Winning Attitude: Attributes of Success

What does it take to be Successful?

Publication Date: August 2016

This white paper examines a Winning Attitude According to Olympians, CEOs, Founder Entrepreneurs and Media Personalities.

Research suggests that there are many characteristics that contribute to an individual making it to the top of their sport or industry. Less information exists about the critical elements that make the real difference and catapult people to the dizzy heights of the Olympics, Global Business or West End success. Here, success means a person being at the top of their game, achieving significant results and being championed by others as a Winner; a success that others only aspire to achieve.

In this research, we have worked to understand the ingredients that make up a Winning Attitude. Our 20 years of working in the talent arena have shown that while many of us are talented and have strengths that help us to succeed, real success requires more than just talent.

In order to discover the key ingredients to success, we interviewed 42 Chief Executive Officers (CEOs), Presidents, Founder-Entrepreneurs, Sports Stars, Olympians and Media personalities including Mark Foster, Olympic Swimmer, Ruthie Henshall, Broadway Star, and Jacqueline Gold CBE, CEO of Ann Summers, who shared their mindset and motivations to overcoming adversity and becoming champions in their field. This research paper articulates the attributes of a Winning Attitude and provides real examples from our interviewees.

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Jilly Calder
Senior Vice President HR UK & Europe : AtkinsRéalis

Dr. Amanda Potter is an exceptional leadership development consultant, experienced workshop facilitator, and a dynamic public speaker. Her impact on organizations is profound, and I am delighted to share my testimonial based on her work with our UK&E regional leadership team at AtkinsRealis. As a workshop facilitator, Amanda brings a wealth of knowledge and practical insights. Her engaging workshops on team building, wellbeing, resilience, and decision-making have left a lasting impression on our team members. Amanda’s ability to blend psychology and neuroscience with real-world examples ensures that participants gain actionable strategies to enhance their performance. In her role as an advisor, Amanda’s guidance has been invaluable. She combines her expertise in organizational psychology with a deep understanding of business dynamics, helping our leadership team navigate complex challenges. Her advice is grounded in rigorous research and delivered with warmth and clarity. Amanda’s public speaking is truly engaging. Whether addressing large audiences or intimate gatherings, she shares compelling insights on topics such as psychological safety, self-belief, and high-performing teams. Her charisma, authenticity and credibility make her a sought-after keynote speaker. Amanda’s commitment to excellence, combined with her passion for empowering people, sets her apart. We are fortunate to have worked with Amanda, and I wholeheartedly recommend her to any organization seeking transformative talent management solutions.


Zircon is a fast moving and adaptable talent management consultancy whose purpose is to help organisations grow, change and manage risk – developing talent strategy with a deep understanding of commercial context and aligning the management of talent with commercial objectives.




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