What determines the trait of a successful businessman?

As a business consultant, with my many decades of observations and interactions with successful businessmen, I have noticed that most of them share some common destiny attributes that set them apart from others:

1. Their extraordinary instinct in recruiting and making good use of the right talents;

2. They have abundant access to loyal supporters (staffs, customers, suppliers, members in the authority, friends etc); and

3. Far-sighted vision

Whether or not they have the right skillset to run the business, the required capital, the guts — are all secondary as compared to the above attributes. These attributes are some signs that one can pick them up from the Ziwei Chart.

(Find your own Zi Wei chart, visit: Personal Zi Wei Chart)

Looking across at the human’s history of successful people. These destiny attributes are not too difficult to relate to with the real people. To name just a few:

Liu Bei (刘备): A warlord who founded Shu Han in ancient Chinese history, who is also legendarily famous for using his instinct to recruit Zhuge Liang as his military strategist, later proved that this very recruitment helped him a lot in his military ambition. He had a strong far-sightedness to take over Jingzhou and Hanzhong as a start, that became important cornerstone for his later successes. Of course, he was also known to have abundant accesses to his loyal supporters such as Guan Yu, Zhang Fei, Zhao Yun and many more others.

Sir Richard Branson who is a business magnate who founded Virgin Group that controls businesses from airlines, banking, cruises, hotels, mobile, radio to rail. His love for his staff opens up his access to many loyal supporters. He places customers at second and this is a statement in his own words:

“…if the person who works at your company is 100% proud of the job they’re doing, if you give them the tools to do a good job, they’re proud of the brand, if they were looked after, if they’re treated well, then they’re gonna be smiling, they’re gonna be happy and therefore the customer will have a nice experience… So, my philosophy has always been, if you can put staff first, your customer second and shareholders third, effectively, in the end, the shareholders do well, the customers do better, and yourself are happy” 

His far-sightedness also braves him to embark on the investments that no other entrepreneurs brave to such as space tourism. This is one of the think-out-of-box ventures, to add on top of his already wide spread existing business investments. Of course, Sir Branson always starts his ventures by recruiting the right right-hand man such as Nik Powell, John Borghetti, David MacKay etc to pave the way.

Just like Liu Bei, Sir Richard or many others, you should have noticed that most successful businessmen succeed in their ventures, not because they have the skillset or experience in the businesses they do, but more likely because they have the above 3 attributes to assist them.

Perhaps, this can explain why your hated boss/colleague can always snatch the limelight that you deserve more — while you have been sacrificing all your worth, including the technical skillset that you can offer a lot more than they can. Sadly, instead of finding ways to fine-tune your leadership style, we fall prey into this “victim trap”. We keep whinging until one day you have to devise an exit plan to save yourself. This is a classic example that repeats itself where the boss always remains as a boss.

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