Smarts Aren’t the only Key to Success

If you walked into a conference room with ten people in it and asked each person to share the one trait or characteristic they thought was most conducive to success, how many do you think would say ‘Intelligence’?

If your guess is more than half, you wouldn’t be wrong. Many people believe a high intellect is required for an individual to achieve success. Despite this, recent studies show that this is not necessarily the case, and that there are several other factors (specifically personality traits) that are just as important, if not more important to a person’s success than their intelligence.

  1. Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence comes from awareness; an understanding of how feelings and circumstances can impact a person daily. An emotionally intelligent person is someone who understands how both of those factors affect them and can logically transfer that same understanding to how those factors would impact their coworkers or peers. As employees, we want to work alongside people who are ‘put-together’ or well composed in how they handle their business because these people often place themselves in the best path for success. Emotional intelligence also governs other areas of a person’s personality; for example, the ability to be a strong self-regulator, maintain a keen sense of empathy and exhibit grit or mental toughness when faced with a tough problem are all necessary traits for success that do not require a person to have a high IQ, but rather a high EQ.

  1. A Growth Oriented Mindsight

The ability to accept challenges and setbacks with a grin, knowing that the challenge will only allow you to better prepare yourself to master the task at hand, is a valuable trait. This trait ties in with two other key traits for success; conscientiousness and an openness to experience. A person who is growth oriented is looking for ways to expand constantly, knowing that it makes them better – this openness to experience signifies a natural curiosity and puts growth minded people in line for new avenues to grow and succeed. Conscientiousness is what allows growth oriented people to stick to a particular path or process, while working to ensure that they are growing and not meandering or wasting time.

  1. Passion

Passion is the fuel that drives us in pursuit of excellence. When self-empowered people are in pursuit of something they care about deeply, there are few obstacles that can slow down that kind of power. The human mind is capable of amazing things with the right influences applied, and passion is one of the strongest. Pursuing an area of skill or knowledge is certainly one way of attaining success, but combining skill and knowledge with passion will almost guarantee your success, because you now have a stronger driving factor than simply ‘being good’ at something.

Ultimately, it should be said that being successful does not mean you have to be the smartest person in the room. Success comes from being able to manage and maintain one’s own best self despite adversity. Success comes from pursuing opportunities to grow and learn, and success comes from combining passion with knowledge and skill, along the pursuit of achieving excellently.

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