Skip to main content

A beginner’s guide

It is much easier to be successful in a corporate career than in one’s personal life. The reason is simple; the number of stakeholders in one’s organizational life is much smaller than the number of stakeholders in one’s personal life. The second reason is that the time available for being successful in one’s corporate life in relation to time available for one’s personal life is much more.
Four drivers of success in corporate career are knowledge, performance, street smartness and conduct.
Knowledge includes knowledge of owners of business, knowledge of business and knowledge of the environment in which the business operates.A very large number of business executives do not even know the names of the five biggest shareholders of their company where they work. Information relating to business includes knowledge of the project, knowledge of products, the processes and the financials etc. Knowledge about business also includes knowledge of competitors, market share and global view of the industry.  Knowledge of business environment shall include government policies including taxation and incentives, the social aspects of business and role and importance of industry associations. Sources of obtaining the above mentioned knowledge include company website, corporate brochures and presentations meant for different stakeholders for various different purposes, corporate executives and employees themselves and most importantly the top management and the annual report/s of the company. Additional sources include newspapers, trade and industry magazines, business periodicals, industry reports and white papers.
No one can be successful in any organization without performance, delivery and results. Smartness, manipulations and sycophancy can bring about short term gains and advantages.
Once a boss asked his subordinate who had recently joined the organization “What do you understand your job is?” Newly joined business executive told his boss “My job is to make you successful”. Thus, to be successful you need to service your immediate boss and your team members. One has to be So Good, through commitment, dedication and hard work that the boss and his job become redundant. This may result in one of the two things. Either, the boss being really good gets promotion and the subordinate takes over his position. Alternately, the boss being redundant is thrown out of the job and subordinate takes over his position. Failing the above two, this hard working person gets noticed by many other seniors in the organization and is picked up by any one of them either within the organization in another division or department or by one of such senior persons leaving the organization and taking this person along on terms better than what this person is currently working on. To be a good performer one needs to regularly interact with the boss to know what exactly is expected of him by the boss. One must continuously remain connected with the boss particularly to get continuous informal feedback. A burning desire to improve coupled with sincerity, hard work and dedication will surely bring about desired result.
In today’s world apart from being good one needs to be smart or even street smart. This includes intelligent networking along with smart and intelligent socializing. One has to be present at the right place at right time to be seen in the company of right people. A young business executive must make entry into a social gathering within 15 to 30 minutes of its start and like wise exit within 15 to 30 minutes of the end of the gathering. One must learn to handle food, drinks and attire. The young executive should move about in the party and seen with different age groups, status groups cutting across functions and divisions. In the work place similarly one should have friends in different divisions, departments and locations at different levels of hierarchy. Even outside of one’s office one needs to have good networking in other organizations, may be through old friends and classmates. One should have smart links in the office of Chairman’s secretariat and in the office of the Company Secretary which are vital sources of important information.
One last but most important point about success is that, it is the easiest thing to achieve by observing some simple age old sayings. One is punctuality. In the current scenario when every one is almost always late one gets immediately noticed just by being on time. Two, being with a sense of immaculate   dressing where people are slowly forgetting to be appropriately attired, one gets easily identified and appreciated. Three, it pays to be modest, humble and courteous not only with bosses or ladies but with every one around. And last, never to forget, to avoid the company of rumour mongers and negative people.
Continuous learning, consistent performance, being smart and good conduct will ensure success in a corporate career.