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16 factors of success that are more important than intelligence

16 factors of success, that are more important than intelligence

European Business Listicle 33/2018

Only intelligent people manage to be successful? Certainly not as it’s not just a matter of intelligence. We’ve summed up the factors that make us successful and that are just as decisive for the career as intelligence itself. The good news: While we can influence intelligence only very little, it’s possible with many of these aspects!


1. Passion

When your heart beats for a certain cause, you’re undefeatable. Passion is a guarantee that you’ll still persevere when things get tough and that as long as it takes to be successful.

2. Authenticity

Don’t waste your time maintaining an image of yourself that the people around you like but that’s not who you are. It will cost you too much energy in the long run that you actually need for your success. Just be yourself and make the most of your strengths – that’s convincing.

3. Optimism

Is the glass half empty or half full? The right perspective is key. If you go through life with optimism, you can motivate yourself much better for success.

4. Empathy

Can you empathize with your counterpart? If so, you have a clear advantage because the sense of expectations and emotions of others is very helpful and allows you to reach consensus more easily with others.

5. Openness

There is a lot of change, especially in this day and age. If you are not open to change, you will at some point not be able to participate actively, regardless of how intelligent you are. Being open to new things and new challenges, on the other hand, makes it possible to react quickly to change and in some cases to be able to use it to your advantage.

6. Support

In difficult situations, support from your social surroundings helps you to overcome setbacks and master challenges. Knowing that you won’t be left alone, even if you fail, you can find the path to success much more freely.

7. Communication skills

“You can get help only if you ask,” an old saying goes. And it’s true: If you communicate with others, you can achieve a lot. Take the initiative and speak to others about what you would like to achieve. That’s how you’ll reach your goal.

8. Motivation

Motivation is what lets you keep going and drives you to be successful. If you can motivate yourself well, nothing can stop you.

9. Willingness to learn

Staying at the same level of knowledge means that others will pass you by at some point. If you’re lacking skills, you can certainly acquire them by learning. Be prepared to continue learning and accept advice and information from others.

10. Courage

On the path to success, you often have to make decisions that are difficult because they find little favour in your environment or because they’re connected with financial risk. If you’re courageous, you’ll be able to make these decisions against all obstacles – “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

11. Resilience

Resilience is the ability to cope well with pressure and stress situations. Mistakes are nothing to be ashamed of but rather a chance to learn and do better the next time.

12. Discipline

If you want to be successful, you have to hang in there. That works only with discipline. Are you prepared to work on your success every day and to remain persistent even when things become taxing?

13. Organizational skills

The path to your goal is made up of small steps. So that the goal can be reached, it will be of benefit to you if you can identify and name the individual steps, and then also have a plan as to how and when they can be implemented.

14. Confidence

You believe in your success and can communicate that? Appearing confident will impress those around you and helps you be perceived as successful, thus making the path to success easier to pursue.

15. Sense of responsibility

Taking responsibility for your own decisions and actions is important to continuing your development. If you don’t do that, at some point, you won’t get ahead anymore despite smarts.

16. Patience

“Good things come to those who wait” – With a little patience, you can be much more successful in the long run. Be prepared to wait a little longer for success. That will make it possible for you to approach decisions with a much greater foresight.


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