John Maxwell’s blogs are an awesome free resource for IT and business leaders. This weekly article explores key attributes of successful leaders.

What’s the one thing all successful people have in common?  Some would say it’s great ability or intelligence. But we all can probably think of someone who’s not particularly talented who’s doing quite well.  Others would point to a privileged upbringing. In other words, a head start via training or opportunities that others didn’t have. But many successful people can point to very humble beginnings or to major obstacles that didn’t set them up to win in life.

And what about naked ambition? Sure, there are some very cutthroat “successes” out there, but there are also just as many kind and unselfish people who are succeeding in their field.  In my years of learning and teaching about personal growth and leadership, I believe I’ve discovered the one thing all successful people do have in common. It’s described very well by one of my favorite authors, Dale Carnegie:

“The biggest lesson I have ever learned is the stupendous importance of what we think. If I knew what you think, I would know what you are, for your thoughts make you what you are; by changing our thoughts we can change our lives.”

How we think: I believe that’s the key to success, because thinking comes before action. We can’t do things that lead to success until we think in a successful way.