Editorial: Secrets of triumphant A/E/P pros

Mar 06, 2014

Six traits that will make you and your team highly successful, Mark Zweig writes.

There’s no doubt in my mind that most successful people in this business didn’t get there by accident. It’s because of the way they live. It’s the things they do every day that result in them being highly successful compared to their peers at whatever it is they do. Here are a few of those “secrets” in no particular order of importance:
  1. They have self-discipline. That self-discipline is manifested in a variety of different ways. They do their timesheets and expense reports on time. They respond to texts, emails, and phone calls promptly. They address problems with their subordinates immediately. They don’t let their bills sit there and instead get them out. In short, they do what they are supposed to when they are supposed to do it – every time, every day.
  2. They know how to treat other people. Kindness and courtesy are the lubricants that make everything go better. People want to help you – want to see you succeed – if they think you are nice. And if they don’t – well, then they could be working against you when you aren’t even aware of it. That will come back to bite you when you don’t get a project you thought you’d get or have a particularly difficult time getting something through the local planning or engineering dept.
  3. They keep learning. That means they are curious. They are open to new ideas. They read. They stay informed on what is going on in the world around them. They don’t think they know everything and are capable of learning new technologies and new/better ways of doing things.
  4. They are builders. They aren’t satisfied with the status quo. They know that growth is critical to their own development and also necessary if they want to keep good people working for them.
  5. They have a positive outlook and are persistent. Of course there will be setbacks. But that doesn’t mean you can let them crush you or deter you from your goal. It’s also critical to keeping other people working on your team. They have to feel there’s always hope that things will get better. The successful person is a beacon of hope in a fog of negative information.
  6. They love what they do and do what they love. I am convinced no one can ultimately achieve greatness doing something they don’t just love and think about most hours of the day. The passion for what you do impacts how hard you work and how much you’ll be willing to do to keep doing it. And it’s contagious. Passionate people draw inspiration from other passionate people in their field.
People who embody these six characteristics are the ones we are looking for in both of our businesses. The fact is you can look past a number of annoyances or problems with someone when they show they have these six traits because the odds are they’ll be a smashing success sooner than later! Mark Zweig is the chairman and CEO of ZweigWhite. Contact him with questions or comments at mzweig@zweigwhite.com. This article first appeared in The Zweig Letter (ISSN 1068-1310), issue #1046, originally published 3/10/2014. Copyright© 2014, ZweigWhite. All rights reserved.

About Zweig Group

Zweig Group, three times on the Inc. 500/5000 list, is the industry leader and premiere authority in AEC firm management and marketing, the go-to source for data and research, and the leading provider of customized learning and training. Zweig Group exists to help AEC firms succeed in a complicated and challenging marketplace through services that include: Mergers & Acquisitions, Strategic Planning, Valuation, Executive Search, Board of Director Services, Ownership Transition, Marketing & Branding, and Business Development Training. The firm has offices in Dallas and Fayetteville, Arkansas.