How Leaders Can Know They Are Successful (Even When It Doesn’t Look Like)

It’s always difficult to be wise and ambitious at the same time. Ambitious people crave perfect results. They work hard to achieve the things they want and change themselves to become better. Some of them crave success as the only thing they wish from life.

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But these lofty ambitions doesn’t always lead to successful results. If you are not wise enough you are bound to feel like a failure because of your inability to live upto your own expectations.

And unfortunately your real struggle, your real achievements and your real success will become masked by a world that reinforces the belief that success is all about gathering unreal materialistic objects.

I call them unreal because they have no value when it comes to developing a strong character and personality. And the people I mention are those who are obsessed with achieving material wealth without first characterizing the values that one should truly stand for when it comes to knowing the true meaning of success.

It’s a shame that many people fell prey to such a thinking and are therefore never able to really value their true worth and this includes leaders too.

So, these people have everything that it needs to be truly successful but they don’t value it. These people are judging themselves on the wrong criteria. So, today I list for you 3 indicators that can help you know your true worth and whether you have achieved what it takes to be truly successful in life.

You Have True Sense Of Emotional Intelligence

Strong leaders can keep a check on their emotions, successful ones on others. But it all begins by doing the former thing first. If you are able to identify the emotions behind your motives you can develop a rational way to think and take good decisions.

Emotionally intelligent people know what drives them. They have a greater sense of maturity and calmness that propels them to consider every situation in its entirety. There are certain signs that emotionally intelligent people show, so if you have any of them you have what it takes to be a successful leader. I list them below:

  • You can embrace change easily. It shows that you are able to keep the uncertainty that change brings with it, under a check.
  • You can identify and differentiate your emotions using a strong vocabulary. For example, you know that feeling bad can be confused with feeling frustrated, angry or anxious.
  • You are a good judge of character. That means you are able to read people and know whether they are going through something or not. Human nature is not a mystery to you.
  • You are very difficult to be irritated, distracted, annoyed and angered. On the other hand, it is easy for you to shower happiness and love for those whom you think need it.
  • You don’t hold grudges and hate inside. You resolve them when you think the time is right.
  • You are not a perfectionist. You are able to keep your emotions under check.
  • You know when it’s the right time to utilize your emotions. You use them as a driving force to achieve something that is practical and utilitarian rather than something personal and ego satisfying.
  • You can identify the negative thoughts that limit your true potential.
  • You don’t let others limit you happiness because for you it stems from within. You are happy no matter where you are.

You Have People Who Believe In Your Efforts

It doesn’t matter if everyone agrees with what you say. The great philosopher Socrates had many people against him when he was sentenced to death for his unorthodox beliefs, but still, he had a very loyal fan following. His followers spread his word for the next generations to come and in a sense kept his soul alive.

Once a man full of excitement came to Socrates to tell him something against a follower of his. Socrates told him that before he could tell anything against him he will have to pass a simple test of three questions. The man agreed to it.

He asked the man whether he had made it absolutely sure that the thing he is about to say is true. The man said, “I cannot be sure, I have only heard about it.”

He then asked the man whether the thing he was going to tell good or kind. The man replied, “No, it is the opposite. It is bad”.

The third question Socrates asked, “Is this information useful or truly necessary to me??” The man replied, “Actually no, not really enough.”

Socrates said, “So what you say is not true, nor good nor useful to my needs, it’s better you not say it and keep it to yourself.”

The lesson was simple. Socrates believed and trusted his followers.

Every answer that Socrates got could have been the opposite. What if the thing the man wanted to tell him might actually be true. But as a great leader, Socrates believed in his followers and that was the true sign of leadership. The test only proved his belief to be true.

As a successful leader one should be able to know and trust people. If you have that trust you will achieve great results.

You Have a Very Strong Inner Belief System

Great men never doubt their beliefs. Because they have worked very hard to achieve the values that they stand for. And are in no way going to compromise their true beliefs just because someone else who is unable to understand them says so.

But one needs to know that there exists a thin line between having a strong inner belief system and having the fantasy of false confidence.

A Strong belief system is a result of having achieved a strong self-esteem by constantly keeping a control over our inferior instinctual/natural drives. And valuing the worth of the small achievements that are a result of keeping these drives under check. It is the result of constant effort to develop good habits and a valued character. It begins with knowing our weaknesses first and then working on eliminating them.

Whereas, overconfidence is the result of an immature act that has its origins in the mentality to value one’s worth (no matter how wrong or right) as the first step to success and ignoring one’s weaknesses completely.

I have seen many leaders that adopt the second approach to success. Wise and successful leaders depend on a strong belief system because they have struggled hard to achieve it.

Finally, there is little rationality in feeling like a failure just because you think you should have a better job, an expensive car or a big house. Real success comes from inside and one should not value outer circumstances.

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Sandeep Kashyap is the Founder of ProofHub — a leading project management and collaboration software. A passionate leader, Sandeep is always on the lookout for innovative ideas about filling the communication gap between groups, teams and companies. He is also a featured writer on LinkedIn and a contributing author at YourStory. You can connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Also follow our company page @ProofHub to get the recent updates about our tool, published articles, motivational quotes & presentations.


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Originally published at LinkedIn.