The 11 Keys to Success

Julie Jansen, author of "I Don't Know What I Want, But I Know It's Not This"

successIn his best-selling book "Emotional Intelligence," Daniel Goleman writes, "There are widespread exceptions to the rule that IQ predicts success ... at best, IQ contributes about 20 percent to the factors that determine life success, which leaves 80 percent to other forces."

Goleman goes on to explain, "These other characteristics are called emotional intelligence: abilities such as being able to motivate oneself and persist in the face of frustrations; to control impulse and delay gratification; to regulate one's moods and keep distress from swamping the ability to think; to empathize and to hope."

This book is full of assessments, tools, resources and how-tos to help guide you in finding new work that will better meet your personal and financial needs. No matter which category you fit in, however, unless you are able to demonstrate and master a specific set of life skills and traits, you will find it difficult to find the work you want.

Observing people in the workplace has yielded 11 keys to success. Time and again, it is apparent that those individuals who exhibit these 11 keys and use them most productively are consistently the most successful and well-liked individuals overall. The good news is that most people are born with at least some of these keys or learned them at a very young age, and all of these keys can be developed or learned later in life.

These are the 11 keys to success:

1. Confidence

An unshakable belief in oneself based on a realistic understanding of one's circumstances; a trait that most people admire in others and strive to acquire themselves.

2. Curiosity

Being eager to know and learn; always showing interest and giving special attention to the less obvious; always being the person who says, "I want to know more about . . . ."

3. Decisiveness

Arriving at a final conclusion or making a choice and taking action; making decisions with determination even when you don't have all the information you think you need.

4. Empathy

Demonstrating caring and understanding of someone else's situation, feelings and motives; always thinking about what it's like to walk in someone else's shoes.

5. Flexibility

Being capable of change; responding positively to change; being pliable, adaptable, nonrigid and able to deal with ambiguity.

6. Humor

Viewing yourself and the world with enjoyment; not taking life or yourself too seriously; being amusing, amused and, at times, even comical.

7. Intelligence

Thinking and working smartly and cleverly; being sharp in your dealings; "not reinventing the wheel"; planning before acting; working efficiently and focusing on quality over quantity. (Important note: This is different from IQ, the common abbreviation for intelligence quotient.)

8. Optimism

Expecting the best possible outcome and dwelling on the most hopeful or positive aspects of a situation; believing that the glass is half full rather than half empty.

9. Perseverance

Having passion, energy, focus and the desire to get results. Motivation, persistence and hard work are all aspects of perseverance.

10. Respect

Remembering that it is just as easy to be nice; protecting another person's self-esteem; treating others in a considerate and courteous manner.

11. Self-awareness

A sophisticated form of consciousness that enables you to regulate yourself by monitoring yourself, observing yourself and changing your thought processes and behaviors.

Which of these keys are among your strengths? Which of the 11 are among your weaknesses? Self-awareness, the 11th key, is really the foundation for understanding yourself. If you are not sure how self-aware you are, ask several people whom you trust which of these 11 keys they believe are your strengths and which are not. Again, while no one person possesses all of these keys in equal amounts, each of them can be developed and improved.

Next:Your Career is in the Cards (of Destiny) >>


Julie Jansen is the author of "I Don't Know What I Want, But I Know It's Not This." She is a career coach and consultant who is also a frequent speaker at both nonprofit groups and corporations through the United States.

Read Full Story