What determines the trait of a successful businessman?

As a business consultant with decades of experience, I have observed and interacted with numerous successful businessmen. I have noticed that many of them share common attributes that set them apart from others:

1. Extraordinary instincts in recruiting and utilizing the right talents.

2. Abundant access to loyal supporters such as staff, customers, suppliers, authority figures, and friends.

3. Far-sighted vision

These attributes are more critical than skills, capital, or guts. One can identify these attributes by examining their Ziwei Chart. To find your own chart, visit Personal Zi Wei Chart.

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

Throughout history, many successful people have demonstrated these attributes. For example, Liu Bei (刘备), the founder of Shu Han in ancient Chinese history, used his instincts to recruit Zhuge Liang (诸葛亮) as his military strategist, which helped him achieve his military ambitions. He also had a far-sighted vision for taking over Jingzhou and Hanzhong, which became the cornerstone of his later successes. He had access to loyal supporters such as Guan Yu (关羽), Zhang Fei (张飞), Zhao Yun (赵云), and others.

Another example is Sir Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Group, which controls businesses ranging from airlines, banking, cruises, hotels, mobile, radio to rail. His love for his staff has led to access to many loyal supporters. He places customers second and believes that putting staff first leads to better customer experiences. His far-sightedness has led him to invest in space tourism, among other ventures. He always starts his ventures by recruiting the right-hand man, such as Nik Powell, John Borghetti, David MacKay, to pave the way. 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” 

Successful businessmen succeed not necessarily because of their skillset or experience in a specific industry, but because of their attributes above. If you are struggling in a similar situation where a colleague or boss is getting more attention despite you having better technical skills, you may want to fine-tune your leadership style. Most often than not, we keep whining until we fall prey in this “victim trap” and eventually it leads to a situation where you have to devise an exit plan to save yourself, which repeats the classic example of bosses always remaining bosses.

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