16 Differences Between Successful People and Unsuccessful People

Letting go and embracing change is a big íchallenge, in our personal lives and at work.

Today I received this link in an email from my son-in-law, who, being very  thoughtful, was trying to help me through a difficult transition in my life. My husband and I are in the process of selling the family home and waterfront property which has been in our family for generations. It’s a place like no other. Just 20 minutes from downtown Ottawa, when you arrive and turn off the car, you feel like you’re 800 miles north, surrounded by 100′ Norwegian fir trees, and the tranquility of the Gatineau River.

Each of the 16 points about the differences between successful and unsuccessful people resonated on many different levels. They remind me of the values and behaviours I have written about in my soon-to-be-published book, Cultural Capital – How to Build a High Performing Workplace. I hope you find them useful.

1. Embrace change vs. Fear change

Embracing change is one of the hardest things a person can do. With the world moving so fast and constantly changing, and technology accelerating faster than ever, we need to embrace what’s coming and adapt, rather than fear it, deny it or hide from it.

2. Want others to succeed vs. Secretly hope others fail
When you’re in an organization with a group of people, in order to be successful, you all have to be successful. We need to want to see our co-workers succeed and grow. If you wish for their demise, why even work with them at all?

3. Exude joy vs. Exude anger
In business and in life, it’s always better to be happy and exude that joy to others. It becomes contagious and encourages other to exude their joy as well. When people are happier they tend to be more focused and successful. If a person exudes anger, it puts everyone around them in a horrible, unmotivated mood and little success comes from it.

4. Accept responsibly for your failures vs. Blame others for your failures
Where there are ups, there are most always downs. Being a leader and successful businessperson means always having to accept responsibility for your failures. Blaming others solves nothing; it just puts other people down and absolutely no good comes from it.

5. Talk about ideas vs. Talk about people
What did we all learn in high school? Gossip gets you nowhere. Much of the time it’s false and most of the time it’s negative. Instead of gossiping about people, successful people talk about ideas. Sharing ideas with others will only make them better.

6. Share data & info vs. Hoard data & info
As we all learned in kindergarten, sharing is caring. In social media, in business and in life, sharing is important to be successful. When you share you info and data with others, you can get others involved in what you are doing to achieve success. Hoarding data and info is selfish and short-sighted.

7. Give people all the credit for their victories vs. Take all the credit from others
Teamwork is a key to success. When working with others, don’t take credit from their ideas. Letting others have their own victories and moments to shine motivates them and in the long term, the better they perform, the better you’ll look anyway.

8. Set goals and life plans vs. Do not set goals
You can’t possibly be successful without knowing where you’re going in life. A life vision board, 10 year plan, 3 year forecast, annual strategic plan, and daily goal lists are useful tools of the mega-successful people in your life. Get your vision and goals down on paper!

9. Keep a journal vs. Say you keep a journal but don’t
Keeping a journal is a great way to jot down quick ideas or thoughts that come to mind that are not worth forgetting. Writing them down can lead to something even greater. You can even use mobile apps or your Notes function in your phone. But don’t fool yourself by saying you keep a journal and not following through.

10. Read every day vs. Watch TV every day
Reading every day educates you on new subjects. Whether you are reading a blog, your favorite magazine or a good book, you can learn and become more knowledgeable as you read. Watching television, on the other hand, may be good entertainment or an escape, but you’ll rarely get anything out of TV to help you become more successful.
11. Operate from a transformational perspective vs. Operate from a transactional perspective
Transformational leaders go above and beyond to reach success on another level. They focus on team building, motivation and collaboration across organizations. They’re always looking ahead to see how they can transform themselves and others, instead of looking to just make a sale or generate more revenue or get something out of the way.

12. Continuously learn vs. Fly by the seat of your pants
Continuously learning and improving is the only way to grow. You can be a step above your competition and become more flexible because you know more. If you just fly by the seat of your pants, you could be passing up opportunities that help you learn and grow!

13. Compliment others vs. Criticize others
Complimenting someone is always a great way to show someone you care. A compliment gives a natural boost of energy to someone, and is an act of kindness that makes you feel better as well. Criticizing produces negativity and leads to nothing good.

14. Forgive others vs. Hold a grudge
Everybody makes mistakes; it’s human. The only way to get past the mistake is to forgive and move on. Dwelling on anger only makes things worse – for you.

15. Keep a “To-Be” list vs. Don’t know what you want to be
A “To-Be” list is a great way to strategize for the future. I want to be an elected official one day. I want to be a TED speaker. I want to be the CEO of a public company. I want to be a great mother and wife. Unsuccessful people have no idea what they want to be. If you don’t know what you want to be, how can you achieve success? What do you want to be?

16. Have Gratitude vs Don’t appreciate others and the world around you.
Moments of gratitude, each and every one, transform my life each day- and unquestionably have made me more successful and more happy. The people who you are grateful for are often the ones who have a huge part in your success. Be sure to thank everyone you come in contact with and walk with a spirit of gratitude and appreciation and even wonder, about the world around you. Gratitude is the ultimate key to being successful in business and in life.

Now it’s your turn. Which of these 16 items resonate most with you?

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Leadership Speaker Joanna Barclay (2)Leadership Speaker Joanna Barclay (2)Leadership Speaker Joanna Barclay (2)Contact Us Joanna BarclayJoanna Barclay, Speaker, Author, Leadership Consultant building high performing values-driven organizational culture.

With 30 years in business transformation working with organizations, Joanna’s passion lies in working with leaders, facilitating active participation in organizational change, developing resourceful teams and aligning strategic objectives. Her goal is to help organizations become high performing and values-driven, where people take ownership, build commitment and bridge communication gaps. As CEO of the Culture Leadership Group, she ensures successful transformation from concept through to implementation.