20 Essential Traits of a Successful Person

Who do you think of when you think of a successful person? Start thinking about successful people and you’ll quickly find that these individuals act differently and think differently.

They have habits and behaviours that set them apart from less successful people. The good news is you can learn from the habits of others. Start adding these traits to your life and maybe success (as you define it) will become closer than you think…

1. They lead from the front (but delegate when possible).
Successful people lead from the front. They’re leaders. They don’t want someone else to lead the way. However, they also delegate as many things as possible and empower the teams around them. Instead of trying to figure out how to do everything, figure out how to get things done, delegating tasks whenever you can.

2. They don’t do it if they don’t enjoy it.
If you want to achieve success, stop doing things you don’t enjoy. It is a waste of time and will keep you from achieving your goals. Successfully people do the things they love! So, whatever it is you are passionate about, do more of it!

3. They climb mountains.
Okay, so maybe they don’t all climb mountains, but they do set goals for themselves and stick to them, Successful people set goals, and once set; nothing should stand in the way of achieving those goals. So be 100% committed to your goals and do not stop until they have been achieved. Then set new ones! Keep advancing the boundaries and be adventurous (see point 4).

4. They are adventurous, take risks and explore the unexplored.
The road to success is an adventurous one, and people who achieve success are willing to take risks. Be willing to explore uncharted territory that’s never been explored before. When was the last time you stepped out of your comfort zone? Try it; it may open-up new pathways you never previously knew were open to discovery.

5. They may mistakes then bounce back from them.
On the road to success, you’re going to make mistakes. However, successful people learn to learn from these mistakes and then bounce back. Mistakes are a learning opportunity. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Demonstrate ‘bounce back ability’. If you muck up, learn from it, move on, and do better next time.

6. They strive for brilliance.
Mediocrity isn’t enough if you want to be successful. The most successful people strive for brilliance. Good isn’t good enough – great is what you should strive for.

7. They show compassion, nurture positive relationships and understand the importance of teamwork.
It is rare that one achieves success alone. Successful people cultivate positive relationships. Show compassion for others as you will find more positive opportunities occur to those individuals who nurture healthy relationships. Successful people also harness the power of effective teamwork to help them to achieve their success. As the saying goes “teamwork makes dreams work”

8. They stay healthy.
Staying healthy is crucial to achieving success. Most successful people exercise either the mind or the body (or both) regularly. Keeping the body and mind healthy is essential. Staying active improves physical health and your mental state, helping you on the road to success.

9. They are positive and enthusiastic (energy is everything).
Enthusiasm and positive thinking are huge difference-makers that sustain you on your road towards success. Being positive and enthusiastic is a choice. Even if you don’t feel like it, remember energy is everything. Aim to be the most positive person you know and the most energetic in the room.

10. They are persistent and never give up.
You need dogged determination to succeed. You’ve got to finish what you start. You need to be persistent. Remember, life will reward persistence. It doesn’t matter if you’re “qualified” or if someone else tells you something is not possible. Don’t let anyone else steal your dreams away. Be dogged, be persistent and then show those that doubted you later what you can achieve.

11. They take responsibility for failure.
When they fail, successful people assume the responsibility. They realise they’re masters of their own destiny. They don’t complain about the failures that kept them from achieving success. They don’t make excuses for failure. Neither should you. Success comes from first, being honest with yourself and then being honest with others. Take responsibility for the good and the bad and never stop learning (see point 12!).

12. They constantly strive to learn.
Learning never ends, and successful people realise that. Even if they’re not going back for formal education, they’re always learning new things. Learning from other people, reading, and heading to conferences etc. Striving to develop in all areas of your life and broadening your knowledge will keep the entrepreneurial spirit and energy burning.

13. They believe in themselves and their vision.
You’ve got to believe in yourself, even if others doubt you. Those who achieve success believe in themselves and the vision they have for the future. You’ve got to believe first before you can get others to believe. If you don’t believe you can achieve your dreams, you never will!

