7 Traits of the BEST of the BEST

As a keynote speaker and leadership trainer, I have the privilege of working alongside some of the “best of the best.” Some amazingly successful people.

To clarify, “amazingly successful” does not necessarily mean these people have achieved power, prestige, riches, or fame. Some have. Others have not. In fact, some names you would know. Others… not so much.

So what makes them “amazingly successful?” Whether they are well known or not, each person has maximized their opportunities in life and work because they are committed to excellence and want to invest their lives well. They all possess a growth mindset and constantly strive to become better. Each is rich in relationships. They also seek to impact others and make a positive difference in the world.

I could go on, but perhaps the best way to articulate what makes these folks “amazingly successful” is that they are not distracted by shallow things. Instead, they focus on what truly matters. This leads to a rich and meaningful life, which is why these people are the best of the best in my book.

Amazingly, none of these individuals possess a magic gene or superpower. They just have different habits than most people. And that is great news for you and me! It means we can join this elite group by choosing to practice the same habits.

7 Habits of the BEST of the BEST

1. The best of the best discover and pursue their purpose.

One reason these individuals are so successful is because they know the why behind what they do. However, knowing this why didn’t necessarily come easy. They made it a habit to pursue good and noble things instead of just drifting through life. This led to discovering a higher calling, one which becomes clearer over time as they pursue it. As John Maxwell writes, “Success is knowing your purpose in life, growing to reach your maximum potential, and sowing seeds that benefit others.”

2. The best of the best move from DREAM to DO.

Many people DREAM of accomplishing great things. But the best of the best are willing to DO what it takes to accomplish those great things. They embrace the attitude that no matter how hard it is or how long it takes, they are going to make it happen.

3. The best of the best know that BIG is Little and Little is BIG.

Successful people also understand that their big dreams are more likely to come about by doing a few, important little things day in and day out. If they stay committed to doing these few little things well day in and day out, the big successes they hope to achieve are almost guaranteed.

4. The best of the best focus on being before doing.

The best of the best know that what they believe in is evidenced by how they live, not just by what they say. Additionally, they know that nothing shapes how they live more than who they are. Therefore, they focus on becoming people of character first and foremost.

5. The best of the best are Response-ABLE.

Truly successful people have an E+R=O mindset instead of an E=O mindset.

  • An E=O mindset believes that the EVENTS that happen to a person equals the OUTCOMES that person experiences. The problem with this mindset is no one can control what happens to them. And that's why this mindset leads to excuses and eventually failure.
  • An E+R=O mindset, on the other hand, believes that the EVENTS that happen to a person plus that person's RESPONSE equals the OUTCOMES that person experiences. This mindset empowers people to shape the outcomes they experience by choosing their response. In other words, this mindset empowers people to become Response-ABLE.

6. The best of the best are lifelong learners.

High achievers seek constant, continual improvement in order to become the best version of themselves. They learn from others that they respect; people who have gone before them and blazed a trail. They do this through reading, listening to podcasts, training, being mentored, and more.

7. The best of the best serve others.

Genuinely successful people are legacy-minded, but not in the sense of trying to get recognition or rewards. They know that the most fulfilling reward in life is helping others grow and get better. Therefore, they strive to bring out the best in themselves and those around them.


NOTE: Special thanks to Jon Gordon for the phrase “Best of the Best” and Stephen Covey for the phrase “7 Habits.” While these phrases are not copyrighted, I want to acknowledge that the use of these phrases in their writings is, in part, what inspired this article. If you want to join the ranks of the best of the best, I highly recommend the works of Jon Gordon and Stephen Covey. Their resources are excellent!

Want More?3 Steps to Living E+R=O in Your Daily Life

It’s easy to be successful when everything goes smoothly. But when you hit a few bumps, overcoming obstacles becomes more challenging.

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