Careers

5 personality traits to develop if you want to be more successful

You may not consider yourself naturally gifted or incredibly lucky. You may even think that means you can't accomplish big goals you've set for yourself.

But talent is only part of the equation. Successful people also display a number of personality traits that make them more productive and motivated.

Take a look at some of the world's most successful people, like media mogul Oprah Winfrey, Virgin Group founder Richard Branson or ABC's "Shark Tank" investor and self-made millionaire Robert Herjavec. All of them faced major career setbacks, but they worked through them.

Here are five personality traits to develop if you want to become more successful:

1. Efficiency

Keep a notebook with you so you never miss important directions.
Gary Burchell/Getty Images
Keep a notebook with you so you never miss important directions.

You don't have to work 12 hour days to be extremely productive. In fact, employees who are the most productive often don't, a new workplace survey shows.

A survey of 1,500 participating managers and employees by leadership training company VitalSmarts found that top performers don't work longer hours than their peers, they work smarter. To work smarter, researchers suggest communicating more clearly and more often with your manager and colleagues.

2. Discipline

Bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell, who has made a name for himself exploring common misconceptions, says there is no shortcut to success.

Habits like waking up late or not getting enough sleep will hold you back professionally, he says. Instead, invest in yourself so that you feel less stressed and overwhelmed.

For example, re-work your morning routine, your evening routine or prioritize exercise to clear your head.

3. Interests outside of work

If all you do is work, eat and sleep, you're increasing your chances of burnout. Taking up a hobby can help break up your work routine, reduce stress and boost your work performance, career coaches and business leaders say.

In fact, Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg says that having a hobby shows you have passion and drive — traits employers look for in candidates.

4. Organization 

Ryder Carroll's original, more minimalist Bullet Journal.
Bullet Journal
Ryder Carroll's original, more minimalist Bullet Journal.

Always appearing rushed doesn't make you look important. It makes you look frazzled, leadership development expert Jeff Black tells CNBC Make It.

Instead of running around when you're stressed, use a calendar or notebook to clearly organize your priorities. And take time to listen and communicate directly with your colleagues, Black recommends. You'll feel more in control of what has to get done.

5. Optimism

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Thomas Barwick

To accomplish more of your goals, both personal and professional, you need to feel inspired and happy, according to Psychology Today.

But that's certainly easier said than done. Waiting around to feel better won't help you, Elle Kaplan, CEO of Lexion Capital Management, writes. Instead, try writing down your goals and visualizing what it feels like to have accomplished them. Internalizing that sense of success can push you to work harder.

Disclosure: CNBC owns the exclusive off-network cable rights to "Shark Tank."

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