Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Five steps to business success. (And you are all really wonderful readers . . .)

A former colleague of mine was once given the advice:
If you want to get on in this company, find a department that's full of no-hopers. That way, even if you're mediocre, you'll appear outstanding.
It seems that there might be a degree of truth in what he said, if an article in The Economist is to be trusted.

The Economist: The will to power

Jeffrey Pfeffer of Stanford Business School has been teaching a popular course on “paths to power” for a number of years. He condensed many of his findings into a book that is part academic analysis and part how-to guide, “Power: Why Some People Have It—and Others Don’t”.

Because you're all such wonderful people (of which, more later...) you probably won't have time to read the book, so here's a quick summary. (Oh, nice shirt by the way. You have the most impeccable taste)

Step One: Find a department that's on the way up.
Put simply, as the  most powerful departments are the ones that have produced the current big-wigs, get yourself in there!

Step Two: Manage upwards.
Turning yourself into a supplicant. Follow the example of  Barack Obama who asked about a third of his fellow senators for help when he first took his place in Senate.

Step Three: Become a "node".
Develop the art of forging links between separate parts of your company, and network like crazy.

Step Four: Be loyal. 
It's estimated that four out of every five CEO appointments go to insiders, and those insiders last almost two years longer in their jobs than outsiders.

Step Five: Flatter everyone in sight!
Pfeffer quotes research by Jennifer Chatman, of the University of California, Berkeley, who conducted experiments in which she tried to find a point at which flattery became ineffective. Interesting news, O beautiful and intelligent readers: there's no limit! People just can't get enough of it!

If you're somewhat sceptical about lavishing praise and attention on your peers and subordinates in an organisation, check out Lucy Kellaway's fascinating article for BBC News Magazine to see how there's just no end to the flattery that can be dispensed!

BBC: Should you strike a powerful pose?

In the meantime, where did you get your hair done? It really looks superb! It makes you look so young and vibrant. No wonder you're so good in your job. You must give me your tips for success sometime!

Have a nice day, gorgeous readers!

1 comment:

  1. Question: at what point does flattery become insincere? As with comedy, it’s all about…….timing.

    Don’t tell me my hair looks great when it’s the worst bed hair day ever, don’t tell me I’ve done a great presentation when I’ve just bombed - because if you do I will seriously start to doubt your judgement.

    So, by way of feedback, your timing was spot on. I am indeed feeling gorgeous today.

    And, for the record, you have never been so eloquent or erudite.