Personality and Success (or Failure)

There’s a creepy guy in our office building at work who has been regularly freaking us out for a few years now. All we know is that he doesn’t work in our company. He has some strange habits, not the least of which is a staring problem. For example, if you’re walking up the stairs while he’s walking down, he’ll all but trip and fall to twist his body 90 degrees to look at you once you pass him. If you’re REALLY lucky, you’ll get a short, squeaky “hi” as you pass. And it’s times like these that make me glad I’m a woman, because I’ve heard he’s got some wandering eyes in the men’s room, too.

We never see him with anyone in the hallways. He takes walks around the building’s parking lot on his lunch hour. As far as I know, there’s been no sighting of a cell phone, and his car is pretty nondescript. He’s always alone.

That leads me to believe he’s not in a position of leadership in his company. With severely lacking social skills, how could he possibly be a manager or, even more laughably, a CEO?

Personality & Success

While I don’t know for sure what position Creepy Guy holds in his company, I do know that personality has to do with how much success you have in life, both personally and professionally.

I think most of us would agree that you need to be personable, be able to communicate effectively and make hard decisions in order to move up in the professional world. If you’re a hothead, unless you’re pulling in a ton of money for your company, you probably won’t be finding your way up the corporate ladder anytime soon — or you may find yourself on the unemployment line instead.

Examine Your Personality

If you’re antisocial, you’re definitely going to have a problem gaining and maintaining employment. You need to get out there and go on interviews in order to get a job. And most positions require interaction with others, whether they be your co-workers or customers.

If you’re introverted, perhaps you’re not making as much of a splash in the office. You’ll likely be passed over for promotions and your earning potential could be severely limited.

If you’re the type who has severe social awkwardness, don’t count on climbing the corporate ladder. You need to be able to make (and maintain) social connections. Think networking.

But if you’re a true go-getter who likes to “make things happen,” this tends to bring you success. A heaping helping of strong work ethic and the ability to get along with others — and not use them or walk all over them — are the keys to success.

We can all make changes for the better when it comes to personality. While I don’t advocate being downright fake, sometimes you need to finesse your interactions with others at work or in personal relationships in order to make more meaningful connections with others. Who knows — maybe you’ll be up for that promotion thanks to a change in the way you present yourself, or you’ll get along better with your co-workers, making for a more pleasant working environment.

16 comments to Personality and Success (or Failure)

  • Maybe he has Asperger’s. Maybe he’s wracked with debt and can’t afford a cell phone or a new car (or maybe he simply doesn’t care about such things). Maybe he was hit by a drunk driver and left with a head injury that affects his behavior.
    Or maybe he was a gawky kid who heard some girls giggling about his “severely lacking social skills” and was never able to get past it.
    The point is, you don’t know why he is the way he is. And here’s another point: You don’t get to decide how he SHOULD be.
    My friend’s son has Asperger’s. Until it was diagnosed he was always getting in trouble at school and at home for being rude. He was targeted and tormented by bullies for being “weird.” He’s getting therapy to try to overcome the social difficulties that come along with being an Aspie, and has also found a group that accepts him as he is (the cross-country running team).
    Had those last two things not happened, I could see him growing up to be the man you so generously refer to as Creepy Guy.
    You don’t have to become best friends with this guy. But why not try a little compassion?

  • I feel bad for that creepy guy… if it’s so uncomfortable to be around him, imagine what it’s like to BE him. The creepy guy might just have a few issues, he might have been mistreated as a child, he could have had a traumatic incident, or he might even have been born that way. I agree that such people will find life more difficult, and it would be great if it was easy to treat their conditions.

    I am a little on introverted side, myself, but that’s fine! So long as everyday situations can be handled in stride, and I’m happy in what I’m doing, that’s already a start.

  • Cool article… I almost feel sorry for creepy guy as he obviously has some issues that need some ironing!

    I would say I am slightly self destructive but often will still do well. I do crack though when I start doing too well in the normal circumstances and often will knock myself back down to ground level…. Especially when I was in the corporate world.

    But I think I have found a balance now I work online.

  • I feel a little sorry for creepy guy (even though I’m sure I would be talking about him if he worked in my building!).

    Social skills are more important to lifelong success than some people realize.

  • Jim

    i like the correlation you have drawn here about personality and success.

    i can say first hand i have seen many smart or hard working people who will never be leaders based on personality alone.

    great article i think your on to something.

  • Working with children with all kinds of learning modalities, Creepy Guy could have Asberger’s Syndrome. Asberger’s is similar to Autism, but very mild. People with Asberger’s can function in daily life, but are often times classified socially as “weird.” They have difficulty making eye contact, they lack social skills and don’t really understand certain aspects of formality, even when they are reprimanded or “taught” how to behave. Of course, Creepy Guy could just be creepy, but he might also have a steak of genius (often associated with Asberger’s) that keeps him employed.

    • Nicole

      @Little House: True, it could be Asperger’s — I’ve know about it, but didn’t think about “diagnosing” Creepy Guy with it. It fits!

  • What’s up with the creepy guy? Why not just ban him from the office and post up his picture all over the place?

    All different types of personalities succeed, except for Aholes.

  • I just learned about Tony Robbins the other day and instantly became fascinated with the idea of motivational speakers.

    These are people who have no degrees, no certifications, no licenses, absolutely no credibility other than their personality!

    They were given the gift of a mesmerizing personality and learned how make it marketable.

    It’s amazing to think that in some cases, that really is all it takes!

  • […] Rainy Day Saver writes about Personality and Success (or Failure) […]

  • […] has some great articles and here Nicole talks about the creepy guy in the office building and how personality affects success. Personally I think someone should go chat with creepy guy and see if he just needs a few […]

  • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by PeakPersonalFinance, Nicole Canfora Lupo. Nicole Canfora Lupo said: NEW POST: Personality and Success (or Failure) […]