14. They don’t listen to negativity.
You’re going to come across negativity on your journey. There will be plenty of naysayers along the way. But successful people don’t listen to the negativity around them. To be negative is the easy option. It takes courage and conviction to be positive. However, it takes courage, conviction and positivity to be successful!

15. They are the most enthusiastic person they know.
The enthusiasm of successful people often makes the difference. Spend some time with people who have achieved great success. You’ll quickly find that they are some the most enthusiastic people you’ll ever meet. Harness this enthusiasm yourself, and you’ll be on the adventurous road to a prosperous future.

16. They say “yes” more.
Be willing to say “yes” to opportunities more often than others helps successful people get ahead. Sometimes embracing the unknown and just taking a leap can open doors and bring significant opportunities into your life. The next time you want to say “no” try saying “yes” instead and see where it leads…

17. They are giving and charitable to others.
Do you want to receive? If so, you’ve got to be giving and generous to other people. Some of the best relationships that can help you reach the success you crave could come from an unlikely source. By giving to others, you not only give something back to the community, but it improves wellbeing, promotes positivity and provides hope.

18. They act! They took their first step to success yesterday!
Sometimes the biggest step is the first step, and successful people are people of action. They take their first step immediately. They don’t wait around. Every step you take is going to get you closer to your goal of success. So, whatever success looks like to you, take that first step towards it today.

19. They work harder than those around them.
Most people never enjoy the success they want because they’re not willing to work hard enough for it. Successful people work harder than anyone else around them, which is why they enjoy results. Are you working harder than those around you? You know internally if you are working as hard as you can or if you are idling by. Be honest with yourself, then up your game!

20. They take the time to rest and recharge.
Yes, to achieve success, successful people work incredibly hard. However, push yourself too hard, and you’ll break. Successful people realise that they also need time to rest and recharge so they can push it to the limit again. Take the time to relax, and you’ll be more effective when you get back to working on your dreams. Spend quality time with your family or those that you love, after all, who is all this success you want to achieve ultimately for?

Please like, share and comment and I will do my best to respond!
This article was written by Nick Day, Managing Director of JGA Recruitment – the leading Payroll, HR & Reward Recruitment Specialists.

If you are looking for expert talent in the fields of Payroll, HR or Reward, then please reach out for a 15 client engagement call and I would be delighted to discuss how we can help.
Nick Day
Managing Director
James Gray Associates Ltd
Payroll, HR & Reward Specialist Recruiters
Tel: 01727 800 377
Payroll Video: Click to Watch 


How to tackle workplace mental health issues in 2017

I am often told by my elders that 50 years ago you never heard of problems such as ADHD, bipolar disorder, anxiety and depression. Today, I can guarantee that most people know someone who suffers from a mental health problem.

Having a son with low functioning autism and dyspraxia has meant that my family must learn and adapt on a daily basis. It requires a steep learning curve and one which, with the rapid growth of mental health issues, employers now need to embrace,

Stress in the workplace is a contributory factor to lowered productivity, rapid turnover and even violence in some circumstances. Mental health and mental illness can also contribute to other illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and even addiction disorders.
How Prevalent is Mental Disease in the Workplace?
In the UK alone, about 30 percent of work absence is attributed to some type of mental illness. However, everyone has the right to work. What’s more, per World Health Organization, everyone has the right to “work in freedom and security”. That is sometimes difficult for those who suffer from mental problems.
Do Most Employers Make Allowances for Mental Health Issues?
Sadly, they do not. In many cases, the employee is unwilling to come forward and report that they are even having a mental health issue because of the stigma attached to it and for that reason, they often get worse, rather than better.

The ILO or International Labour Organisation has stressed the importance of the documentation of disabilities among working people and setting up rehabilitative and preventative methods to work with them. The same organisation has also stressed the importance of addressing all the problems that are inherent in the employment of those with mental health issues.

The ILO says that it is a “sound investment for employers and human resources departments to consider developing resources for vulnerable groups such as those who have mental health issues.” The mental health problems of an employee can impact the productivity of a business and should by all rights be a priority for every HR department around the world.
How Can Employers or HR Staff Help with Mental Illness?
Human Resources departments around the world can help their employees, and it is their responsibility to do so. One of the best and most important ways to do that is to ensure that there is no stigma or negativity associated with reporting a mental health issue at work. Employers should make it a point to treat mental health issues like any other healthcare problem, and they should actively encourage its employees to report it and to ask for help.

