. You might hear, “Well, actually it wasn’t so bad, I’m just looking forward to something exciting this weekend.”

Suddenly the conversation has gone from a litany of complaints to a meaningful connection focused on positive activities and excitement about the future.

Try to see the truth in who your co-worker is, and realize they’re a person who wants to be heard and understood. Maybe they just don’t know how to express things in a positive way or they see co-conspiring as a way to build a connection. Find a way to connect beyond the collusion by looking at them a little closer, and listening to what they’re really hoping to say.

Embracing Your Own Positivity

Lead by your example. One of the easiest ways to keep focused on the positive is to BE positive. When someone begins the transformational growth process, they often start with initial bravado and enthusiasm.

Even in a hostile work environment, you don’t have to be “fake” or pretend everything’s great to work on your positive mindset. It’s still okay and even healthy to acknowledge you feel fear, sadness or frustration. Those emotions, while negative, need to be expressed as well.


“When fear is allowed to operate beneath the surface, however, it does the most damage. When people quit things it is often because they fail to acknowledge and deal with their fears so they rationalize instead. Typically, they approach new activities brimming with confidence and even cockiness—generally a sign of someone not listening to their fear. They communicate that they’re ready for anything, be it a new job, new school, or even a marriage—that they have no anxiety about what the process requires of them. As much as their gung-ho attitude provides them with initial positive energy, this energy can easily turn negative. It begins to sound an alarm in their unconscious mind, warning them about taking risks, about trying new activities, about pushing themselves into areas where they aren’t skilled or comfortable.”

Transformed! The Science of Spectacular Living


Acknowledge your truth and the spectrum of emotions you might be feeling, but approach experiences as growth and learning opportunities. View each situation as a chance to learn more about yourself and to get closer to your goals and vision. See your fear and harness it rather than avoiding it. Rather than setbacks, look at obstacles as opportunities to reroute and discover even more about yourself.

Dealing with Toxic Coworkers

Even those of us with the most positive intentions will now and again run into people who are just downright toxic. These people, try as you might, just refuse to connect with you, engage or move forward. What’s worse, they might even be thwarting your attempts to grow or do your work. They can make your job downright miserable, and certainly contribute to a hostile work environment.

When you’re dealing with someone who’s truly toxic, don’t be afraid to confront the issue. Surprisingly, sometimes bringing it out on the table and saying, “Look, I feel like you’re angry with me or I’m rubbing you the wrong way. This is what I want to get done and where I’m trying to lead us. Explain what you’re trying to get done and let’s see if we can find a way to get on the same page.”

If they balk at the confrontation or continue to try to sabotage you and throw you under the bus, don’t let your negative coworker throw you off course. Keep your communication with your boss and leadership strong and open. It doesn’t mean you need to “tattle” to your boss, but if a toxic coworker has become more than just an annoyance, there may be formal complaints and other management interventions needed.

In most cases, however, confronting the person and letting them know you’re feeling upset, picked on, bullied or otherwise annoyed with them can help you get things out in the open so they can be addressed. Sometimes they might not even be aware of how bowled over they’re making you feel or how their hostile attitude is affecting you and the team. Bringing it out into the light is the first step to resolving the issue.

Keep your interactions at work focused on the “big picture.” If you steer off course, always bring it back to your personal vision and how it aligns with the vision of the leadership in your organization. Look at the good you’re doing within your workplace and how you’re helping others and making the world a better place. If you can find the good and positive in your job, it will be the silver lining to make each day (even Mondays) better.

For more on how you can move forward in your life with positive intentions, please visit Wright Living. Find out how you can transform yourself and those around you by bringing more light and goodness into the world. Be your best self!


About the Author

Dr. Bob Wright

 

Dr. Bob Wright is an internationally recognized visionary, educator, program developer, leadership and sales executive, best-selling author and speaker. He is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.


Liked this post and want more? Sign up for updates – free!

Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

Defining Company Culture :
Do You Fit In?

 

“Company culture” is a phrase we’re hearing a lot of these days. But what does “culture” really mean in this instance?


If we were talking about a country’s culture, we’d be talking about its customs, people, history, social infrastructure and traditions. So defining company culture sounds straightforward at first. It’s the office environment: the attitudes, personalities, and atmosphere of the office. But truly defining company culture goes beyond even that.

