Ready for Anything

8 Traits of Exceptional Character That Lead to Happiness and Success

Always decide hires on character. You can teach skills, but adults who don't know how to be a good person won't learn on the job.
8 Traits of Exceptional Character That Lead to Happiness and Success
Image credit: Klaus Vedfelt | Getty Images
Contributor
Psychologist, Author, Speaker
6 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

There is nothing more valuable to any team or company than people of good character. These types of people hold traits within themselves that separate them from others. When hiring, the one thing we want to look for is an idea of their character.

If we hire a person with substandard character but who can produce, we may benefit financially but will deal with a host of problems caused by their poor character that become more of a headache than it’s worth. We want to hire and work alongside people who can produce but who also demonstrate exceptional character. In my new book Success Equations: A Path to Living an Emotionally Wealthy Life, I discuss the importance of exceptional character. Here are some of the traits I define.

1. Honest

At the core of any person with good character is honesty. They do their work clean, according to what is right, and never cheat or lie to get ahead of the curve. People with good character are who they say they are and deliver what has been promised by them and expected of them. Honesty is what separates the activator from the procrastinator, the dreamer from the doer, and the successful from the non-successful. When it comes to character, we are not what we think, we are not what we say, we are what we do.

Related: Science Has Confirmed That Honesty Really Is the Best Policy in the Workplace

2. Survivor

Character is largely developed from suffering the trials and errors of life. Survivors stick, they don’t quit. People of exceptional character do not quit when times get tough, nor do they treat others terribly when things don’t go their way. People who possess exceptional character have the faith and tough-mindedness to stay in the grind and get things accomplished regardless of the odds. There is a lot to be said about staying power. The more others quit under the same stressors, the more opportunity and grit the person of good character has to make sure to secure what they set out to achieve.

Related: 10 Quotes on Persistence to Help You Keep Going

3. Lover

People of good character are loving people. They take the time to care. They understand that when people feel cared for they will do almost anything for them. In reality, there is no way to fake genuine caring. It has a completely different vibe than “selling” or “convincing.” People of good character impact others as deeply as they do and people want to work along side them because of their loving and genuine nature. When we work around, for or with people who are caring there is less absenteeism, fewer missed or canceled meetings and higher rates of productivity because people enjoy working around those who raise their morale.

Related: 11 Quotes on Life and Love From Former First Lady Barbara Bush

4. Leader

When people possess good character, leadership is the natural side effect. People want to follow those who have suffered, those who possess self-awareness, patience and the ability to rise above. No matter their title in the business world, people of exceptional character draw a following with word of mouth supporting and promoting their reputation as someone others should invest in learning from and working with. When a person’s character is authentic, they live with a quiet resolve about them that others feel compelled to trust, emulate and follow.

Related: 11 Qualities of Nice People Who Get Ahead

5. Elegant

Self-control is one the most powerful traits of people who possess exceptional character. They have a calm demeaner as demonstrated in their ability to be patient and listen to others. It takes a certain amount of self-control to listen rather than talk. It is this elegant nature of those with good character that not only makes them a bit mysterious but also so interesting to others. People of good character recognize that gentleness is their greatest strength. They are above the pettiness of right and wrong when in conflict or facing challenge. They are more interested in finding the path to the solution that involves inclusion and innovation; ideas given by everyone.

Related: How Successful People Stay Calm

6. Hard worker

Good character and hard work go hand in hand. None of us are born with good character. Good character is developed over time and through the virtues of hard work and commitment. We cannot develop our character without having to work hard and to suffer through times of conflict and challenge. The reason hard work develops character is because it is the only thing that can outdo and outlast both genius and talent.

Related: Hard Work? It's Not All It's Cracked up to Be. It May Even Be Irrelevant. Here's Why.

7. Helper

More than anything, people of good character are deeply driven to help others. They do not view success and selfishness as being at all compatible. Once person’s success is also another’s. The greatest thing people of good character believe in and do is help others succeed. These types of people will jump in and help in any way they can, especially when it is good for the team. Success is never viewed as a one-man position. Success is always a team effort.

Related: How to Focus Employees Who Are Too Helpful With Their Ideas

8. Inspire

Perhaps the greatest standout quality of people with exceptional character is how they inspire others nearly effortlessly. They don’t often need to be center stage or the person who’s getting all the attention; rather, they are the calm force who people listen to when they talk. Everything about these types of people make them stand out from the rest. Their most notable traits being great composure and smart decision-making.

Possessing exceptional character is more than being praised for our talent or intellect. Those are things common to all. We each have our intellectual gifts and unique talents. Those who possess good character stand out from the rest in the honing of their skills and intellect, making sure to use it for good rather than self-promotion. Good character is not given to us, like talents and IQ. It is something people have to cultivate though thought, choice, courage, commitment and dogged determination.

My Queue

There are no Videos in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any video to save to your queue.

There are no Articles in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any article to save to your queue.

There are no Podcasts in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any podcast episode to save to your queue.

You're not following any authors.

Click the Follow button on any author page to keep up with the latest content from your favorite authors.

11 Surprising Things You Should Know About Personality