Employers must offer a clear way for staff to know that their mental health matters. Staff must feel comfortable communicating with their employer and make a commitment to help them to treat it. The employer should back up their commitment with a specific mental health policy that ensures that employees who have and/or report a mental health issue get the help that they need as quickly as it can be arranged. There should be no punishment or stigma attached to reporting this, and it should in no way jeopardise their employment. Further information can be found here:
What Makes this Action So Imperative for Employers?
Increasingly we recognise that mental health problems and their ultimate cost in the workplace must be addressed. Government policy makers, as well as employer groups and organisations and trade unions, are taking stock of their policies and working to bring them up to date. In the workplace, we’ve seen that mental health issues lead to other problems aside from those suffering from mental health issues leaving the workplace. These same problems have sometimes led to workplace violence and may lead to a much lower workplace productivity. Because of the broad array of mental health issues such as anxiety and depression, the World Health Organization has repeatedly asked that employers see mental health as a top priority in the workplace.

The reason for this, in part, is that in higher income countries such as the United States and the UK, 23% of all disability is due to mental illness. That number is 12% when viewed around the globe. Of the ten leading causes of disability around the world, five are mental health issues. These include schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder and alcoholism. Along with anxiety, minor depression and stress, these disorders have a pronounced effect on the workplace and even other workers who are not directly afflicted by them.
What’s the Bottom Line?
Given that so many well-known and fruitful interventions exist for mental health issues, the fact that the workplace and the HR professionals do not embrace these interventions is nothing short of astonishing. It is long past the time for all employers to be helping as much as they can. Every company must pledge to challenge the stigma of mental health issues as well as take the time and effort to elevate the priority that mental health issues are given in the work world.

• What do you think?
• Do you feel Mental Health Issues are taken seriously enough in the Workplace?

Please comment and share and I will try to interact with as many comments as possible!
This article was written by Paul Dargavel, Senior Consultant of JGA Recruitment – the leading Payroll, HR & Reward Recruitment Specialists.

If you are looking for expert talent in the specialist fields of Payroll, HR, Reward or Marketing, then please reach out for a 15 minute ignition call and I would be delighted to discuss how we can help.
Paul Dargavel
Senior Consultant
James Gray Associates Ltd
Payroll, HR & Reward Specialist Recruiters
Tel: 01727 800 377
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Further Reading and Resources
1. – [Development of a checklist for evaluation of mental health activities at the workplace].
Kawakami N, Tsutsumi A, Kobayashi Y, Hirokawa K, Shimazu A, Nagami M, Iwata N, Haratani T. Sangyo Eiseigaku Zasshi. 2005 Jan;47(1):11-32. Japanese.
2. PMID: 15742611 – Free Article
3. – The economics of mental health in the workplace: what do we know and where do we go? McDaid D.
4. Epidemiol Psichiatr Soc. 2007 Oct-Dec;16(4):294-8.
PMID: 18333424
5. – Cost-effectiveness of a workplace intervention for sick-listed employees with common mental disorders: design of a randomized controlled trial.
van Oostrom SH, Anema JR, Terluin B, de Vet HC, Knol DL, van Mechelen W.
6. BMC Public Health. 2008 Jan 14;8:12. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-8-12.
7. PMID: 18194525 – Free PMC Article
8. Mental Health Publication.


The Perfect Resilience Coach to make you feel Super-Human

Bear Grylls – The Perfect Resilience Coach to make you feel ‘Super-Human’.

