Who we are as people, and the skills we accrue, have the potential to be a great determinant of our success in both our personal and professional lives. Research has previously shown that the big five personality traits play a large role in our lives, from influencing career choices to predicting life satisfaction.
Outside of these commonly accepted personality traits, however, there are character traits which have their own impact on our success. Whether you have an exceptional memory, the grit to push through any challenge or an overflowing pool of empathy for others—among other skills—each of us possess character traits which, if cultivated, set us apart from those around us. In our daily lives, these traits can make us better friends or partners—in our careers, they can allow us to further our success, should we choose to take advantage of these natural strengths.
It is not one tool which can make us succeed in our careers—resilience cannot serve you when it comes to good communication, nor listening when you need to dig in your heels and get to work. But by using these traits to their fullest potential, we can find greater success in certain areas than others, and in doing so, set ourselves apart from the pack. To help you identify what your secret weapon might be, we asked six entrepreneurs to share the character traits they identified as their own secret weapons:
Charisma—a trait I got from my late father. I have the ability to pull people in with my charisma and passion for something and share my energy in a way that transfers to them. I love this quality because it mobilizes people to take action in an area of their life they may not have thought was possible.
—Neha Gupta, founder, College Shortcuts
Persistence has been key. This has helped me remain steadfast through a variety of challenges that may have deterred me if I had less tenacity. Creating a successful business is a long game and it’s easy to forget that when things get tough.
—Jakki Liberman, founder, Bumkins
Attention to Detail
My ability to remember the tiniest of details allows me to come up with solutions to problems that are being overlooked. Many people forget small details about what is possible.
—Laura Land, co-founder and CEO, Marketplace Valet
Resilience. Negative stuff is going to happen in any business you run. When you can bounce back from any issue, you will win in business.
—Erica Douglass, co-owner, 1Up Repairs
I listen. I like to hear everyone’s perspective and have a strong understanding of the situation before rushing to judgment. Often, I do not weigh in until the end of a meeting or even the next day.
—Eleanor Hong, chief marketing and strategy officer, Smart & Final
Curiosity. It makes me creative, empathetic, dogged, intense, passionate and seeking.
—Jessica Kogan, co-founder and CDO, The Digital Voice
This article was published in April 2019 and has been updated. Photo by Nastya.ivs/Shutterstock