5 traits of top performers


After years of working for myself, coaching other business leaders, having a coach and studying what it takes to perform at top levels, I have a clear understanding of some of the biggest do’s and don’ts of entrepreneur life. Nobody successful in business is an average achiever. It takes an excessive level of commitment to training, mindset, and leadership development to achieve at a high level.

So, what makes top performers rise above the rest?

Here are five indications of grit and greatness:

Trait No. 1 — They’re healthier

This is the exact reason I incorporated nutrition and wellness into my life. After many tax seasons of putting on weight (rarely losing it all) and living off caffeine, enough was enough. Top performers take very good care of their bodies. They know that not feeling their best translates to not performing their best. The Top 5% of performers are 40% more likely than their peers to hit the gym at least three times a week. They commit to eating well and sleeping for optimum focus, energy, and motivation.

If you are not producing the results you want in business, looking at your personal standards for health and wellness can be a great first step.

Trait No. 2 — They’re resilient

Go back to point No. 1 as a starting point to build your resilience. In multiple studies, top performers are shown to have just as much, if not more stress in their environment than the average individual, and yet they’re happier? Aside from just taking care of themselves physically to handle that stress, top performers are overall more resilient mentally and emotionally with the capacity to handle more than their peers. Looking for ways to build your mental fortitude?

Start with five minutes a day of meditation before tackling any tasks.

There are no shortcuts or easy buttons when it comes to achieving greatness, but if top performance like I’ve described here is your goal, it will be time well spent. 

Trait No. 3 — They focus

While most individuals will focus on finding their strengths, those bound for greatness can look at their field and say “how do I grow into the person/leader that I need to become to be successful here.” They also have the ability to focus primarily on value and not necessarily quantity. Above-average focus means having the discipline to keep your attention on how to be the best at what you’re committed to instead of a multitude of different things. This means no “shiny object” syndrome thinking you’ve just found the next best technology or the next best service offering and are constantly having your team redirecting their attention trying to follow your newest vision.

Become a master instead of a jack of all trades, you will bring more value to the table.

Trait No. 4 — They love challenges

Being the best means conquering many hurdles along the way. Like resilience, a top performer is going to see a challenge as an opportunity to grow and to rise. Adversity inspires them. The best of the best will rise in the face of seemingly impossible obstacles with unshakable belief and confidence in their ability to succeed.

After all, if you can’t believe in yourself, you can’t expect others to believe in you.

Trait No. 5 — They’re servant leaders

Top performers are admired, not just because they have mastered their craft or achieved great success. Greatness comes from admiration by those who follow you. That requires a commitment to a mission and vision greater than oneself. They positively influence those around them and in turn grow and develop other leaders.

Top performers have mastered developing other people and not just themselves.

It takes years of hard work and dedication to become a master and top performer at anything. While there are many leaders who may look like they skipped the hard steps, often that’s because you never saw the work that went on behind the scenes, but instead only ever witnessed the emerging leader themselves.

There are no shortcuts or easy buttons when it comes to achieving greatness, but if top performance like I’ve described here is your goal, it will be time well spent. Leaders at this level leave a lasting legacy.

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