Resilience is a term that most people are familiar with, but very few understand the real impact that it has on life. I read Mud, Sweat and Tears by Bear Grylls in 2012 and it changed my life. Through this book, I found an exceptional mentor in Bear Grylls. I have since read all his books and I have probably watched every series of every show he has ever presented too. I dont mind admitting that to me, he is an inspiration. One thing he stresses is this: No matter what your goal is in life, being resilient and focusing on goals and objectives that may seem adventurous at first, can soon turn into achievable successes that can ultimately take you far beyond any initially perceived ‘boundaries’.
This is certainly true for me. At first, the idea of parenthood seemed terrifying. Now that I am a father of two, there is nothing I consider more rewarding. At first, the idea of becoming an entrepreneur seemed daunting. Now I can no longer imagine being anything else. Last year, I qualified for the OCRWC (Obstacle Course Racing World Championships) in Canada and on the start line would have been delighted just to finish the race. A few hours later I was celebrating a 3rd place finish in my age group. In all of these examples, my resilience was severely tested. Equally, it was this resilience that allowed me to come out of the other side, forcing me to adapt, persevere, learn, develop and improve as a human being along the way. However, I am far from unique. If you are reading this, it is likely you have faced challenges that have tested your resilience in equal measure or more.


So who is Bear Grylls and why are his leadership skills so special?

Bear Grylls is a born adventurer that loves nature, going on expeditions and using his natural instincts to survive in the world. I believe he epitomises the intertwined relationship between nature and leadership, better than anyone. Human-made obstacles are nothing compared to the relentless obstacles that nature can provide. Bear Grylls consistently takes resilience to new levels as he attempts to keep up with Mother Nature’s challenges.

Bear Grylls was left with his back broken in 3 places when parachuting in South Africa in 1996. The experience put him in military rehab for 18 months. Aside from the physical incapacitation, the mental grievance of fighting to recover his strength, movement and confidence were also significant challenges. Recruitment into the British Special Air Services (SAS) and the intense training had nowhere prepared him for a free-fall of a failed canopy on a parachute. For most people, the pain and agony would have been enough to forget about the adventures of the outdoors. However, Grylls had his Christian faith, a loving family and a zest for overcoming obstacles. His resilience, to this day, remains unshakeable. After the accident, Bear Grylls was told he might never walk again. Later, he scaled Everest.

Bear shows that through not only physical; but mental resilience, people can utilise their skills and strengths to cope and recover from problems and challenges. Moving forward after this accident, and others that followed, Bear has used his leadership to show others how the doubt of situations need not be a deterrent to taking charge. He has written and published 15 books that consist of outdoor survival for children, thriller novels, an autobiography and one to accompany his very popular TV series The Island with Bear Grylls.

You may think that resilience is a quality that only a few are born with, but Bear shows how anyone is capable of increasing mental and physical capabilities. Creating a scene in the wilderness is just one example of how resilience is necessary for pushing beyond your emotional and physical capacities.

Bear Grylls is a professional when it comes to understanding and creating plans for survival. Because of this, The Island with Bear Grylls is a perfect match for a hungry audience. The reality show takes real people and challenges them to reach the level of resilience and leadership required to withstand nature’s brutal forces. My cousin was in the 2016 series of The Island with Bear Grylls, and he is the first to admit that mental and physical resilience were fundamental skills required to survive the experience

Second chances are not easy to come by when climbing a mountain or following a fast-flowing river through a jungle. This is where being able to reason and prioritise during a crisis of life and death separates the real resilience of people. The episodes are based on whether or not modern man is capable of survival on an island with minimal supplies and set within jungles, swamps and challenging weather conditions. They are then left to fend for their lives over a 30-day period.

Reading or watching an expert that has the survival skills is very different than living the perils yourself. We all face our own challenges. We may not have to survive the wilderness of the outdoors every day, but that does not make our own challenges any less daunting or difficult. Whether you are battling illness, physical impairment, relationship breakdown, management stress, underperformance, time constraints or a broken heart – you can come through it. Be resilient, be brave and find the mental strength to go on because the results could astound you.


Bear poses the following question:

“Are you the sort of person who can turn around when you have nothing left, and find that little bit extra inside you to keep going, or do you sag and wilt with exhaustion? It is a mental game, and it is hard to tell how people will react until they are squeezed.”

