“Go-from” is very telling. It’s like two magnets with the same pole. No matter how much you push one towards the other, the two remain at a distance. And the harder you try, the faster the one “runs” from the other. “Go-from” people drive others away. No one wants to be around them. They might as well have fleas. They wouldn’t be any less popular.

What behavior drives others away?

1. Self-centeredness. If you think that it’s all about you, then you’ll soon find yourself in an audience of one. Some years ago, Barbara Streisand reminded us that “people who need people are the luckiest people in the world.” When you focus on yourself, you’re telling others that you don’t need them.

2. Self-aggrandizement. You may be the best salesperson for the 200th year in a row, or hold 5000 patents, but if you continuously blow your own horn, then you’ll not only be the leader; you’ll also be the whole orchestra.

3. Self-opinionated. You may think that you know everything there is to know, and you may even be right; but this isn’t about being right. Instead, it’s about making yourself attractive to others. By definition, if you want people to come to you, then you have to act in a way that makes them want to.

If you’re always pushing your opinions on others without letting others express themselves, then you’ll find that you only have the full attention of one person: yourself. If you don’t know what the behavior of someone who is self-opinionated looks like, then ask yourself how you feel when you get around someone who insists that he or she knows more than you.

4. Self-righteous. You may think that you’re always right. Maybe you are. So what? Other people like to be right, too. The problem is that those who are sure they’re always right make others feel that they’re always wrong. It can be frustrating for them to say the least, and if they believe that that’s what you really think about them, then they’ll go somewhere else where they think that they will at least stand a chance to be right.

5. Self-satisfied. It’s okay to be happy with the quality of your work, but you must also be happy with the work of others. It’s true that they could probably do better; but then so could you. Your work isn’t perfect any more than anyone else’s. Quite often, it is the self-satisfied who are also the most insecure. And so the only way they can feel good about their work is if they somehow put down the work of others. If you’re in the habit of criticizing the work of others, if you are more likely to find fault with it than to praise it, then you know that there’s a problem with your attitude.

Go-from people focus on themselves. In their eyes, they are more important than anyone else, and they’re not afraid to say so. In fact, they wear it as a badge of honor. If you’ve ever been around someone like this, then this article has probably made you cringe. It’s not a nice experience. But all of us have feet of clay; and that means that under the right circumstances, it’s comparatively easy to fall into the self-trap. 

If you want to avoid this, then make a determined effort to focus on others. If you do that, you can be the go-to person.