How often do we equate success with talent? All the time. But the reality is, success isn’t created by talent alone. Just like we might see immense talent squandered, we also see underdogs unexpectedly overachieve. Here are 10 behaviors that we can always control that require zero talent yet have a huge impact on our success.
1. Being on time. Punctuality is a keystone habit that requires organization and planning ahead—both of which lead to greater success.
2. Work ethic. This is the discipline of showing up consistently and making the best decisions that lead to peak performance. Even at the pinnacle of his career, basketball superstar Kobe Bryant’s work ethic was legendary. Kevin Durant recalls the message a veteran Kobe sent the younger players at Olympic Trials back in 2008, just after Durant’s first year in the league. The players were given a day off, but there was Kobe, the only veteran getting on the bus to go work out at a high school gym.
3. Effort. Few athletes worked as hard as major league pitcher John Smoltz, who is now in the Baseball Hall of Fame. He extended his career by years through sheer effort and commitment. He made up his mind to make changes along the way, like going from starter to closer, that kept him in the game as a valuable contributor to his team. Effort is a mindset as much as it is a behavior.
4. Body language. How you move and express yourself around others shapes who you are and how you are perceived.
5. Energy. Everyone has energy to devote to a goal, and the decision of how much to give. Be conscious about where yours goes.
6. Attitude. It’s up to you to keep going. No one else can decide that. A great attitude maximizes the talent that you do have and offsets what you lack.
7. Passion. Perhaps the single most important way each one of us can suffocate the fear that keeps us from peak performance.
8. Being coachable. Anyone can become a better listener, learn from feedback, and embrace the success of others.
9. Doing extra. Go the extra mile. I see it all the time with employees I worked with. The ones who sustained their success were the ones who consistently worked at their craft beyond what was required. That extra work and preparation fosters confidence. We can all learn from this approach and exceed our own expectations.
10. Being prepared. Only you can give yourself the time and space to be as ready as you can be. Make it a habit, and you will make the most of your talent. There is great truth in the saying: Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.
Your Game Changer Takeaway
Remember that talent is never enough. The best of the best don’t rest on what they were born with—they dig down to get the most they can. Try these 10 things (or just one!) and over time it will pay off.