A big part of defining company culture is examining the story that the company tells to the world. For example, what makes the company unique? What is the history of the company? Who are the company’s employees? Who are the company’s customers and how do they feel about the company?  What is the overall “attitude” of the company? Is it hip? Edgy? Serious? Professional? Is there a culture of caring or a culture of competition?

Fitting In, Aligning With, and Defining Company Culture

When we easily understand and naturally fit into our company culture, we tend to take it for granted. It just works. Fitting in feels effortless.

When we don’t fit in, chances are we feel like something HUGE is missing. Like the song says, “You don’t know what you got ‘till it’s gone.” When you work somewhere with a company culture you love, then you move on to a company where you feel like a round peg in a square hole, the importance of a great company culture becomes clear.

A foundation we’ve helped with professional development recently brought in a successor for their Director, Stan. The plan was she would train alongside the Director for a year to “learn the ropes” and then move into his role when he retired. The Director-To-Be, Jamie, was highly qualified, experienced and educated. On paper, she seemed like a perfect fit and a natural for the job.

After about six months we received a desperate call from Stan, asking if we could mentor or train his successor. Several employees had approached him with concerns about Jamie. While these concerns were varied and seemingly unconnected, none of them pointed to a problem with her qualifications…it was something more ambiguous.

Stan said, “I just don’t understand. On paper she seems great. She’s a very nice person and she seems likable enough, but it’s almost like our employees are adverse to her approach to things. The board is happy with her qualifications and direction. I can’t quite explain it, but she just isn’t fitting in. In fact, I have employees threatening to leave our foundation if she’s promoted as my successor. I may have to delay my retirement plan. I don’t know what I did wrong.”

We assured Stan he didn’t do anything wrong. In fact, the succession plan worked out perfectly! How lucky to be able to steer the train back onto the tracks BEFORE it really crashed and burned. This gave us plenty of time to get to the root of the problem.

When meeting with Jamie, after some discussion, it turned out the foundation had a very tight-knit and specific culture.

For example, they kept a plush squirrel on their conference room shelf as a running joke and metaphor for how their team approached new ideas. As in, in the middle of brainstorming sessions, someone would always pop up with an “Oh look a squirrel!” idea and chase off after it. Chasing after new ideas was a vital and an encouraged part of their company culture.

Stan, an Energizer personality type fit in perfectly: he was always excited about new ideas, enthusiastic, and quick to lead and make decisions. He let people run with their plans and share their visions, then helped them find common ground. Employees felt a great deal of personal investment in the foundation, not only because they could see the results of the foundation’s work, but also because they could clearly see their roles and ideas play out. They felt ownership.

Jamie, on the other hand, was a classic Analyzer. She had great credentials and experience, and she could look at reports and data like a crystal ball. She had high standards for perfection and accuracy and was cautious about change. She expected employees to give her frequent updates and she wasn’t allowing for the autonomy they were afforded with Stan. She was frustrated by what she perceived as a lack of focus and planning, while the employees felt stifled and miserable. In some organizations Jamie might have flourished, but in this environment she was floundering.

What was missing? A clear definition, alignment, and understanding of the importance of the existing company culture.

Understanding Your Own Company Culture

Defining your own company culture can seem nebulous. Is it a team where everyone is “in” on the joke? Does it mean everyone gets along as friends? Is it a team built from only certain personality types?

While it would be amazing if we could all find the perfect office environment and corporate culture to align with our different personalities, it’s not so realistic. It’s much more feasible to simply grasp the company culture of your office and learn how to thrive and grow within the environment—bloom where you are planted, so to speak.

In Jamie’s case, it meant she needed to be self-aware enough and willing to do leadership work it would take to get where she needed to be. Fortunately, she right jumped in, working hard to deeply understand her personality and how she fit in with the atmosphere of the office. We used our CARE personality profile to determine her strengths and which areas she needed to pay more attention to. She became much more aware of her interactions with employees and the energy she as putting out. She worked hard to give more autonomy to individual team members and to be more open and willing to hear new “squirrel” ideas.

While Jamie wasn’t going to turn into Stan the Energizer, she was able to play into her other area of strength—her Cooperator side—to find commonalities and share her vision with her fellow team members and to realize each person in the organization had their own vision, ideas, and hopes. Rather than working with a black-and-white/right-or-wrong approach, she was able to find the grey areas where her vision overlapped with theirs.

