Traits of unusually successful people

Aug 25, 2016

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If successful people accomplish 20 time‎s what average people do, unusually successful people accomplish 20 times what successful people do. Who do you want to emulate? 

There are successful people and then there are unusually successful people. ‎The unusually successful people are twenty times more successful than just ordinary successful people. I have had the good fortune to get to know a few of these – inside the A/E industry and outside of it. And here are some of my observations about them:

  1. They make friends instead of enemies. You don't want anyone out there shooting you in the back. The unusually successful people get this idea and live by it. That's why they know how to treat other people so others like them.
  1. They don't throw in the towel easily. They may get knocked down but they get up again. They just don't give up on anything. That means people, revenue-producing units, or problems. The weak give up but the strong keep on working until they succeed.
  1. They stay "on." That means the unusually successful folks have unusually high energy and can work a lot. Maybe 16-18 hours a day sometimes? But it isn't work for them because they love what they do and if you truly love your work you'll never have to work a day in your life.
  1. They're considerate. Unusually successful people think about the other guy. They keep their appointments, don't have their secretaries place their outbound calls and then make the person they're calling wait until they are summoned to the phone, and much more. They ask questions and show an interest in people. And they have good manners.
  1. They are constantly looking to hire. Unusually successful people know they are no better than the weakest member of their team. So they are constantly trying to bolster their teams. And that means virtually every single person they meet they'll be evaluating as a potential hire. And if the initial impression is good they'll be selling that individual on coming to work with them.
  1. They see opportunity everywhere. The unusually successful people see the opportunities that others don't. They NEVER suffer from a lack of opportunities. But they also know which ones to pursue. And which ones not to. By being able to say "No" they save their energies for the things that have the best potential for payoff.
  1. They can multi-task and hyper-focus. This takes intelligence but something more. The unusually successful get this better than anyone else. Yes they can juggle a million things – but they can also bear down and get very difficult things fully completed when necessary.
  1. They're "real." The unusually successful people don't have to pretend they're someone else. They are themselves at all times. That helps them get a positive reaction from others as people like real people. And because they aren't putting on an act they can always sustain it. And that is essential to their success.

If successful people accomplish 20 time‎s what average people do, unusually successful people accomplish 20 times what successful people do. Who do you want to emulate?

Mark Zweig is Zweig Group’s founder and CEO. Contact him at

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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.