By Jon-Michail

A report from Oxfam detailed how the world’s richest people have recovered from the global economic crisis to the point where 85 of them now own half the world’s wealth. It’s a fact almost too big to comprehend.

However, when we concentrate on Australia’s key people of influence, the figures come into focus and we see real people with real skills that we can all emulate. In our country, the top 10% performers earn just about as much as the sum total of the rest of us. It’s astonishing, but it’s believable in a country where most of the names are familiar to us and we may even have dealt with them on a business or personal level.

So where are we going with this? Today is March 9th and 18% of 2016 has already finished. And secondly, in that 18% of this year, Australia’s key people of influence will have earned more than the rest of us will earn all year.

It’s difficult not to feel a twinge of jealousy or to think ‘if only…’. But the encouraging thing about this statistic is that those people are just like you and me. They weren’t born with a silver spoon in their mouths, they didn’t have a wealthy sugar daddy (or mummy) and very probably they’re not as good looking as you.

Their gift is that they have seven enviable personal skills in addition to their industry knowledge. Because of these attributes, they are the ‘go to’ people at the top of their tree, and by virtue of their abilities, can pull things together in a fraction of the time it would take others to attempt. What are these skills?

  • They develop great products and services.
  • They are not limited by their initial ideas; instead they think about its potential and how it can be further developed.
  • Their projects result in wide recognition and elevate their industry profiles.
  • When they promote a new idea, they understand how to make people listen.
  • They ensure their employees have a positive emotional attachment to their job, making them more productive and ensuring their loyalty to the job and company.
  • They or their marketing team (PR, branding, media) publish continually, whether reports on their projects, research results, articles for industry publications and the popular press.
  • They bring others into their circle of success and develop enduring partnerships.

It’s encouraging that these strengths are not exclusive to our top 10%. They are all attributes that you can develop for yourself. It doesn’t matter what your current work status is; just like the top 10% you can improve or reinvent yourself (your personal brand) and the way you work.

Those seven personal skills may seem like very high peaks to climb. But like everything worthwhile, they begin with small steps. You’ve got 82% of the year left. What are you going to do with it? How about sorting out some worthwhile goals and making sure that you achieve them?

Try one goal in each month of the year that’s left. You won’t regret it, and your small successes may eventually lead to those enviable ones we see on the news. Have a go, life’s too short not to maximise your full potential.



Jon Michail is Group CEO of Image Group International, an award winning author and recognised Australasia’s No 1 image coach. Image Group International supports executives, entrepreneurs and their organisations to become iconic and monetised leadership brands.

He has been a  regular commentator in international media including ABC, CNN, NBC, Harvard Business Review, Entrepreneur, Success, The Financial Review and Vogue.



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