Why Likable People Are More Successful

Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen is living proof that Napoleon Hill was right: Having a ‘million-dollar personality’ can serve the foundation for success.

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BY Jeff Haden - 02 Apr 2019

lilkeable people are successful

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

On Saturday night, Def Leppard was (finally) inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

I'm not a musician. I don't care about the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. I won't listen to the music of artists simply because they're in the Hall, nor will I avoid the music of artists who are not. Life is too short to spend listening to (or watching or reading) what you think you're supposed to like.

But I did care about Def Leppard's induction. Not because I love their music -- although I do -- but because I like guitarist Phil Collen.

Several years ago I spent a few hours with guitarist Phil Collen before a show. We talked about the business of music. We talked about goals, success, creativity, and building lasting professional (and personal) relationships. He played me a few songs from a blues album he was working on.

We also talked about our kids and families. I met his youngest daughter and his lovely wife Helen. A year or so later he was kind enough to walk me through his workout and diet routine.

Phil is smart, funny, and engaging. I like him.

So when I heard Def Leppard was nominated, I wanted them to get voted in. I figured it would mean a lot to Phil.

I cared. In a small way, sure, but still. I cared. Even though I don't know Phil well at all.

Which says everything you need to know about the power of likability.

Likability Matters

Likability is crucial to building and maintaining great relationships. Likability is crucial in influencing (in a good way) the people around you. Likability is crucial in helping people feel better about themselves.

And if those reasons aren't sufficient -- if you need a bottom-line, goal-focused reason to adopt some of the ways to more likable -- likable people tend to be more successful in sales, more able to enlist the help of others, more likely to be hired and promoted.... Likability is a huge driver of success.

Yet somehow, even though no one ever does anything worthwhile on their own, likability is an underrated quality.

Being the person other people want to work with can help you overcome deficits in skill or experience. Being likable often means other people will not only be patient, but actively help you gain the skills you need.

Being the person others want to do business with can help you overcome a lack of capital, a lack of service offerings, or even comparatively higher prices. Being likable often means other people will buy your products or services even when, objectively, a competitor provides the better option. Since even the most steely-eyed, bottom-line-focused still rarely make decisions for purely objective reasons, likability is a huge advantage.

A personal brand can set you apart, help you stand out, and make you more memorable.

But what people truly connect with is the person you are on the inside -- and if you're likable, they'll help you, cut you some slack, work with, support, and mentor you...

Or just root for you.

Even if they barely know you.


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