The most valuable trait a person can have

I am writing this piece as an employee, a past manager, father, and husband. It is just my opinion; and I am sure it can be debated. There is one quality that stands out more than any other. It is hard to find during interviews; however once you find people with this one quality you embrace it!

It is not intelligence!

Over the past 25+ years I have been fortunate to work with many intelligent people. I have had the pleasure of becoming a father to some very intelligent children. I have worked with many highly educated and intelligent people. Sure these people are capable of engineering, designing, putting together a strategy, and so on. They can write, speak, and articulate ideas. Intelligence is important; however, it is not enough.

It is not creativity!

I have worked with many graphic artists and designers. I am amazed with anyones talent to draw, write, or perform. Creative people add so much color to our lives and give the utilitarian world an emotional experience. Creativity is very important, however it is not enough.

It is not diplomacy!

Being able to find common ground in all situations is a power given only to a few. The power to negotiate in unfriendly waters allows us to construct deals and find solutions to complex problems and disputes. This attribute is also not enough.

It is not humility!

Given great accomplishments or success it is very important to remain open minded and genuinely kind. Kindness is sometimes confused with weakness; and that is a shame. The truth is one cannot be great without being humble. Humility is an attribute of the truly brilliant mind, however it is not enough.

Beauty is not it!

I am very biased. My son is a very handsome young man! He walks into a room and he lights it up. He was born with good looks, a radiant smile, and is very charming. I often tell him that his looks will get him through many doors but to stay inside you must carry yourself with dignity, honor, and integrity. I correct his speaking habits all the time and tell him the moment you open your mouth the real beauty comes out. Being beautiful is not enough!


Nope. It is not loyalty either. Loyalty is very important. It means you will stay in the race knowing you may not win. Loyalty is coming home every night and just being there during the good and more importantly the bad times. Loyalty is tested when the going gets tough. It is very important and a very valuable quality in a person, however loyalty is not it!

It is not passion, integrity, honesty, or constitution! The list goes on and on. They all come in a very close second.

Alright, you have had enough already! Don’t get me wrong the traits mentioned above are critical and important. I could go on and on about different qualities of humanity and all of them would be a very close second to this one attribute.

That one thing that makes us valuable!

What is more important than results? Without this one trait THERE ARE NO RESULTS! What makes you manageable? You can be very smart, creative, loyal, humble, and pleasant to look at! But if you don’t have this one trait you really aren’t as special as you think you are! EFFORT and WORK ETHIC are what separate us from everyone else. If you don’t get up everyday and strap on your work boots then your intellect, creativity, and humility will never be known. The other nice thing is that it is free to learn and is habit forming! People love it.


Don’t believe me? Thomas A. Edison once stated:

“Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.”

I tell my son every day I am able: “you may not be the smartest person in the room but try to be the hardest working.”





Data Nerd! Walking the Data wire for 30 years. If you are serious about data and analytics then I might be interesting to you!

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John Thuma

John Thuma

Data Nerd! Walking the Data wire for 30 years. If you are serious about data and analytics then I might be interesting to you!

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