Elect to be Successful

Decision making

Today is the first Tuesday in November…election day somewhere.

Have you ever wondered why so many people in politics never seem to actually solve problems and do what is right?  The explanation is actually rather simple:

Many politicians exhibit those traits that are characteristic of unsuccessful people.

In what world of relationships, work, church, community or business would a person succeed by taking credit for good things, blaming others for bad things, doing only what makes them popular, telling people only what they want to hear, ignoring tough issues, making expedient selfish decisions, avoiding making the hard decisions and living every day criticizing and carrying grudges towards anyone with whom they disagree?

Honestly, if you knew a person like that at church or at the Starbucks, you would not choose to be close to them.  A CEO like that is not a CEO very long.  A pastor like that would not accomplish much. A friend like that would not be a good friend. But politicians like that get re-elected and keep their jobs.

Mary Ellen Tribby, founder and CEO at WorkingMomsOnly.com compiled a very interesting list of traits that are characteristic of successful and unsuccessful people.

Successful People
Have a sense of gratitude
Forgive others
Accept responsibility for their failures
Read everyday
Keep a journal
Talk about ideas
Want others to succeed
Share information and data
Keep a “to-be” list
Exude joy
Keep a “to-do/project” list
Set goals and develop life plans
Embrace change
Give other people credit for their victories
Operate from a transformational perspective
Unsuccessful People
Have a sense of entitlement
Hold a grudge
Blame others for their failures
Watch TV everyday
Say they keep a journal but don’t
Talk about people
Secretly hope others fail
Horde information and data
Don’t know what they want to be
Exude anger
Fly by their seat of their pants
Never set goals
Fear change
Take all the credit of their victories
Operate from a transactional perspective

Re-read the above material and insert “author” in the place of “politician”.  The publishing business is one of many businesses where interpersonal skills are the most useful. Call it a “people-business”.

You don’t need to be perfect. But if you decide to exude joy, give the publisher credit for what they do, embrace change, have a sense of gratitude and forgiveness and even hope that other authors succeed, you might not sell more books, but your blood pressure will be lower, you will have more friends and maybe, just maybe, you’ll actually enjoy this nutty industry.

I know I started with politics, but what does this post spark in you today OTHER than politics?

8 Responses to Elect to be Successful

  1. Deborah Raney November 5, 2013 at 5:14 am #

    Great post, Dan. That chart is so accurate of the successful authors I know (and sadly, some of the unsuccessful ones, too).

  2. Judith Robl November 5, 2013 at 5:37 am #

    Thank you for reminding us that attitude and work ethic really count in this nutty business. Love the traits charts. Will have to print and hang in my office as reminders of how to and how not to succeed.

    Now, how do we change the political model?

  3. Jeanne Takenaka November 5, 2013 at 7:20 am #

    Yes, it’s an election day here where I live. 🙂 School board and amendments and such.

    I loved this list. It’s the mom coming out in me, but I loved this list as some solid “goals” to aim for as I raise my children. I know, you got it from a “mom blog,” so it makes sense. 🙂

    I think these qualities go with any occupation. They deal with/reveal the character of the person.

    I’m with Judith. Planning to print this list out and hang it up as a reminder both for me and for helping hubby and me as we raise our kiddos.

  4. Joseph Bentz November 5, 2013 at 9:44 am #

    I love that list about the characteristics of successful and unsuccessful people. Very true and helpful–and convicting.

  5. Meghan Carver November 5, 2013 at 9:59 am #

    Those lists are certainly revealing, Dan. Thank you!

  6. Micky Wolf November 5, 2013 at 10:14 am #

    Most insightful post,Dan! Definitely applicable in many settings. Thank you!

  7. Marci Seither November 5, 2013 at 10:50 am #

    Love the list as well..printing it..laminating it and attaching it to the fridge so that it will be a daily reminder. The other thing I would add to the list is that a successful person doesn’t allow the fear of failure to determine if they are willing to take the risk of putting effort into action. Sometimes we don’t know the outcome before we take a step forward, but a successful person is willing to learn and often see failure as never trying.

    Great post Dan!

  8. J.D. Maloy November 5, 2013 at 1:14 pm #

    This post inspired me to keep it real by displaying my Christ-centered light. Oh, how the darkness flees when there is light.

    Marci, you go girl! Your comment reminded me that sometimes we need to step into the water, first, before God parts the sea.

    Thank you!

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