8 Traits Successful People Have In Common" with Richard St John

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In summary, Richard St. John spent ten years researching success and doing face-to-face interviews with over 500 successful people, including Bill Gates, Martha Stewart, Richard Branson, and the Google founders. He then distilled all of his findings into eight traits that he believes are essential for success in any field. However, many critics argue that his research is flawed because he did not interview unsuccessful people with the same traits. Furthermore, some believe that these traits are not groundbreaking and are common knowledge. Overall, St. John's work has been criticized for promoting a false idea that there is a secret formula for success and for disregarding the importance of hard work and dedication.
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BWV
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Someone recently sent me a TED video of Richard St John where he outlines the ideas in his book where he supposedly:

spent ten years researching success and doing face-to-face interviews with Bill Gates, Martha Stewart, Richard Branson, the Google founders, and over 500 other extraordinarily successful people.

He analyzed every word they said, built one of the world’s largest, most organized databases on success, and finally discovered “The 8 Traits Successful People Have In Common.”

These “8 To Be Great” are the foundation for success in anything, whether it's business, science, sports, healthcare, arts, or life.
www.richardstjohn.com/these 8 traits are passion, focus, ideas, improve, push (whatever that is) etc - nothing Earth shattering.

So this guy interviews all these successful people and distills it down to eight (not six or ten) traits essential for success. Where is his control group? St. John never went and interviewed the 100s or 1000s of people with all the same traits as Bill Gates or Sergey Brin that are not "successes" - its an elementary fallacy of composition.

What's funny is that these charlatans have been around along time. GK Chesterton wrote about them 100 years ago:

There has appeared in our time a particular class of books and articles which I sincerely and solemnly think may be called the silliest ever known among men. They are much more wild than the wildest romances of chivalry and much more dull than the dullest religious tract. Moreover, the romances of chivalry were at least about chivalry; the religious tracts are about religion. But these things are about nothing; they are about what is called Success. On every bookstall, in every magazine, you may find works telling people how to succeed. They are books showing men how to succeed in everything; they are written by men who cannot even succeed in writing books. To begin with, of course, there is no such thing as Success. Or, if you like to put it so, there is nothing that is not successful. That a thing is successful merely means that it is; a millionaire is successful in being a millionaire and a donkey in being a donkey. Any live man has succeeded in living; any dead man may have succeeded in committing suicide. But, passing over the bad logic and bad philosophy in the phrase, we may take it, as these writers do, in the ordinary sense of success in obtaining money or worldly position. These writers profess to tell the ordinary man how he may succeed in his trade or speculation--how, if he is a builder, he may succeed as a builder; how, if he is a stockbroker, he may succeed as a stockbroker. They profess to show him how, if he is a grocer, he may become a sporting yachtsman; how, if he is a tenth-rate journalist, he may become a peer; and how, if he is a German Jew, he may become an Anglo-Saxon. This is a definite and business-like proposal, and I really think that the people who buy these books (if any people do buy them) have a moral, if not a legal, right to ask for their money back. Nobody would dare to publish a book about electricity which literally told one nothing about electricity; no one would dare to publish an article on botany which showed that the writer did not know which end of a plant grew in the earth. Yet our modern world is full of books about Success and successful people which literally contain no kind of idea, and scarcely any kind of verbal sense.

It is perfectly obvious that in any decent occupation (such as bricklaying or writing books) there are only two ways (in any special sense) of succeeding. One is by doing very good work, the other is by cheating. Both are much too simple to require any literary explanation
http://www.classicreader.com/book/2281/3/

He also has a great quote about the "horrible mysticism of money", i.e. the idea that there is some secret mojo to getting rich that the guru can teach you
 
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  • #2
BWV said:
these 8 traits are passion, focus, ideas, improve, push (whatever that is) etc - nothing Earth shattering.

So this guy interviews all these successful people and distills it down to eight (not six or ten) traits essential for success. Where is his control group? St. John never went and interviewed the 100s or 1000s of people with all the same traits as Bill Gates or Sergey Brin that are not "successes" - its an elementary fallacy of composition.

Wait... wait... wait... hold it...

You need ideas to be successful? I mean, it makes sense... I just... I had no idea!

[PLAIN]http://media.comicvine.com/uploads/4/46928/1413875-badum_tish_super.jpg
 
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  • #3
these 8 traits are passion, focus, ideas, improve, push (whatever that is) etc - nothing Earth shattering.

Nothing new... I mean, who doesn't know that? To be good at something, you have to like it and make a serious effort to be good at it. Ideas? For entrepreneurship yes, but not for everything.
 
  • #4
In other words, he wasted 10 years of his life.
 
  • #5
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I find it concerning that St. John claims to have conducted extensive research on success without a proper control group. Without a comparison to individuals who possess the same traits but are not considered successful, it is impossible to draw any meaningful conclusions about the relationship between these traits and success.

Moreover, the idea that there are only eight essential traits for success is reductionist and oversimplistic. Success is a complex and multifaceted concept that cannot be boiled down to a set of traits. In fact, success can mean different things to different people, making it even more difficult to define and measure.

I also agree with GK Chesterton's criticism of these types of self-help books and their focus on material success. Success should not be equated with wealth or fame, but rather with personal fulfillment and happiness. In science, success is often measured by contributions to knowledge and advancements in the field, not by financial gain.

In conclusion, while St. John's ideas may be interesting and thought-provoking, they should not be taken as definitive truths about success. I believe in using rigorous research methods and considering multiple perspectives before drawing conclusions. And in the case of success, it is important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all formula.
 

Related to 8 Traits Successful People Have In Common" with Richard St John

What are the 8 traits that successful people have in common?

The 8 traits that Richard St John has identified as common among successful people are passion, work ethic, focus, persistence, ideas, good habits, constant improvement, and serving others.

How did Richard St John come up with these 8 traits?

Richard St John conducted interviews with over 500 successful people, including billionaires, Olympians, and Nobel Prize winners, to identify patterns and commonalities in their stories of success.

Can these traits be learned or are they innate?

According to Richard St John, these traits can be learned and developed through practice and dedication. They are not innate qualities that only some people are born with.

Do these 8 traits guarantee success?

No, these traits do not guarantee success. However, they are common among successful people and can greatly increase the likelihood of achieving success.

Can anyone become successful by adopting these 8 traits?

While there is no guarantee of success, anyone can benefit from adopting these 8 traits and incorporating them into their daily lives. It takes hard work, dedication, and persistence to achieve success, but these traits can greatly improve one's chances.

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