Among the attributes that helped highlighted by Children’s literacy charity Volunteer Reading Help were ‘warmth’, ‘intelligence’ and ‘sense of humour’ with a surprisingly low 2% giving ‘ruthless’ as a characteristic.
Whilst ‘modesty’ and ‘inspiring confidence’ were seen as useful qualities, one in three boasted their ‘good looks’ had helped (slightly contradictory!). They accepted outside influences though, laying some thanks to ‘luck’, ‘fate’ and ‘good timing’. The survey found that 60% of achievers were regular readers, satisfying its aim of discovering the role of literacy in success.
CEO Sue Porto said: ‘Of course everyone needs a bit of luck and good timing, but it’s pleasing to see people who rely on the value of warmth and intelligence. It’s the old adage of people wanting to work with people they like and proves that hard work, persistence and being decent pays dividends in long run’.
The study also examined what skills are necessary to success, with improving yourself and striving to learn more being commonly mentioned. A quarter of those questioned suggested that a better education would have helped them on their way, with 20% of earners sacrificing a lot to get to where they are today.
‘It’s no secret that hard work is pivotal to getting on in life. The key thing for us is that many people take being able to read for granted. We’ve seen first-hand the impact that illiteracy has on young people and their chances in life’.
Seemingly this is confirmation of what we’ve always been told; hard work, a good education and being a nice person will send us on our way. Throw in a pinch of luck and good timing and you’re well on your way!
The top 10 qualities mentioned were: hard graft, charm, persistence, luck, fate, good timing, intelligence, sense of humour, warmth, ambition.
The top 10 tips for success were: to take risks, always have an answer, know when to keep going, know how to find the answer, build your intelligence, be open-minded, be humble and modest, inspire confidence in others, become well-read and be able to think on your feet.