6 Shared Factors Of Successful Executives

Writen by Jason Katzenback

These factors where determined by interviews with and books from very successful people. Fac­tors which eminently successful people con­sidered essential were collected and classified. They were gathered from talks with big men, from personal letters, from printed interviews, and from books… the end result being ideas of thirty-one of the most successful people of our country.

Although their ideas differ, yet certain factors are listed by each of these men; and seventeen qualities are mentioned more than twenty times. They are: health, good ap­pearance, hard work, enthusiasm, industry, persistence, sincerity, earnestness, self-confidence, concentration, determination, honesty, good memory, self-control, tact, patience, and imagination.

These qualities are not determinants of success. They do not guarantee success. Of course, they are important. They are valuable assets, but not determining factors. For instance, a man must "work hard" to succeed, but "hard work" does not always bring success.

1. Health: I know a man in perfect physi­cal health; he has strong muscles and the strength of two ordinary men; his complex­ion is clean; his skin is ruddy; his eyes are clear. Yet, he is a failure-his wife sup­ports him. I know another man, who has been in poor health for twenty years. He is an eminently successful man. Health is a valuable asset, but it is not a determining factor of success.

2. Good Appearance: I know a man with the bearing of a Royal Prince-splendid shoulders, pleasing manners, and attractive smile. He looks you directly in the eye. He resides at Sing Sing.

3. Enthusiasm, Industry, Persistence, Sin­cerity, and Self-Confidence: I know a man who spent a year trying to collect money to pub­lish certain literature to be distributed among the boys in the trenches. He wished to convince the soldiers that they should worship the Lord on Saturday instead of Sunday. He was enthusiastic, persistent, sincere, earnest, and self-confident. He was not a success.

4. Concentration, Determination, Honesty: There is a certain man who concentrates so intently on his work that he often forgets to eat and sleep; he's determined to win, and he is absolutely honest. He has been working seven years to invent a shirt which will not wear out, and which need not be washed. His honesty, concentration, and determination have not made him success­ful. He is in an asylum in Pennsylvania.

5. Memory, Self-Control, Tact, and Patience: I know a man who remembers the names of hundreds of people; he never confuses one with another. He has self-control, tact, and infinite patience. He has not succeeded greatly. He is the footman who opens the doors of the limousines of the women who shop at a certain department store.

6. Imagination: I know of a girl, who for ten years ran a machine in a shoe factory. When I once questioned her of what she thought each day during her work, she re­plied, " Oh, I just start the machine a-goin' and then I imagine I'm one of them duch­esses I read about in the novels.'' Since many character factors are helpful assets, but not the determining factors, what are the personal factors which make success certain?

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