Longtime NBC reporter Bob Dotson spent his career traveling four million miles over four decades telling the stories about the people most often forgotten. If most reporters were scrambling to get an interview with the Mayor about the damage and emergency efforts after a bad storm had passed through town, Bob Dotson and his crew were lingering over a pile of debris with the local farmer as he sifted through what was once his home, looking for anything that might have survived.

Bobs unique perspective of celebrating the common man is a lesson for anyone who values people. The wisdom he gathered in all those story telling quests is also a powerful reminder to never overlook the unassuming people who power our nation…and perhaps your business. The men and women who are willing to work hard and take on seemingly impossible tasks.

Dotson says he observed a basic ten traits in the hardworking people that make a difference in the lives of others. Dotson talks about his journey as a story teller in his best-selling book “American Story.” He’s also compiled a list of the Ten Traits he believes most of us have in common. Traits that may sound as simple as living out the Golden Rule, but a list that provides a value check for anyone seeking to be a force for good.

Here’s Bob Dotson’s list of the top 10 Traits of people that make a difference.

WILLING TO EXPLORE: These quiet Americans face each day with the same spirit that pulled our ancestors to these shores, a willingness to explore new places and opportunities. It is part of their geography of hope.

VALUE TEAMWORK: Few pioneers dared to face the dangers of the Oregon Trail alone. They knew the value of teamwork. So do their descendants. They are a giving people who work together and find ways to make life around them better.

SEEK AND DO GOOD: They open their hearts and minds to the possibilities of life rather than dwelling in negativity and pity. “What can I do to help?” doesn’t have to be a sacrifice, they told me that simple little things can make a big difference in the world.

FOLLOW THROUGH ON PROMISES: They honor their commitments. You could build a house on their word alone.

PERSISTENT, YET PRACTICAL: Their days are filled with a “can-do” pride, but they don’t just redouble efforts when something fails. They work smart, looking for different ways to succeed.

CHERISH IMAGINATION: They encourage new ideas. Doesn’t matter who discovers them.  There’s no limit to what people can do, if they don’t care who gets the credit.

WELCOME CHANGE: They live out beyond the limits of their settled lives, making modifications that strengthen communities.

EMBRACE OUR DIFFERENCES: Differences don’t divide successful Americans. They know that input from people of diverse circumstances can help us find solutions more quickly, since each person brings a variety of life experience. They understand that one of our greatest strengths is crafting good ideas out of conflicting viewpoints. They find solutions by working together.

DON’T DWELL ON LOSS: They find a reason every morning to refute failure and seek new possibilities. They do what needs to be done instead of turning away because they thought the problem was overwhelming.

HAPPINESS: They search each day for what will make them smile. It is a constant in their lives.