Jamie worked hard to adapt and to become the leader the foundation needed her to be, and fortunately, Stan was still able to retire on schedule.

When you come into a new office, there’s an existing culture. Depending on the size and structure of the company, you might be able to sway and influence the culture as you grow together, or, you may have to adapt and learn to grow to align with the existing structure. It doesn’t mean changing your personality or getting lost. It means learning how to listen, adapt and grow with those around you.

Finding Your Shared Vision to Grow

One of the best ways to get a handle on the culture of your company is to understand the vision and mission of company leadership. This might be clearly articulated or it might mean you need to have a conversation with your boss. Your goal is to understand the greater, ultimate vision for the organization and how you can help your team achieve it.

Not only will understanding leadership’s vision help you to become more invested and connected to your office, but it will also help you become more valuable and endeared to your boss. After all, every leader wants great people supporting them and working with them to carry out their dreams for the company.

Once you understand the vision of leadership, talk about your own vision and how you can align your career goals to help propel you and the entire office forward. Invest your energy into the company as if it were your very own. Take ownership and leadership over your projects. Offer to go the extra mile and do what it takes to help make your successes the company’s successes.

Don’t shy away from speaking up when you have an idea or when you feel something needs to be addressed. Just because you see something different or have a conflict with a plan doesn’t mean you’re not fitting in. The idea is to find a productive resolution to the problem together. Follow one of our favorite rules of engagement: “assume goodwill” and realize everyone wants the project or company to be successful—but you may just have different ideas of how to get it there.

You represent your company or organization so you reflect its culture. Even if you aren’t a “team player” by nature, when you’re part of an organization, you have to let go of the “my way or the highway” mentality. Focus on the big picture and the ways you can help your company reach its goals.

For more information on defining company culture and leading wherever you are, check out our Career Coaching Program in Chicago, visit our website at www.wrightliving.com, or join us for our next Foundations Training Weekend.


About the Author

Judith

Dr. Judith Wright is a media favorite, sought-after inspirational speaker, respected leader, peerless educator, bestselling author, & world-class coach. She is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.
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Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

What’s Your Work Personality
and Why Does it Matter?
Emotional Intelligence
in the Workplace

Everyone demonstrates their unique personality at work—and everyone is different. When we go to work, we’re faced with a combination of different traits in each and every employee and coworker.


 From CEO to manager to team member, everyone can benefit from understanding how the different personality types function at work. You’ll boost your social-emotional intelligence and you’ll understand how to better bring out the best in each other and in your team.

I’ve seen it work time and time again. Those with the highest social and emotional IQ learn how to work with different personality types to reassure them, bring out their strengths, and make sure their weaknesses work in their favor. They have a rocking career life, because they get it. Understanding work personalities helps you exhibit emotional intelligence in the workplace, allowing you to hit the big picture: increasing sales, creating harmony at the office, and keeping your clients happy.

For some it comes naturally, while others among us have to work a little to understand it and to heighten our sensitivity to the different personality types. By identifying what they are and playing off their various strengths, we can really create a strong team and keep things moving forward.

You might think there are certain people at work you just can’t get along with. There might be certain personality types that just rub you the wrong way. Maybe you can’t stand people who are data driven and “anal” (the Analyzer types), or maybe the constantly bubbly cheerleader types really grate on your nerves (Energizers). Maybe you try to accommodate everyone and help them to get along because you’re a Cooperator. Maybe you prefer to be in control and work within set parameters like a Regulator.

In the late 80s, we devised a scale to help you ramp up your emotional intelligence in the workplace by better understanding each personality type and where YOU fall on the spectrum. There are four personality types and most people fall into a combination of types.

Visit our website www.wrightliving.com to find out how you can take our personality assessment in Chicago to determine your workplace personality.

The 4 Personality Types, Explained

The four personality types are as follows:

  1. Cooperators: Prefer everyone gets along; low-risk takers.
  2. Analyzers: Hate making mistakes; would rather do something right than fast.
  3. Regulators: Prefer to dominate and lead; align with Analyzers over accuracy.
  4. Energizers: Lead, but without follow-through; may share vision with Regulators but prefer Cooperators.

We call this the C.A.R.E. profile. There are certain personality types that mesh well with each other and certain types who tend to butt heads. Regulators often find Cooperators to be too “Suzy Sunshine” and easy-going. Analyzers tend to get frustrated with Energizers because they aren’t concerned enough with accuracy. Energizers aren’t afraid to take risks but sometimes they have big ideas without the follow-through. Cooperators are low-risk and prefer an environment of cohesiveness and teamwork.

