Top 15 Traits of Successful People

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published March 8, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

There is no one clear path to success. Different people achieve success in different ways, but there are some traits that successful people have in common that help them reach their goals. If you want to be more successful in your professional life, it is important to learn what traits you need and how to acquire them. In this article, we discuss the top 15 traits of successful people.

What makes someone successful?

A successful person is someone who sets and achieves goals. Some people may define success as being happy and fulfilled, while others may define it as having status and accomplishments. Often when talking about success, all of these elements are relevant. To be successful, it's crucial to understand what you want and make an effort to achieve it, whether it is a personal goal or a career goal.

Read more: How to Be Successful: The Ultimate Guide

Traits of successful people

Here are 15 traits that successful people tend to have in common:

1. Leadership

Successful people are typically strong leaders. To get what you want, you must be willing to make your own path rather than simply following others. Being a leader allows you to follow your dreams and make decisions that help you reach them. For example, if your goal is to get promoted to a manager-level position, then offering to lead a project or team may help you reach that goal.

2. Self-confidence

Self-confidence is another trait that successful people often have. In order to be successful in anything you do, you must first believe that you are capable. Having this self-confidence allows you to go after what you want and see your efforts through without giving up.

3. Aspiration

Another trait that contributes to success is aspiration. To be successful at anything, you first need an idea of how you want to succeed. Successful people are known for having clear-cut goals that they work hard to reach. Rather than having general aspirations like wanting to become rich, successful people focus on specific aspirations that they can create a blueprint for achieving, such as building their own companies or gaining relevant skills in their industries.

4. Drive

Successful people also have drive, which involves being motivated and taking initiative. This is one of the key traits of successful people because it motivates them to reach their goals. Having aspirations is important, but it is a person's drive that allows them to make those aspirations a reality.

5. Patience

Success does not always occur right away, so it is essential that you remain patient and continue to put in effort, even if you do not see immediate results. A good example of this is starting a new workout routine. You won't instantly see a difference or feel stronger, but if you have patience and continue to exercise, the results will follow. Additionally, if you pursue certification to increase your skills and knowledge in your industry, it may eventually help you get a better job.

Read more: 5 Ways Being More Patient Can Help Your Career (With Tips and Techniques)

6. Discipline

Along with drive and patience, successful people also have discipline. Once they are motivated to accomplish something, they work hard to achieve it and are consistent in their efforts. Having a strong work ethic makes people more successful. If you are disciplined, you can develop habits and routines that contribute to your success. For instance, you could create a to-do list of your daily responsibilities to hold yourself more accountable for your work each day.

Read more: Self Discipline: Definition and Examples

7. Communication

Communication is another important trait of successful people. To become successful, you need to be able to communicate effectively with others. It is often easier to achieve goals when you work with coworkers or peers, and that requires good communication. If your goal is to get a promotion at work, for example, you can communicate this desire with your managers either directly or through your effort and contribution at work.

8. Integrity

To truly achieve your goals and be successful in your own right, you must have integrity. Being honest and having moral standards allows people to achieve success without compromising their values. Having integrity also involves keeping your promises and making stronger relationships with your colleagues and clients, which can make you more successful over time.

9. Willingness to learn

In order to be successful, it's important to be willing to learn. No one is perfect, so being open to new ideas and ways to approach your goals can be a great help. Trying new methods in your career and making an active effort to improve yourself creates more opportunities for success.

10. Responsibility

Success is also connected to responsibility. You may face failures on your way to success, but in order to learn from them and improve, it's important to take responsibility for them and admit your mistakes. Successful people do not have too much pride to own up to their shortcomings, and this contributes to why they are successful.

11. Self-reliance

Another important trait of successful people is self-reliance. Although you may need to collaborate with others during your career, try not to rely too heavily on others. Being self-reliant allows you to overcome obstacles and make progress on your own, regardless of anyone else.

12. Optimism

Successful people are typically optimists. This doesn't mean that you can't and shouldn't be realistic, but successful people are usually able to stay positive despite challenges. Picturing your success can be a fundamental component to actualizing it, so optimism is an important trait to have.

13. Passion

Being passionate about what you do can help you reach your goals. In order to work for something, you must really care about it. Similar to the importance of drive, passion encourages you to work harder to reach your goals. However, drive is more about the end result and the determination to get there, whereas passion focuses on the journey to success and how you can make the process more enjoyable.

14. Creativity

Successful people also tend to be creative. This doesn't mean that every successful person is an artist or a writer. Successful people think in creative ways and don't allow themselves to be constrained by a conventional path. Being successful requires this trait because it allows you to create new ideas and develop solutions for whatever challenges you may face. Creativity also makes you stand out from others, which can help you reach specific goals, such as being chosen for a promotion or hired for a new job.

Read more: Your Guide to Improving Your Creativity at Work

15. Resilience

One last trait that successful people have is resilience. You may not necessarily achieve success immediately or on the first try, so it is important to stay resilient. Resilience in the face of failures or obstacles allows you to persevere and try again until you succeed. This is one of the most important traits that contribute to success because it keeps people from giving up on their goals.

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