It is extraordinarily challenging to build a successful business or any kind of organisation from scratch.

We are told that 80% of businesses fail within the first 5 years, and a further 80% of the remaining 20% fail in the next 5 years. (That means only 4% of business start-ups are still going after 10 years).

Therefore I’d suggest there is a lot to learn from observing those who have attained good levels of sustained success.

Twenty-seven years ago I was team leader of a start-up that became a very successful Not-for Profit Community Organisation. Since then, in many and varied experiences with businesses and community organisations both in Australia and overseas, I have come to some conclusions about the kind of qualities a person needs to develop in order to be successful at building any kind of business or organisation.

The 5 qualities[1] I have regularly observed in those who have been successful in building a business or a community organisation are:

  1. Passion (a hunger to succeed, a reason bigger than themselves, strong sense of purpose, motivation – either enough pain if they don’t succeed or compelling vision that drives them forward)
  2. Self confidence (inner belief, security, trust in their capacity to make decisions and to follow through on their own plans, usually have gained valuable experience before started on own, not take themselves too seriously)
  3. People skills (likeability, ability to build rapport, to connect with people, desire to help people, a genuine interest in people whether customers or staff)
  4. Humility (teachability, openness to ask advice, willingness to listen, built a good team of advisors/mentors)
  5. Consistency (self discipline, focus, capacity to discern important things from time-wasters, good energy levels, life/work balance)


How do you rate yourself at any or all of these?

What else would you add?

Read more about building resilience.

[1] Obviously this list is general and there are always exceptions that prove the rule. Some people without all of them have been successful and also a few with all these qualities have not made it.

INTEGRATE: Why Work Life Balance is a Myth | John Drury

Integrate: Why Work Life Balance is a Myth and what you really need to create a fulfilling lifestyle

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