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What Are the Telltale Characteristics of a Resourceful Person

Human Resources departments of successful companies the world over echo the cliché that people are a valuable resource and their contributions to the bottom line are immeasurable.

Cynics among you might think of this as mere lip service. Yet often, it is an understatement, for the human resources at such companies are, in fact, very resourceful human beings. And they are very much appreciated as such.

So what are the characteristics of a resourceful person? How can you tell the potential of someone’s resourcefulness during an interview or an employee performance evaluation? And what about when weighing up in-house candidates competing for promotion to that one strategic management position?

A Working Definition

Before we head off to the dictionary, we offer the following grassroots definition of being resourceful. It is using whatever is to hand to achieve the desired result.

Someone resourceful finds quick, and sometimes original, ways to overcome problems or difficult situations.

In a business situation, difficulties are expressed in terms of lack:

  • insufficient time to complete a task
  • a shoestring budget
  • not enough materials
  • not enough people
  • failures in coordination or organization.

Conditions showing any combination of the above are unlikely to deter resourceful employees. They will find inventive ways to overcome such difficulties to accomplish specific goals.

So, resourcefulness springs from a certain attitude. Those who display a resourceful mindset share certain traits, and these often set them apart from the crowd.


Open-mindedness is a key quality in anyone considered resourceful. Open-minded individuals are always willing to consider the views of others, even if such views go beyond the boundaries of their normal thought patterns. By doing so, they are capable of adopting new ideas that work best in the situation that presents itself.

The unbiased view finds value in all kinds of different people and what they have to contribute. This willingness to embrace a range of possible scenarios has the pleasing effect of finding solutions.

Beyond that, an open mind expands a person’s experience and brings a depth to their repertoire, which could well be useful in the future.

Expanding their thinking and opening their mind to what others have to contribute requires resourceful people to move outside of their comfort zone. This can take some effort, but the reward is the joy of discovery, colleagues who feel validated and, usually, a successful outcome.


The source of the confidence displayed by most resourceful people comes from a firm sense of ethics and trust in themselves. They have a realistic sense of their competence. They consider themselves capable of handling the problems they encounter in the workplace.

This self-assurance is usually paired with consistent follow-through. They do what they say they will.

Like disciplined open-mindedness, reliability, combined with confidence, is reinforced with time. This is because each success, however moderate, builds a strong foundation for the next.

Imagination and Practicality

We all have an imagination. Imagination is not the preserve of creative people or inventors of gadgets or storytellers. Using the power of imagination is accessible to everyone, and resourceful people know this.

At its core, imagination means that you make something with what you’ve got. Forget the lemons and lemonade story, and think instead of potatoes. Think of all the different ways you can cook potatoes, even if you aren’t from Idaho or Ireland.

For resourceful people, each element of a problem, strategy, or draft project plan is as versatile as the humble potato. People with this type of imagination are often several steps ahead of their colleagues.

They are excellent planners because they can take all possibilities, even crazy ones, on board. They play out scenarios to their most logical or probable conclusion. This ability makes it easy for them to be decisive without being dismissive.

Resourceful folks tend to choose the most practical option in light of time, money, and resources to hand.

Curiosity and Knowledge

A resourceful person often demonstrates a genuine interest in other people and the things around them. They show this by asking lots of questions.

Sometimes, their questions might seem odd. At times like these, it is as well to think that the answer might be what they crave to plug a small gap in their knowledge.

Resourceful people often have good general knowledge and a depth of knowledge in one or more areas. They have a knack of fostering the cross-pollination of ideas, not only between people but also between the various caches of knowledge in their own minds. This often gives rise to just the kind of idea that is needed to solve a business problem.

Sometimes, this happy set of circumstances results in such people having an excellent, infectious sense of humor.


A resourceful person applies their mind to achieving a goal in a disciplined way. These inventive individuals are valuable members of a team when it comes to developing strategic business resources as detailed on https://b2bbeast.com.

Open-minded, resourceful people are good team players since they welcome the input of people with skills or knowledge they do not have.

A Resourceful Person Takes Initiative

A resourceful person gets a plan together and takes action on it. They know that it is useless to wait for someone to hand them something on a plate. Instead, they are quick to work out how to get to the plate fast and how to get what’s on it.

Resourceful people are seldom bored and rarely procrastinate. They enjoy active participation and encourage others in their team to join in. As such, they are motivators for good and are sometimes seen as natural leaders because of their generally optimistic outlook.

Inspiration and Perspiration

If you recognize any of these characteristics in your employees, then you have reason to be grateful. With a resourceful person such as this on board, your business will be on a firm footing for years to come. That’s assuming open channels of communication and the right training, of course.

Check out our other articles to see how you can use the resourcefulness mindset to get ahead and stay ahead.