Recently I was asked what entrepreneurial traits I believed contribute to business success, particularly for those starting up small businesses. In my 15+ years in this industry, I have worked with thousands of executives, business owners and entrepreneurs on their journeys of starting, building and running their own businesses, assisting them to understand the behaviours and thinking that contribute to both their personal and business success. From confidence, resilience and self-belief, to managing self-defeating behaviours and self-limiting thought patterns, my work has involved all facets of emotions, behaviours and thinking relating to optimal performance. Each person’s journey has been different and unique, however in my experience (and in accordance with a plethora of research) there are a few specific, measureable traits exhibited by those people who excel in the business world. So much so, that business literature has published hundreds of articles on these people detailing the attributes that have contributed to their success.

Obsessed for Success

A common theme across many of these articles is that individuals with a “passion” for their business and an intense, almost obsessional desire to make a difference in the world though their unique enterprises, are those who are the most successful. This type of obsession or “never say die” attitude stems from deep within the human psyche and is not something you can teach. These individuals motivate themselves through dedication and determination, and persist repeatedly even in the face of failure, all in the hope of making something different, better or new.

Excessive obsession as a trait is dysfunctional, however when managed appropriately and aligned to purpose and vision, it is a huge asset for commercial success. In my work, I coach many of these highly driven individuals to assist them to harness this strong gift.  A large part of coaching them is about focussing their obsession in a productive way so it becomes a powerful force for performance. This includes;

  • Conducting personality assessments targeted at measuring the “obsessive” trait and offering ways to manage it (e.g. Hogan’s Development Survey & the Leadership Circle);
  • Questioning the beliefs that drive their behaviours and ensuring they are aligned with their business goals and community values;
  • Assisting them to create a frame of reference and new ways of thinking, to ensure their obsessive energy is channelled into productive outcomes.

Through coaching, highly driven people are able to build their own self-awareness to focus their obsession and achieve sustainable business success.

Next time…

Workplaces in Crisis: What are the Warning Signs?