7 Steps to Succeeding in Corporate America

Having been a member of Corporate America for over 10 years, my passion for growth and advancement in the job market has thought me quite a bit. There are many different ways to look at Corporate America, every position within an organization carries its own perspective and introduces you to an entirely different experience. There are however some key areas you can focus on to ensure you are not kept from moving up into the role you desire. Most of what we’ll cover here can apply to almost any position in Corporate America, but will vary slightly if applied to retail or entry level roles in an organization.

Here are your 7 steps to succeeding in Corporate America:

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1. Dress Code: As simple as this may seem, it is not something to dismiss. Most will agree that they follow the dress code at work, but do they really make an effort to look the part? Most common errors made are in the details, not so much the dress code. The colors you choose, the way you knot your tie, the polish on your shoes, your belt, and off course your grooming. Choosing subtle colors will always work in your favor as management usually doesn’t have a sense of humor and doesn’t care about how you felt when you decided to wear a yellow shirt to work. Try to match your colors to your type of work. Being a banker means being socially responsible, professional and trusted so wearing dark colors with design-less ties tends to work well, especially when the colors contrast but don’t clash. Look for the details in your clothing to match the caliber of the person you are. Make sure your shoes are polished and your belt is in new condition without tears, and more importantly please make sure that your tie is not loose. Being dressed appropriately means you care and you understand your role, not only in the organization but also in Corporate America, and you will give off the right vibe to senior management when they meet you.


2. Attitude: No one loves going to work everyday and doing the same thing time after time, dealing with the same customers over and over and arguing with the same co-workers. Most will actually show their discomfort or dislike of their job daily, no matter who their interactions are with. Your attitude is controlled strictly by you and no one else but you, therefore it is a direct representation of how much control you have over your own life. Management usually notices these things, and more often than you think! Through seeing how engaged you are with your work and how well you represent the company daily (no matter what issues you are dealing with in your personal life), management determines if you can lead and therefore considers you for further opportunities. This showcases that you put the company first, before yourself; and therefore holds a lot more weight than you think.


3. What you say: Sometimes keeping your mouth shut is the only option. Often companies will invite people to voice their opinions; this is not your opportunity to complain! Companies don’t care about your complaints nor do they want to hear them, they are not complaints but rather nagging. Make sure that when you do speak, it is not only of relevance but that the things you are addressing are actually items worth mentioning. Many times people will complain of the hours a store must remain open, or their products simply not being sellable. These are issues that will not change by you voicing your opinion and therefore need to be kept to yourself. There are on the other hand many other issues that people discuss that once again should never be done in a group setting but rather only with those of relevance. You can also run into a major issue by discussing an internal corporate process that is flawed, this may expose you to a corporate violation, and now you have to deal with the consequences of the matter even though you may not have any control over it.


4. Do your part: Many will over promise and under deliver when it comes to work. Making sure you are taking the appropriate steps to stay true to your word is key. If you are in a sales role and you make a commitment to bring in a certain amount of sales, then be prepared to meet that commitment, and to be able to demonstrate how you did so. If you are in an office setting and do mostly routine work, ensure all your deadlines are met so that no one can blame you for being a drag on the team. I have always had this theory about Corporate America and employees; most only work about 30% of the day and at 40% of their capacity. If you actually do 100% of what is expected of you and not anything more, you are doing 60% more than everyone else. Many have asked me in my past how it is that I went so far, so fast and that it would be impossible to duplicate…my response to them is simple: Do your job!


5. Who do you know? Some call it sucking up, others call it face time, I call it mandatory. That’s right, getting promoted has more to do with who you know than what you do. This game is simpler than you think, you might do your job but if nobody knows about it, then what difference does it make. When you want to move up, you should know who your next manager and their manager will be as you will need both of them to know of you and your accomplishments before it is time for you to apply for your new promotion. Wouldn’t you want to know who you’re hiring? It is very important to build confidence in those that will have an impact on your career right from the start. How you present yourself, and speak about yourself and your story will tell all about who you are, what they can expect and give them a hint about what you want. So face time is a must if you want to get anywhere in Corporate America.


6. Step up when appropriate: You will be giving many opportunities to take on projects for your boss, some will be relevant to your growth, others will simply be him/her delegating their work on to you. Understanding which projects will get the most exposure and if the person asking for your help is willing to give you credit for your efforts is very important. You can take on over a dozen projects, but if no one is gong to tell senior leaders that you actually worked on it, your efforts will be in vain. Stepping up is necessary and important but must be timed correctly so that it doesn’t become additional work for no reason. Declining certain projects may make sense from time to time (only as you grow more respected for having stepped up before), and it may also showcase that you have leadership and don’t simply agree to take on every task that’s given to you. Knowing how to properly say NO is very important.


7. Leadership: No matter what level of Corporate America you find yourself in, there is always a place for great leadership. Great leaders are sometimes born, and other times made – but it is within all of us to be great everyday. No matter where you work, no matter what you do and no matter who you work for; you have it within you to make the best of it and showcase why you are not stuck where you are.

So remember, keep your attitude up, dress well, do your part, take on more when you can, make the right friends and demonstrate great leadership EVERYDAY and you will get exactly what you want from Corporate America.

This article is taken from http://careerrocketeer.com/2010/06/7-steps-to-succeeding-in-corporate-america.html and all rights are reserved.



Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies

Built to Last

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Visionary Companies

“Visionary companies are premier institutions… in their industries, widely admired by their peers and having a long track record of making a significant impact on the world around them. The key point is that a visionary company is an organization“, not an individual or product.