There are many skills that can be learned from Bear Grylls, but the most important to me is the ability to control your emotions, stay socially intact and to continually improve your problem-solving skills. Failure is not part of Bear’s vocabulary, and by following him, your self-awareness and resilience will improve dramatically.

So I challenge you, the reader, to think about your life. Where and when have you needed to show resilience and what was the outcome? What challenges are you currently faced with, be it emotional, physical, professional or social that are going to test your resilience? What can you do over your next 30-day period that will enable you to overcome these obstacles?

It is these challenges that make us human. However, it is successfully coming through the other side that makes us feel super-human.

This article was written by Nick Day, Managing Director of JGA Recruitment – the leading Payroll, HR & Reward Recruitment Specialists.

If you are looking for expert talent in the fields of Payroll or HR, then please reach out for a 15 client engagement call and I would be delighted to discuss how we can help.


Nick Day
Managing Director | James Gray Associates Ltd | Payrol; & HR Recruiters
Email: | Tel: 01727 800 377
Payroll Video
Credits: Quote from Mud, Sweat and Tears – Page 182
You can purchase the book. “Mud Sweat & Tears by Bear Grylls” here on Amazon.


The Four Listening Rules That We Don’t Heed Enough

Everyone assumes that listening is a passive process. Information enters in the form of words through our ears, gets processed by our brains and comes out the other end as actions.

However, we all know people where this information seems to go “in one ear and out of the other” – the input doesn’t correspond to the desired output. They “hear” the messages going in, but unless that produces a suitable reaction, you can hardly call it listening.
True listening is anything but passive.

Listening is not only about processing the words. The way they are told, the tone, the facial expressions and body language of the speaker weave a far richer picture. This imparts far more meaning to the message than the words themselves, but it is up to the listener to interpret the messages in the way that the speaker intended.

This is extremely hard work. Mind reading is impossible, but if you listen actively enough, you can get close. If you are seeking to influence others, they firstly need to understand that they are being understood.

There are few professions that require superb listening skills more than recruitment. Having a nervous candidate sitting in front of you, not quite sure how to tell their career story, you have to be able to read between the lines. Teasing the details of a job brief from a client that doesn’t quite know the scope themselves is something that we undertake on a regular basis. As the owner of a recruitment firm, there are four distinct rules that I encourage my people (and myself) to remember:

  1. Analyse the non-verbals (independent of the words). For whatever reason, what people say does not always reflect the whole truth of their message. They may be nervous, they may not know how to say something or they may not be able to say it, so if you take the words on face value, you will often miss the tell-tale signs of non-verbal communication. The moment that there is a disconnect between the non-verbals and the verbals, it is important to analyse why. This will add an entirely different level of meaning to the message.
  2.  Empathising means forgetting about yourself. For truly effective listening, you need to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and consequently forget about your own perspective for a while. If you are continually approaching conversations with your own personal end-game in mind, the other person will feel that you are uninterested in what they have to say. People give more if they feel that their opinions are valued.
  3.  Focus on the ideas behind the words. Step past what a person is saying and think about what they are trying to say. When you know someone well, you have more information to come to these conclusions, but even for a stranger, after a few short sentences, you have enough material to be able to infer a wider meaning. Use the next part of the conversation to check your understanding
  4.  Don’t allow for any distractions. In our busy lives, this is the hardest part of any conversation. A little patience lets people feel that they have the chance to explore their feelings in full, and you will come away with a much richer picture. If you are always acting as if you have “somewhere to go”, your conversation partners will always try to keep it brief, and you will miss out on the crucial details in any message.

The “two ears and one mouth, use them in that proportion” idea doesn’t quite compute when there are two people in a conversation as a third of the time would be silence, but actually, a little bit of silence is no bad thing.

It gives you both time to think about what exactly you are trying to say.


This article was submitted by Nick Day, Managing Director of JGA Recruitment – the leading Payroll, HR & Reward Recruitment Specialists.

