The Success Indicator – What Factors Make Someone Successful or Unsuccessful?

Have you ever wondered what makes one person successful, and another unsuccessful? Is it simply intelligence, economic background or educational level?

First, let’s define “success” using the Oxford Dictionary.

success definition oed

MaryEllen Tribby, Founder and CEO of Working Moms Only, spent some time thinking through the indicators of what makes someone a success. Oddly enough, money or fame are not part of her definition.

Tribby writes that “success” is really about someone’s attitude and behavior.

The Success Indictor - MaryEllen Tribby

In case you find it difficult to read, here are the success and failure indicators mentioned in the image above, as text.

Successful People
Have a sense of gratitude
Forgive others
Accept responsibility for their failures
Read everyday
Keep a journal
Talk about ideas
Want others to succeed
Share information and data
Keep a “to-be” list
Exude joy
Keep a “to-do/project” list
Set goals and develop life plans
Embrace change
Give other people credit for their victories
Operate from a transformational perspective


Unsuccessful People
Have a sense of entitlement
Hold a grudge
Blame others for their failures
Watch TV everyday
Say they keep a journal but really don’t
Talk about people
Secretly hope others fail
Horde information and data
Don’t know what they want to be
Exude anger
Fly by their seat of their pants
Never set goals
Think they know it all
Fear change
Take all the credit of their victories
Operate from a transactional perspective

What do you think of MaryEllen Tribby’s success indicators? The unsuccessful indicators? Do you agree or disagree with her assessment?

How would you compare or contrast her indicators with the dictionary definition of success?

Finally, since none of us are perfect, which indicators from the right “unsuccessful” side do you need to let go of? Which indicators on the left “successful” side do you need to add or increase?

Please let me know what you think....