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A Tap on the Glass - Vol. 34 - Putting It All in Perspective

I have the pleasure and honor of knowing and dealing with many highly successful people for many years. You know who you are.

Looking at these people, I've found that they have behaviors and characteristics that are much less superficial than most as well as more telling than just acquiring status symbols. Some of which, have many.

In my observations of the real ultra-high achievers, the more professionally successful they are:

  • The less stuff they carry: The most successful people I know never seem to carry laptops, briefcases or much of anything else, other than (usually two) phones.
  • The fewer calls they answer or return: Even with those two phones, these top dogs rarely return calls that aren't critical to their own business or personal needs.
  • The harder they are to reach by anyone or any means.
  • The less time they spend at a computer.
  • The shorter their e-mails. You might say that Alphas use less alphabet. Indeed.
  • The less social media they use (except for celebrities) and the less they care about it.
  • The less they know, stay current, or care about pop culture (again, except for celebrities)..and again, the less they seem to care about it.
  • The less TV they watch (except sports, especially anything involving their alma maters). I think it points towards their competitive spirit or drive that they constantly exhibit.
  • The more non-leisure stuff they do that's not directly related to their business (charities, boards, outside investments).
  • The more newspapers they take off the flight attendant's cart in First Class (unless they're on their own plane, which makes all the other points moot).

Now, some of these behaviors are very obvious, some may seem a little ironic, and of course none of these are meant to suggest that business and money are the only measures of a successful life. Because clearly, they are not.

Some of the observations are made with a little pointed ribbing intended, and none of these things are in the least, scientific, though I'll bet they could be: I don't know a single mega-successful business person who doesn't exhibit at least half of these traits.

Truth be told if I look closely at this list, many of the observations don’t bode well for me, much less my shot at that sweet Gulfstream 650 I'd like to see on MY runway.

I carry a Laptop or more recently, a Tablet, constantly. I return more calls and messages than I ignore, I only have one phone, and most assuredly, I'm not well-known for brevity in my e-mails.

And truth be told, for the most part, I don't care -- I don't like some of these characteristics in others, and there are parts of my life, personality and business behavior that I'm not interested in changing for anybody.

If that keeps me out of the most rarified air, so be it. I like the company I keep.

But there is an important central theme that's valuable to all of us, regardless of where we are on the ladder, whether we admire these behaviors or are put off by them, or whether the list accurately reflects our own style or aspirations.

No matter what combination of these characteristics the Masters of the Universe might possess, the bottom line is the same: Without exception, the people at the very top of the business ladder don't waste time.

Thanks for reading and wasting a little time with me today.