Nick Day
Managing Director
James Gray Associates Ltd
Payroll, HR & Reward Specialist Recruiters
Tel: 01727 800 377


9 Key Characteristics Of Good Leadership

Good teamwork can make anything possible

Being able to motivate, and bring a team of employees with you; to act as one behind a particular cause and support your vision is one of the most valuable skills any manager can possess. In short, it is probably the most important quality which any company looks for in a potential leader.

If you are in a leadership position, getting others behind a particular cause is not always an easy task because your team members will not always see things the same way as you do. In fact, some of them may even oppose your ideas and decisions.

In all walks of life, a harmonious existence relies on us being tolerant of others; being able to accept the fact that we are all unique, and that we may often have different opinions. Unfortunately, this is often easier said than done, and under stress, emotions can run high, and so to be able to lead effectively, you need to be able to intervene, and you need to take on the role of peacekeeper.

In poorly managed teams where people are constantly in disagreement with each other, achieving goals can be virtually impossible. In well-managed teams, however, conflicts are kept at bay, because team members learn how to respect each other’s differences.

When an entire team all disagree with their leader, then we have a very different situation. A leader might have an idea which they believe is crucial for the job at hand, but his or her team may disagree. Of course, as a leader you are in a position where you can dictate to your team, but is it the best way forward? Is it not better to get your team behind you? Remember, every challenge can quickly be knocked off-course if your workforce is always chipping away at your plan of action. In short, as a leader, it is imperative that you get all your team members on-board if you wish to achieve a goal.

You Need Genuine Support and Backing

If you ask me, I would say that this is one of the biggest challenges one can face if you are in a leadership position. As a team leader, you have the authority to insist that thing must “be done your way”. It can be tempting to manage in a dictatorial fashion by asking that your team members do what you tell them to do, and do it the way you want them to do it.

Unfortunately, this sort of attitude rarely leads to success. It doesn’t matter if you are the president, prime minister, or a small business owner. If you are trying to implement a strategy to survive a particularly sticky patch or achieve a challenging goal, you need to get your entire team behind you; need them on your side of the playing field, with all of them pulling the rope in the same direction as you are.

9 Key Characteristics Of Good Leadership:

1. Demonstrate good leadership by leading from the front
2. Be the sort of person others would be happy to follow
3. Offer a realistic and positive vision of the future
4. Inspire your team members with passion, commitment and vigour
5. Make sure others in your team feel they are needed and appreciated
6. Demonstrate good values
7. Strive to create a work environment where improvement is continuous
8. Provide opportunities that allow your team to grow, professionally and personally
9. Show genuine concern for those in your team, and demonstrate compassion

Here at JGA recruitment, we take part in an annual charity cycle that will typically involve cycling from one European country to another. This challenge is one that many of us take part in annually even though many of the team do not cycle at any other time of the year. When we first suggested this challenge, it is fair to say that not many of the team were interested! However, when discussed further, a charitable cause agreed upon, and the details ironed out, the team took some time out to mull the challenge over. The response was incredible as the team came back and all agreed to “go for it”. An initially negative response has since transformed into a very positive experience and an annual event for our company. Eight years on and we have since covered thousands of kilometres and over 18 European countries raising funds for some very worthy causes while doing so. These events have not only raised money, but they have also become fantastic team building experiences that have had positive knock-on effects in our workplace.

For me, this confirms the way I feel about the importance of getting your team behind you. Let your team know why and what the end goal is, and suggest a possible direction for reaching it, but allow your team to reach their conclusions as well. They may suggest a somewhat different direction, and you should be open to that. After all, the most important thing of all is achieving the end goal.

Good teamwork can make anything possible – UNITY IS STRENGTH!

• What great things have your team achieved?

• What are your team targets for 2017?

• What characteristic do you think is most valuable in a team leader?


Please like, share and comment and i will do my best to respond!
This article was written by Nick Day, Managing Director of JGA Recruitment – the leading Payroll, HR & Reward Recruitment Specialists.

If you are looking for expert talent in the fields of Payroll, HR or Reward, then please reach out for a 15 minute client engagement call and I would be delighted to discuss how we can help.

Nick Day

Managing Director | JGA Recruitment | Payroll & HR Specialist Recruiters

Email: | Tel: 01727 800 377