An insurance company once did an analysis of its top-tier performers compared with the rest of their sales people. They were looking for “natural” competencies that were not trained skills. Managers were asked what personal characteristics these people possessed that were crucial to their success. The results might surprise you:
- Competitive Spirit – The top-tier performers competed with themselves. They loved to win and hated not living up to their potential. They studied their competition and others who were successful. When they saw their weaknesses they develop that area to improve. They also have the mind-set that always asks, “What’s next?”
- Teachability- The top-tier performers had an insatiable appetite for and a curiosity about learning. They took instruction well and were not defensive. The true top performer had a rare combination of a competitive spirit but was willing to listen too.
- Wit – This was the surprising characteristic. By wit, we mean quick thinkers. Top-tier performers have an ability to think on their feet. It includes an ability to use humor to deflect tension and build rapport. The top-tier performers all had what customers called a “likeable demeanor.”
It is always hard to analyze our strengths and weaknesses. At the same time, when we do, and we look at opportunities to grow, we do find success. Keep these three characteristics in mind when you look at yourself and your successes.