The key trait successful people have, and how to get it
“Which character traits do you need to have if you want to work effectively and get ahead? The answer depends, to some extent, on the kind of work you do — but there’s one trait that everyone needs to have if they want to succeed, and that’s trustworthiness. Technically, it’s not so much being trustworthy, but being perceivedas trustworthy, that matters. You can be as honest, fair, and reliable as the day is long, but if nobody else sees you that way, it won’t help you.
When your boss doesn’t trust you, you don’t get key assignments, promotions, or the latitude to do things your own way and take risks. When your employees don’t trust you, you don’t get their best effort, or all the information you need from them to make good decisions.
If you want other people to believe that you are trustworthy, you should be aware that you may be seriously undermining that belief if you appear to lack self-control. New research shows that people just won’t trust you when you seem like you might have a willpower problem. If you think about it, this makes a lot of intuitive sense. We trust people because we know that when things get hard, or when it might be tempting for them to put their own interests first, they’ll resist temptation and do what’s right.
Studies show that when you engage in behaviors that are indicative of low self-control, your trustworthiness is diminished. In other words, all those things you know you shouldn’t do – smoking, overeating, impulsive spending, being lazy, late, disorganized, excessively emotional, or having a quick temper — may be even worse for you than you ever realized, because of the collateral damage they are doing to your reputation.”