The Most Important Attribute for Success Forgotten by Many

Too many people have forgotten the most important attribute for success. In sales. In management. In leadership. Even for your personal success.

This attribute is no longer written about, talked about, or given the attention it once was. It is, unfortunately, out of fashion.

This attribute has taken a back seat to things like “brand” when brand means your social reach. It’s fallen behind ideas like “hacking,” whether that be life hacking or growth hacking or 10Xing your results. In the age of selfies, this attribute is overshadowed by fame, even as more people are famous for being famous or for being provocative. Or for demonstrating a lack of this attribute.

The most important attribute is character.

The Role of Character in Sales

No one wants to buy something from a person  they believe lacks character. You can’t trust someone without character. Even when someone is likable, a lack of character prevents the relationship from going any further. The more risk there is, the more character matters.

Once you demonstrate a lack of character, you eliminate the possibility of success in sales. No one wants to buy from you if you lack character. You can’t be sketchy or self-oriented and sell.

The Role of Character in Management

As a manager, you need to have character.

A few months ago, a number of readers of this blog and my Sunday Newsletter noticed that their manager was plagiarizing my work. They wanted to report their manager’s lack of character to his leader, and they wrote to me to tell me that this offense made it difficult to work for him. Their view was that his lack of character in this instance was evidence that he lacked character in other areas.

If some part of your work is dishonest, it leads people to believe that you are dishonest in other areas.

The Role of Character in Leadership

Leadership is built on character. A leader is the person who can be counted on to do the right thing even when the right thing is difficult. They’re the person who not only helps to create and maintain the values of the organization they lead, they also embody those values.

The leader’s character becomes the character of the organization they lead.

Character counts. If you want to sell more, then be someone worth buying from. That means character. If you want your people to follow you, then provide them with the example of what you want from them.

Focusing on the quiet work of character is more powerful than attention. It’s important to be known, but it’s more important that you are known for the things that make you worth knowing.

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