I know that Kevin Williamson is a fan favorite around these parts, so I am happy to pass along his description of truly successful people. By his lights, such people are humble and modest. They let their work speak for itself.
Williamson's remarks come from a column this morning about William Buckley:
Truly accomplished people are, in the main, generous, gracious, and open; it is the mediocrities, those who have done a little bit of something or other but still feel the need to convince themselves that they deserve whatever reputation they have, who are hard to take. It is an ordinary and familiar human failing: They are selling you themselves, hard, because they themselves do not quite believe in the product. Baryshnikov never feels the need to say, “You know, I’m a really good dancer.” Bill Gates never feels the need to mention that he is immensely rich. George Clooney never talks about his romantic history.