If you’re a visionary personality who really likes sales and rallies people around you, you might be an Energizer. To a Regulator, this energy can seem a little high-risk and out there. An Analyzer might find you frightening because you can’t always see the forest for the trees.

You can see how these different personality types might clash or mesh. The key to getting everyone to work together is to acknowledge each person’s areas of strength and each person’s fears about risk. Look at the ways you affect those around you and learn to embrace and play up your own strengths as well.

As I said before, most people fall somewhere on the spectrum within a combination of two or three personality types. If you’re a Regulator/Analyzer, you might draw on your big-picture visionary thinking to click with an Energizer and you might bond with a Cooperator when it comes to choosing lower-risk areas that are more beneficial for the team.

You can see how the different personality types translate when it comes to working with a customer or client. If you have high emotional intelligence in the workplace, you can shift from being excited to see an Energizer, to being detail-oriented when you’re dealing with an Analyzer. A Cooperator might appreciate a personal connection, where a Regulator might be more concerned about making sure everything is working correctly and according to plan.

How to Create High Functioning Teams

To get your team to gain a better understanding of each other, study each personality type and get everyone familiar with each of their strengths. Ensure your team members take the personality quiz or read through all of the personality profiles together. There’s no personality type that’s “bad” or incongruent with success. When each of your employees gains a better understanding of where they fit on the team and everyone’s strengths, they can use that understanding as a platform to frame their interactions.

If there’s someone you just can’t seem to win over, examine his or her personality type. When you’ve got someone who always points out the negative, they might be an Analyzer/Regulator who’s actually trying to protect you by watching your back. If you’ve got someone who does excellent work but often misses deadlines, they might be an Analyzer who’s so concerned with accuracy that it slows them down. Once you understand where each person is coming from, it can be easier to adjust expectations and goals.

Personality types can have a big influence on the way we interact with each other at the office and in our day-to-day lives. We can get hurt when we’re dealing with personalities incongruent to our own, but acknowledging those differences and working through them is key to finding harmony within our working life.

Our work should bring us joy! We should strive to have a “pay for play” workspace where we can have fun, learn and grow and share the things that excite us and ignite us.

For more ways to discover your true self and how it can bring you success, visit Wright Now. We offer an array of courses geared to help you learn more about yourself, your career, and your relationships. So don’t miss out on the life you want. Go for it now!

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To continue the conversation on engaging with others and to discover ways to bring out your best self, click here to learn more about our next More Life Training. You’ll learn skills to become more alive, more connected, and fully engaged in your life and your career.
Want to boost your career? If you’d like to learn more about what the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential has to offer check out:

Want to improve your sales? The Wright Sales Program is a hands-on, experiential program that provides sales professionals with an opportunity to boost their sales performance through the application of social and emotional intelligence to their selling techniques. [Learn more!]


About the Author

Bob-300x250-1

Dr. Bob Wright is an internationally recognized visionary, educator, program developer, leadership and sales executive, best-selling author and speaker. He is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.


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Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

Zig Ziglar – The King of Sales – Passes Away

The reigning king of sales support and inspiration for generations has passed away today. Zig Ziglar was the “can-do” coach to millions via audiotape, CD, Video, and live presentations. Author of many books from See You at the Top in 1975  to 2012’s Born to Win, Ziglar was a Nightingale Conant cornerstone who motivated many a sales pro in their car on the way to sales success.

Ziglar was a fast-rising star in the Positive Mental Attitude movement founded by Norman Vincent Peale, Napoleon Hill, and W. Clement Stone. This group was openly preaching human potential—a possibility that required no Secret. They birthed a movement that has since been proven by current neuroscience and our research presented in Transformed! The Science of Spectacular Living.

No mumbo jumbo purveyor, Ziglar’s practical approach to human possibility led to positive visions that have guided so many to fulfill their career potential. Let’s celebrate his life by stretching our vision of human potential to all areas of life—especially coupling and parenting. May his life and work be an inspirational rung on the ladder to human potential for which we all yearn.

–Bob

Wonder what potential you haven’t tapped into yet? Download or order the award-winning book Transformed! and see what living a spectacular life could be for you!