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8 Attributes of the Highest Achieving Young Minds


Decades of research reveal that technical skills and IQ contribute surprisingly little to high achievement. Studies from the prestigious Carnegie Institute of Technology discovered that 85% of financial success traces back to personality attributes like: the ability to connect with people, leadership talents, negotiation savvy and persuasiveness. Mere 15% results from technical expertise alone.


Barry Garapedian draws on almost 40 years of real-world experience as a top financial advisor to outline the 8 non-technical competencies vital for exceptional success. By prioritizing self-improvement in these areas, ambitious professionals set themselves miles apart from average performers.


Willingness to Endure Short-Term Discomfort for Long-Term Rewards

Great talents stay hungry for growth opportunities even when it means leaving their comfort zone. Courage to push past self-doubt, risk failure or handle uncertainty distinguishes those ready to rise over the rest. Developing mental toughness prepares you to prevail when facing inevitable adversity.


Self-Directed Learning and Performance

The very best hold themselves accountable rather than waiting for a manager’s directive. They actively identify personal knowledge gaps, set targeted learning goals, and track progress. Without needing a push, they are self-driven to continuously advance.


Strategic Goal-Setting Across Different Horizons

It’s impossible to reach a destination without first deciding the desired destination. High performers make goal-setting a habitual priority across short-term (1-2 years), medium-term (2-5 years) and long-range (5+ years) timeframes. Aligning daily objectives to the future vision sustains motivation.


Mastery of Time, Energy, and Attention

With goals defined, exceptional individuals optimize schedules and systems to invest their most precious non-renewable resources wisely towards said goals. They focus attention on high-value activities, minimize distractions and reclaim wasted time.


The Ability to Connect with Others

The best connectors actively identify each person's true needs and pain points before proposing solutions. They forge lasting bonds by guiding people to solve pressing problems and feel valued - not just pushing products. They know transformative connections come from focused care, not small talk and superficial publicity.


The Art of Negotiation, Persuasion and Influence

Navigating different interests smoothly to enable mutually beneficial outcomes is a distilled form of competitive advantage. Beyond negotiating solely for immediate gain, visionary talents persuade audiences towards revolutionary ideas that shift industries.


Resilience and Unrelenting Determination

Sustained effort over decades, not flashy moments, compounds into iconic status. Despite hits and misses, the greats get back up resiliently to stay the course. Their determination to turn setbacks into comebacks generates an unstoppable momentum.


The “No Matter What it Takes” Mindset

At the summit of every field you find those willing to do whatever it takes ethically with zero excuses, self-pity or compromise. Making self-improvement a non-stop dedication leads to unprecedented careers.


A Couple More Pearls of Wisdom In the wise words of Barry, "Sh*t happens" to everyone. Thriving young professionals set themselves apart in how they respond. Things are going to happen, how you deal with it and manage it is going to define you. They seize every opportunity for self-improvement. Mastering these 8 attributes equips anyone to handle turbulence and unlock their greatest potential for success.

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