With watching the recent Olympics and observing successful people I’ve been intrigued by what makes some of them likeable and others are well, just grating.  Truly successful people have the ability to get those around them to celebrate their success and get their audience to be inspired by their journey.  There are other people who claim success that seem to turn us all off as soon as they open their mouths or post on social media, but what makes them different.

I’ve been taking notes and I have begun to understand what it is about those successful people that we warm to, and how they take us with them on their journey.  They may have carefully planned PR campaigns working around them constantly or they might genuinely understand the subtleties of the human condition and how to foster an empathy from the people they come into contact with.  There is probably a mix of both at play if I’m honest.

For those of us who do not have a PR team carefully planning every word, social media post or action we take, we can still think about the behaviours that will foster feelings of admiration towards us and those that will turn people right off.

Barack Obama

Let Your Success Be Your Noise

I’ve seen this phrase misunderstood so many times, so I thought it would be a good place to start.  This is about letting your achievements speak for themselves instead of shouting from the rooftops ‘look at me’. Modesty is very much the key to wearing success with dignity, and always sharing what you’ve done, achieved, won or however else you measure success in your life, is the quickest way to annoy not only your peers but those who you are trying to influence.  I don’t see sportsman bragging about their medals after a big event, they have another way to get the message out.

Let Others Tell Your Story

This takes me onto something else I have observed about successful people.  They don’t tell their own story, other people do it for them.  If a person is truly successful then the people around them will tell their story and why they admire them.  If they are in the media spotlight, then this is something quite easy to do as you will receive coverage constantly about your achievements.

For those who aren’t in the media spotlight, it is certainly is still possible.  We all have peers and probably some networks or professional bodies around us that will talk regularly about successes in your industry or field.  Networking with them and getting on their radar is the first step.

Once you have been noticed, opportunities will most certainly arise for you to feature in coverage, give talks or what ever else may be relevant to your industry.  What ever the opportunity, leave the promotion to someone else.  It will have far more credibility that way.

The Art Of Being Successful (And Being Admired For It)

Share Your Knowledge, Not Your Wins

As people we respect knowledge and dedication far more than we respect the constant blowing of trumpets.  You might be sharing some amazing tips with your audience, but if you are constantly telling them how great your are too, it will drown out the effect.

When ever the opportunity arises share your knowledge with the people you come into contact with.  This is something that should be done sensitively and with tact, but there will be times when you can genuinely offer someone something positive because of something you know and it’s about spotting those natural moments and genuinely helping the people around you.

Successful People Are Genuine

cyclists shaking hands

We warm to people who we can relate to, and it is easier to relate to people who are genuine.  We appreciate people who have worked hard to achieve their success, but manage to keep one foot on the ground at the same time.  If you fall foul to believing your own hype it can be a slippery slope.  I’m sure we can all conjure up a celebrity or two who has let it all go to their head and has managed to turn the public against them practically overnight.  It’s pretty much the same in all walks of life.

Keep one foot on the ground by truly appreciating the success you have achieved and never take it for granted.  Things can change at the drop of a hat, and the last thing you want to do is alienate everyone around you because your success took you on a path of intolerable arrogance.

Have a think about the successful people you follow on social media or admire in the public eye.  What is it about them you appreciate and are they doing any of these things?  Do you think there is an art to being successful and being admired for what you have achieved?


  1. I absolutely agree, watching the paralymics, children in need and pride of Britain awards their are some truly inspirational people in this world, I hold my children a little tighter watching the heart wrenching stories, the children battling illnesses everyday are always the bravest xxx


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