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If you possess just 3 characteristics…

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One of the most interesting and enjoyable exercises I perform before I engage with a new client is to conduct a full “audit” of my client’s commercial functions, specifically the sales and marketing aspects. And one of the first things I look for is the client’s attitude toward change. Ironically, the components of change have nothing whatsoever to do with selling.

paint1. The characteristics of creativity and flair show one’s ability to look outside the square and challenge paradigms when necessary. It means, for example, the ability to create solutions to meet clients’ needs, the ability to think laterally when the situation requires it and the capacity to ask “How can we improve this?” rather than always accepting the status quo.

documents2. Discipline is all about being in control; it’s about working in an organized and efficient way, setting and achieving daily/weekly/monthly/annual objectives. It’s also about having a game plan and being in charge of one’s life and understanding what one both wants and needs.

umbrella3. Realism is slightly more difficult to articulate, but essentially it means that all the hurdles likely to be encountered on the “road to success” have been taken into account. Realistic individuals understand that success — whatever measure is used — will not be handed to them on a plate.

How do you measure up on these key qualities? Do you have the makings of greatness?

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Jonathan Farrington is a globally recognized business coach, mentor, author, consultant and chairman of The JF Corporation and CEO of Top Sales Associates. For more information and tips from Jonathan, visit, or go to his blog at