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A winning attitude is the key to success

05 January 2017

High achievers with winning attitudes, whether in sport or industry, say their success was partly due to one person who always believed in them.

These are the findings of a study presented today, by Dr Amanda Potter, Sarah Linton and Lauren Albrecht of Zircon Management Consulting at the Society’s Division of Occupational Psychology annual conference being held in Liverpool.

Amanda and her team conducted in-depth interviews with 42 individuals, representing a range of Chief Executive Officers (Douglas Lamont – Innocent Drinks), founders of enterprise (Mike Clare - Dreams and John Timpson - Timpsons), sports stars (Sir Clive Woodward), Olympians (Mark Foster), and media personalities (Ruth Henshall).  

Following interviews, the participants completed a questionnaire designed to identify their strengths.  Ten strengths were identified which included being responsible for their actions; being able to recover quickly from difficult situations; being upbeat in the face of adversity; and being driven by a desire to achieve more than others.

They also found that winners from different professional fields had taken different approaches to success.

For example, those founding their own business tended to succeed through being optimistic yet realistic, being generous, and challenging the status quo.  Sporting stars, on the other hand, tended to succeed through determination, single minded focus, ambition, and unwavering belief in their ability to succeed. They also found that successful people were also likely to be spurred on by a negative or positive life event.

Amanda said, “Winners do not need to demonstrate all 10 attributes of a winning attitude in order to succeed, but they do tend to have three or four winning attributes that make them unique.”



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