Have you got what it takes to be the boss?

PUBLISHED: 13:30 03 February 2006 | UPDATED: 09:32 06 May 2010

Could you be the boss?

Could you be the boss?

BOSSES are very definitely a breed apart from the rest of us minions. No matter how hard they try to be best buddies with their team and fit in just like one of the gang, there is always something about them that sets them totally apart from everybody els

BOSSES are very definitely a breed apart from the rest of us minions. No matter how hard they try to be best buddies with their team and fit in just like one of the gang, there is always something about them that sets them totally apart from everybody else in the office.

But self-importance and huge ego aside - although not all managers are completely unbearable it has to be said - have you ever wondered just what it is that makes really successful business people tick?

How did they get where they are today, for example? And just what kind of thoughts rush through their clever little brains? When do they get all their flashes of inspiration? And can anyone really truly have it all?

New research, by Bibby Financial Services, should be able to shed some light on the situation, so wannabe entrepreneurs, please take note.

According to their study, your boss is unlikely to have been catapulted to the heady heights of blistering business success through mountains of motivation and devastating drive alone.

No, the stakes involved when journeying to the stars are much, much, higher than that.

Sacrifice, it seems, is very much the name of the game. You have to give something up if you want to be a major player in the corporate world.

More than a third (34 per cent) of Britain's bosses are so determined to succeed that they would cancel their annual family holiday and crawl in sick on their hands and knees if it meant upping the chances of securing a big business deal.

In addition to ditching the biggest family commitment of the year, more than half (60 per cent) of small business owners and managers said they would even cop out of their wedding anniversary dinner in order to improve the odds of clinching success.

A dedicated nine out of 10 (93 per cent) would burn the midnight oil and well beyond if need be.

According to Bibby, these findings are representative of overall attitudes to business success, with 98 per cent of owners and managers believing uttered, undeterred dogged determination is the single and most important psychological trait of the British entrepreneur.

Passion, enthusiasm, drive, leadership, ambition, and people management are also deemed to be key skills, with more than 90 per cent of those quizzed listing them as the vital qualities for getting ahead in business.

At the same time, being brave and taking huge risks with things were judged to be the least essential characteristic of the modern-day entrepreneur. Just under three quarters (73 per cent) of those taking part in the study saw this quality as an important part of the success formula, whereas 83 per cent hold creativity and business acumen in much greater and higher esteem.

Flashes of genius and inspiration can strike at any time and in any place, so it would seem, so conventional brainstorming meetings and time with colleagues do not always bring the best results.

Some of the greatest businesses ideas are conceived at home (62 per cent), on the way to work (36 per cent) and while exercising (25 per cent) researchers discovered.

And far from counting sheep when trying to nod off in bed after a hard day's work, 27 per cent of British bosses dream up more ways to boost business instead. The pub is also an ideal place to use the little grey cells, according to 24 per cent, while 16 per cent get switched on to success in front of the telly.

However, researchers also found that the spirit of Archimedes' 'Eureka!' moment is still very much alive, with 21 per cent of respondents saying brilliant business brainwaves often flow best in the bath.

Chief executive of Bibby Financial Services David Robertson said: "The UK's entrepreneurial spirit is, without a doubt, second to none, so much so that some business owners and managers seem prepared to abandon the all-important work/life balance in the name of winning a big new piece of business."

But he warned: "Cancelling the annual family holiday, missing your child's sports day, or scrapping anniversary dinner plans might seem like the right thing to do at the time, but people must be careful that this does not become the norm in their everyday business lives."

And there can be a high price for doing so too - it could cost you your marriage and your life.

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