5 Things successful people never do at work

If you want to succeed in business, avoid these five cardinal sins of the workplace at all costs.

Peter Iantorno September 23, 2014

How do you think the likes of Sir Richard Branson, sitting on a fortune to the tune of almost $5 billion, got to where he is today? Well, apart from being a business genius with a never-say-die attitude and a work ethic that would put a workhorse to shame, you can bet your bottom dollar that he didn't commit any of the following five cardinal sins of the workplace:

1. Losing his cool

First and foremost, the successful businessman never lets work affect him to the point where he blows his top and says or does something out of anger, rather than based on reasoning or fact. Although it may seem harmless to let off steam with a good rant once in a while, a decision based on emotions is very rarely the correct one.

2. Mixing business with pleasure

Although sometimes dating the hottest girl in the office can be an appealing thought, it's not necessarily the best business decision. In fact, it's usually pretty damaging to a person's chances of success. The successful man keeps his personal life personal, which means he's almost completely infallible to office politics, dramas and other unnecessary distractions that waste everyone else's time and energy. If you want to get to the very top, don't be tempted by an office romance.

3. Appearing defeated

We don't doubt for a second that the successful businessman has had his fair share of hard knocks on his way to the top. But the reason he made it there is because he didn't know when he was beaten, and never gave up. Being easily defeated can lead to a person becoming apathetic, which in turn can easily be seen by others as laziness - a trait that is the very antithesis of what it takes to be a success.

4. Passing the buck

There's a difference between delegating and palming off responsibility on other people. While it's important to trust colleagues to even out the workload, if there's something especially taxing, the successful man takes it upon himself to get it done. Handing over responsibility of tough tasks may be easier in the short term, but when it all goes wrong, it'll take much longer to fix in the long term. What happens when there's no-one left to pass the buck to?

5. Allowing his time to be wasted

It's a fact of life that some people tend to go on longer than others, and we don't just mean a bit longer, we mean that meeting that was supposed to last half an hour is still going after two hours and there's no sign of it ending. But the successful man simply doesn't allow this kind of thing to happen. He defines the purpose of meetings or calls before accepting them, and politely ends them before too much time has been wasted.