Something I've been thinking a lot about recently is if I have (or if I can develop) the mental "it factor" that I see among so many of the top VPs, Principals, and Partners at my firm and others. I'm not talking about internal drive or ability to multiply three digit numbers in your head, but rather the intangibles that make certain individuals operate on a seemingly higher level than everyone else. These are the attributes that are hard to describe but are synonymous with being "impressive" or a "winner". I notice these traits among people who have been successful at various firms and believe there must be a way to define the "package" and a route to develop and hone these skills.
Like I said, these are more "know it when you see it" traits, but I'l try to list a few examples of what I'm referring to:
- Constant calmness and stoicism in high pressure, intense situations
- Supreme and unwavering self-confidence in everything
- Ability to extract the information one wants out of someone / ability to place thoughts in others minds without them realizing it (Note: some could classify this as the ability to manipulate)
- Political prowess (specifically related to workplace or social politics)
- Ability to read a situation and display the "right" reaction or emotion on demand (incredibly high EQ)
Now I was a D1 athlete, won academic awards in college, was a top banking analyst, and have gotten great reviews in my current PE gig at a larger UMM firm, but I just can't shake the feeling that I am missing a piece of the mental package and am tripping over myself trying to figure out how to develop this as quickly as possible. I figured it would be worth turning to the WSO community to see what others think on this topic, what attributes you think put someone on "another level", and what routes one could take to try and develop these traits.
Finally, before people start down the path of "just believe in yourself" or "just work hard" - I view these as basic table stakes and I believe I have these boxes checked. What I'm trying to get at is the second-order mental traits that take high performers and put them on another level.
Thanks for your input!