What Does it Mean to be an Accomplished Man?

Last year we conducted research into what makes a modern accomplished woman and whether the nation’s opinion has changed throughout the generations. We found that over 60 percent of the 2,500 women surveyed felt they were accomplished, despite the skill set of a modern woman being vastly different to previous generations. For example, over 28 percent said they did not have time to learn how to sew in name labels, which was previously considered to be an essential skill. Instead, modern women value being financially secure, being happy and having a well-paid job.

Over the years we have seen an increase in the number of men ordering our name labels for their children. This got us thinking about whether the view of what makes a man ‘accomplished’ has also changed throughout the generations. Keen to find out more, we conducted research into the idea of the modern ‘accomplished man’.


The Demise of Traditional Skills

Our research revealed that attributes traditionally seen as ‘male’, such as being good at DIY and being the breadwinner of the family, have declined. Over half of the men surveyed admitted to relying on their fathers to assist them with practical tasks, such as putting up shelves or changing a car tyre. The research also revealed that men are less chivalrous and well-groomed when compared to previous generations.


The Modern-Day Accomplished Man


Despite the decline of seemingly ‘male’ attributes the majority of men surveyed felt that they were accomplished, and 69 percent agreed that the definition of an accomplished man has changed since their father’s generation. Instead, attributes such as being a good father, being open about mental health issues, being happy, having great manners and confidence were all revealed as being crucial characteristics in order to be considered an accomplished man in today’s society.

Our research also revealed how men’s attitudes to parenting have changed across the generations, with almost three quarters of dads believing they do things with their children that their own father didn’t do with them. These include, cooking for their children, taking them to school and helping them with their homework. Insights also show that modern dads take a more hands-on approach to parenting, with changing nappies, playing with their children and labelling school uniform all cited as key tasks of the modern father.


Qualities That Make Men Less Accomplished


Whilst our research demonstrated how men’s attitudes towards parenting have transformed, it also revealed the traits most likely to ruin their chances of being seen as accomplished. It seems that some traditional stereotypes do still exist, with not being able to drive, struggling to fix things and showing emotions in public, all being flagged as faux pas. Having a rigorous grooming routine, including waxing eyebrows and wearing fake tan, was also shown to make a man less appealing.


Who is Considered Accomplished?

As part of our research we asked 2,000 UK adults who they consider to be the most accomplished man in today’s society. The results were interesting. David Attenborough was voted as the most accomplished, with Barak Obama and Prince Harry following closely behind. The list also included some surprise entries in the form of Philip Schofield, Tyson Fury and Drake. Interestingly though, less than one percent of those surveyed considered Boris Johnson, the UK’s new Prime Minister, as the most accomplished.



  1. Being a good father – 36 percent
  2. Being able to talk openly about feelings – 35 percent
  3. Being happy – 35 percent
  4. Being able to cook – 34 percent
  5. Having great manners – 33 percent
  6. Confidence – 33 percent
  7. Learning from failure – 31 percent
  8. Being good with technology – 31 percent
  9. Having a loving family – 31 percent
  10. Being good at DIY – 31 percent



  1. Having no ambition – 21 percent
  2. Being bad with money – 17 percent
  3. Being out of work – 14 percent
  4. Wearing fake tan – 14 percent
  5. Waxing eyebrows – 12 percent
  6. Not being able to fix things – 10 percent
  7. Having no hobbies – 9 percent
  8. Not being able to drive – 9 percent
  9. Having manicures/pedicures – 8 percent
  10. Playing with Barbies/dolls – 8 percent

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