Research demonstrates that when a person fails in their career, 90% of the time it is attributed to their behavior, not skills, education, knowledge or experience. When we put this together with the data that has been amassed from the over 40 years that the Winslow Personality Assessment has been around, we can identify which personality traits have the greatest influence of behavior that leads to success.
So what does this do for me, you might ask. When I was a kid I would ponder the Falling Rock Zone sign on the NY State Thruway. What is the point of knowing that, I would wonder. What could you do if a rock fell on your car? Now I realize that the sign alerts you to a possibility so that you are better prepared in the event that a rock has fallen or falls while you are driving. Well, being aware of the impact of personality traits on behavior and personal awareness of how these traits show up in you are akin to knowing when you are in a falling rock zone. You can choose to change your behavior accordingly, be extra alert for falling rocks.
The three personality traits that are most closely associated with success are ambition, tough mindedness and self-confidence. Think Oprah Winfrey, Dirty Harry, and Martha Stewart. We all fall somewhere on the continuum that ranges from high to low.
Ambition is about drive. Those with high ambition are goal-oriented, striving, competitive, set high standards and experience success as a major source of personal satisfaction. The down side is if you may never be satisfied and lack life balance. Low ambition can lead you to be happy with less than your best, complacent, and unmotivated.
Tough-mindedness is resilience, being undeterred by obstacles, and easily handling criticism. Those who are tough-minded are cool under pressure.The down side is that you may be insensitive and lack tact. Those with low tough-mindedness are easily deterred, require lots of positive encouragement and can take offense when none is intended.
Self-confidence is the unfaltering trust in self. Those high in self-confidence are self-assured, welcome challenges, are comfortable expressing ideas, and have unshakable nerve. The down side is that you may be unaware your own limitations. Those with low self-confidence don't believe in their own abilities, are apprehensive and easily intimidated. Their insecurity can be paralyzing.
Where are you in the continuum of these personality traits? Do you see something that is driving a behavior that is an obstacle to your success? Is it possible to improve your chances for success if you fall low on the continuum of these personality traits? The answer is yes!!
The first step is to acknowledge the need for development. And the best approach to development is to control your behavior rather then to try to change your personality. If you find the motivation and apply commitment, discipline and patience, you can create behaviors that will move you closer to success.