Saturday, December 20, 2008
The Secret of My Success
What you thought I was going to have a picture of Michael J Fox :-)? Nonetheless, this is not about movies but about corporate America. I've been working in corporate America for awhile and I've learned a few things along away. And I'm going to give you advice today that I really should be charging you for. So let's get this ball rolling....
You want to know the secret to moving up the corporate food chain. I’ll give you a hint, it’s not working hard. It’s not being the smartest person in your company. It’s an old white man. PERIOD. Not a woman, not man of a different race, but an older white gentleman that sees potential in you. Don’t get me wrong, you can move up the chain without having a white man behind you but trust me, there’s a glass ceiling at the top of the ladder. If you trying to be the CEO or sitting on the executive board, you better seek out Jim Watson and not Jamal Watkins or Maria Rodriguez.
Ok Waldini, so I need a white man? How do I get a high ranking one to put me down? For a woman, it’s pretty simple; you just need to be eye candy. That doesn’t mean you have to sleep with him or get your knees dirty to rise to the top. You just need to be easy on the eyes. But the looks will only get you in the door. You have to prove yourself too so that means putting your brain on display to match your booty. So when you get in front of high powered suits, do more than just show some cleavage. You want Jimmy to be first fantasizing about you before you open your mouth and then be deciding if you should be on the executive board as you do your how this saves the company money spiel. And definitely don’t do something stupid like blow off an important meeting or phone call. That will get you sent back to the minors with the rest of the worker bees and middle managers.
For the men, it can be tricky. Now for young white men, it’s usually a little easier since an old white man will basically think he’s looking at himself when he sees a younger white male. The only way they screw themselves is trying to bite the hand that fed them. For everyone else, you need to take advantage of situations. Normally there are company events where a high ranking white male comes and speaks with the audience. It’s on you to make this your moment and introduce yourself to him BUT also make sure he remembers you. Better yet, do some research on him before you talk to him so that when you do speak to him you can say something like “I’ve always admired you, especially when you did yada yada yada.” And if you’re going to discuss current events, let him dictate what he wants to talk about and adapt the conversation. That shows your diversity. How do I know it works? Because I’m doing it right now. See you at the top.
If you can find one to endorse you, the world is yours. I’m talking about attending events in the corporate suite, getting the down low on organizational changes, rubbing elbows with the power players in the company, and most importantly, watching your bank account grow like you stealing money all at once.