Business Essentials for Professionals


5 Qualities of Outstanding Leaders

Once, millionaire and owner of a successful business Richard St. John come to think: "What makes successful people successful?” He interviewed 500 most successful people, including Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Richard Branson and J.K. Rowling. Then, having analyzed hundreds of interviews, biographies and memoirs, he wrote the book "8 to be great". There, he speaks about eight main qualities of leaders. Here are five of them


The first general quality for successful people - love for the work they do. All qualities are important, yet passion tops the list. Love to the business will enable you to develop the seven remaining qualities more easily. When the author asked successful people that helped them reach the top, the first things they mentioned were love" and "passion". When Russell Crowe told about what led him to the "Oscar" for Best Actor, he used the two words: "The main thing - I like to play. I love it passionately. I like to tell stories, so dealing with the matter is easy for me." "The only path to true satisfaction is through the work that you think is outstanding. The only way to ensure that the work is outstanding is through your love for your work,"- said Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple. J.K. Rowling said: "I love writing books. I do not think that someone enjoys reading them as much as I when creating them."

The second general quality of successful people is diligence. When Mr. St. John asked Martha Stewart what helped her achieve the phenomenal success, she replied: "I have always worked hard. I always just work, work and work. Never believe what someone will do your work for you." Ted Turner said that work helped him win the America's Cup in sailing races. "You cannot win the yachts competition if you work less than your rivals. Nothing comes by itself. During my first eight years of yacht racing, I had not won competitions even at my own club. Yet, I kept working, working, and working. This is the secret of my success." Labor has become the key to the success of Google, noted co-founder of the global search service Larry Page. "We started working on this search engine eight or nine years ago as Stanford University students. We worked on it very hard, 24 hours a day, always. Inspiration alone is not enough for success. 10 per cent of it probably consist of inspiration and 90 per cent - of working up until sweat blood."


The third general quality is the ability to concentrate. Renowned film director Norman Jewison said: "I think everything in life depends on your ability to focus on one thing and devote himself to it. I believe that the ability to do one thing gives not only satisfaction, but also a sense of confidence." Professor of mathematics Arthur Benjamin said: "I think that every successful person is focused on what he really loves most of the time." Arthur’s concentration on mathematics made him "the best calculator of America."

Ability to overcome personal boundaries

The fourth personal quality of all successful people is the ability to force yourself to do something you need. Legendary management consultant Peter Drucker summed it very clear: "force, force, and again force yourself to act. Then you will see the results."

Virgin Group founder Richard Branson told, "Whatever you do, always push yourself to the limit of possibilities. I love to overcome myself and find out what I'm really capable of. I think that this lifestyle brings people the most satisfaction."


The fifth overall quality of successful people is the ability to generate good ideas. This is a powerful source of mental energy. The better your idea, the more energy you can move forward with. Once there was a popular song that was called "You Light Up My Life". It is about a man, yet this phrase is applicable to any good idea: it can really light up your life. This is what happened with Bill Gates. He said "I had an idea: to create the first company to produce PC software." Later, this little idea has made Bill a giant in the field of high technologies and the richest man in the world. Earlier, news channels were broadcast only a few times a day, but Ted Turner thought, why not make news viewed at any time of the day or night? And there was the world's first network CNN 24-hour broadcast. Ted’s idea lit path to success and changed the world of television. Not surprisingly, he then said "I am going to conquer the world, not with bombs, but with help of good ideas." CEO of General Electric, Jack Welch was well aware of the power of ideas. He said "My job is search for good ideas, their development and distribution in the world of business at the speed of light."

based on "The 8 Traits Successful People Have in Common. 8 to Be Great" by Richard St. John

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