Some may see Biebs as a great success, others see him as “a little bit of a motherf–ker”(said Seth Rogen). Either way, Justin Bieber most likely doesn’t have this key personality trait that predicts success…

The only major personality trait that consistently leads to success is conscientiousness. 

“It’s emerging as one of the primary dimensions of successful functioning across the lifespan,” Paul Tough writes in “How Children Succeed.” “It really goes cradle to grave in terms of how people do.”

Tough says that people who test high in conscientiousness are better academically in school, commit fewer crimes and stay married longer.

Apparently, they also live longer too. Not just because they lead healthier lives and smoke and drink less, they have lower blood pressure, fewer strokes and are less likely to get Alzheimer’s disease.

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The only major personality trait that consistently leads to success is conscientiousness.

Studies also show that conscientious men take home bigger pay packets, and are more likely to have job satisfaction. Other studies show that conscientiousness is the most important factor for finding and retaining employment.

So what exactly is conscientiousness and how do you know if you’ve got it?

Conscientious people tend to be super organised, eager to make plans and are responsible. They work hard in the face of challenges and can control their impulses.

Psychologists classify conscientiousness as one of the “Big 5″ personality traits, with the others being agreeableness, extroversion, neuroticism, and openness to experience. The other traits can predict certain workplace outcomes — extroversion is a great fit for highly social gigs like sales and openness to experience often leads to creativity — but conscientiousness is remarkable for the way it cuts across roles.

Psychologists classify conscientiousness as one of the “Big 5″ personality traits, with the others being agreeableness, extroversion, neuroticism, and openness to experience.

Psychologists classify conscientiousness as one of the “Big 5″ personality traits, with the others being agreeableness, extroversion, neuroticism, and openness to experience.

Research shows that showing up on time, doing thorough work, and being thoughtful toward your colleagues helps people regardless of their job function or workplace situation. “Being on top of deadlines is almost universally a good thing,” one industrial psychologist said.

Moreover, within conscientiousness are the narrower traits of self control and “grit,” which University of Pennsylvania psychologist Angela Duckworth has found to be more integral to children’s scholarly success than IQ.

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To spot conscientious people at work, look for punctuality.

Why conscientiousness people are so successful:

“Highly conscientious employees do a series of things better than the rest of us”

Brent Roberts, University of Illinois psychologist 

To start, they’re better at goals: setting them, working toward them, and persisting amid setbacks. If a super ambitious goal can’t be realised, they will switch to a more attainable one rather than getting discouraged and giving up. As a result, they tend to achieve goals that are consistent with what employers want.

Conscientious people have a tendency to organise their lives well. A disorganised, un-conscientious person might lose 20 or 30 minutes rifling through their files to find the right document, an inefficient experience conscientious people would tend to avoid. Basically, by being conscientious, people sidestep stress they’d otherwise create for themselves.

Being conscientious “is like brushing your teeth,” Roberts says. “It prevents problems from arising.”

Conscientious people also like to follow rules and norms. You can spot the conscientious kids in the classroom. They sit in their chairs, don’t complain, and don’t act out — which also, of course, contributes to earning good grades from teachers.

To spot conscientious people at work, look for punctuality. If someone shows up on time, that’s a great clue toward conscientiousness, since a punctual person has to be organised enough — and care enough — to arrive on time.

The bigger, and less visible, indicator is how people deal with setbacks. Do they give up and redouble their efforts?

“The conscientious person is going to have a plan,” Roberts says. “Even if there is a failure, they’re going to have a plan to deal with that failure.”

By the way, here’s the whole story of why Seth Rogen said that about Biebs.

Weigh in on the topic, what traits do you think predicts success?