6 Characteristics of the Top 1% of Successful People

June 20, 2013

Garrison Wynn’s six characteristics of successful people can be applied to radiology management.

I enjoy reading self-help books, and there are lots of them in publication. There’s one book in my collection which I have found to be extremely informative: “The Real Truth About Success,” by Garrison Wynn. 

After 10 years of interviews with more than 5,000 top performers in their field, Wynn detailed what he believes to be the six key characteristics to their success. I have tried to take these six observations and use them to my advantage in the hectic world of healthcare management.

1. People are most likely to bond with people who listen more than they talk. You ask, how can listening be so powerful? Because we are terrible at it. According to the International Learning Association, we are distracted, preoccupied, or forgetful about 75 percent of the time we are listening.

2. People are most likely to agree with people who do not make them feel wrong. People do not like to hear the word “wrong.” Use body language and speech to communicate that you disagree.

3. People are more likely to value a solution they helped create. Make a habit of letting people know how important their input is. I try to make a point of telling people, “Hey, that’s a good idea.”

4. People are most likely to abandon a complex process, even if it works. How many times have you thought the more complicated something is the more effective the process must be? This would be incorrect. Successful people will abandon a process that is too complicated. Never underestimate the power of simplicity.

5. People are most likely to choose what they’re comfortable with, whether or not it’s the best.  For example, more people read USA Today than The New York Times. Does USA Today have better journalism than The New York Times? No, but USA Today has more color pictures and graphs and its articles are short and to the point. Readers tend to find comfort in that.

6. People are most likely to follow leaders who make them feel important; those leaders are most likely to elicit the best performance. If we make people feel valued and important they likely will be more dedicated and performance oriented.

What Wynn found out is that these six observations all point to the power of influence being seated in trust, clarity, and comfort. The next time you are implementing a new process or talking with your staff, remember these six points. Write them down on an index card and put them in your desk so they are easily accessible.

From a 206-page book I have provided you only a small portion of information Wynn presents. If you would like to really expand your knowledge on these six characteristics, read the book.