Despite facing setbacks and mistakes, “visionary companies display a remarkable resiliency, an ability to bounce back from adversity. As a result, visionary companies attain extraordinary long-term performance.”

Twelve Shattered Myths

  • Myth 1: It takes a great idea to start a great company.“Few of the visionary companies began life with a great idea. In fact, some began life without any specific idea and a few even began with outright failures.”
  • Myth 2: Visionary companies require great and charismatic visionary leaders.“A charismatic visionary leader is absolutely not required for a visionary company… They concentrated more on architecting an enduring institution than on being a great individual leader.”
  • Myth 3: The most successful companies exist first and foremost to maximize profits.“Visionary companies pursue a cluster of objectives, of which making money is only one—and not necessarily the primary one. …They’re equally guided by a core ideology.”
  • Myth 4: Visionary companies share a common subset of “correct” core values.“There is no ‘right’ set of core values for being a visionary company. … The crucial variable is not the content of a company’s ideology, but how deeply it believes its ideology.”
  • Myth 5: The only constant is change.“A visionary company almost religiously preserves its core ideology. … [However, they] display a powerful drive for progress that enables them to change and adapt without compromising their cherished core ideals.”
  • Myth 6: Blue-chip companies play it safe.“Visionary companies may appear straitlaced and conservative to outsiders, but they’re not afraid to make bold commitments to ‘Big Hairy Audacious Goals’ (BHAGs).”
  • Myth 7: Visionary companies are great places to work, for everyone.“Only those who ‘fit’ extremely well with the core ideology and demanding standards of a visionary company will find it a great place to work.”
  • Myth 8: Highly successful companies make their best moves by brilliant and complex strategic planning.“Visionary companies make some of their best moves by experimentation, trial and error, opportunism, and—quite literally—accident.”
  • Myth 9: Companies should hire outside CEOs to stimulate fundamental change.“Home-grown management rules at the visionary companies to a far greater degree than at comparison companies.”
  • Myth 10: The most successful companies focus primarily on beating the competition.“Visionary companies focus primarily on beating themselves.”
  • Myth 11: You can’t have your cake and eat it too.“Visionary companies do not [believe in the] purely rational view that says you can have either A OR B, but not both. …They embrace the… paradoxical view that allows them to pursue both A AND B at the same time.”
  • Myth 12: Companies become visionary primarily through “vision statements.”“Creating a statement can be a helpful step… but it is only one of thousands of steps in a never-ending process.”

Clock Building, Not Time Telling

“Having a great idea or being a charismatic visionary leader is ‘time telling’; building a company that can prosper far beyond the presence of any single leader and through multiple product life cycles is ‘clock building’.”

The Myth of the “Great Idea
“Few of the visionary companies in our study can trace their roots to a great idea or fabulous initial product.” Some began “with outright failures.”
Waiting for “The Great Idea” Might Be a Bad Idea
If you want to start “a visionary company but have not yet taken the plunge because you don’t have a ‘great idea,’ we encourage you to lift from your shoulders the burden of the great-idea myth.”
The Company Itself is the Ultimate Creation
“Never, never, never give up. But what to persist with? Their answer: The company. Be prepared to kill, revise, or evolve an idea… but never give up on the company.”
The Myth of the Great and Charismatic Leader
“A high-profile, charismatic style is absolutely not required… Perhaps the continuity of superb individuals atop visionary companies stems from the companies being outstanding organizations, not the other way around.”
An Architectural Approach: Clock Builders at Work
“The evidence suggests to us that the key people at formative stages of the visionary companies had a stronger organizational orientation than in the comparison companies, regardless of their personal leadership style.”
This article is taken from this site: http://bizthoughts.mikelee.org/book-summary-built-to-last.html


Who Moved My Cheese? From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Who Moved My Cheese? An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life, published in 1998, is a motivational book by Spencer Johnson written in the style of a parable or business fable. It describes change in one’s work and life, and four typical reactions to said change by two mice and two “littlepeople”, during their hunt for cheese. …



Allegorically, Who Moved My Cheese? features four characters: two mice, “Sniff” and “Scurry,” and two littlepeople, miniature humans in essence, “Hem” and “Haw.” They live in a maze, a representation of one’s environment, and look for cheese, representative of happiness and success. Initially without cheese, each group, the mice and humans, paired off and traveled the lengthy corridors searching for cheese. One day both groups happen upon a cheese-filled corridor at “Cheese Station C”. Content with their find, the humans establish routines around their daily intake of cheese, slowly becoming arrogant in the process.

One day Sniff and Scurry arrive at Cheese Station C to find no cheese left, but they are not surprised. Noticing the cheese supply dwindling, they have mentally prepared beforehand for the arduous but inevitable task of finding more cheese. Leaving Cheese Station C behind, they begin their hunt for new cheese together. Later that day, Hem and Haw arrive at Cheese Station C only to find the same thing, no cheese. Angered and annoyed, Hem demands, “Who moved my cheese?” The humans have counted on the cheese supply to be constant, and so are unprepared for this eventuality. After deciding that the cheese is indeed gone they get angry at the unfairness of the situation and both go home starved. Returning the next day, Hem and Haw find the same cheeseless place. Starting to realize the situation at hand, Haw thinks of a search for new cheese. But Hem is dead set in his victimized mindset and dismisses the proposal.

Meanwhile, Sniff and Scurry have found “Cheese Station N”, new cheese. Back at Cheese Station C, Hem and Haw are affected by their lack of cheese and blame each other for their problem. Hoping to change, Haw again proposes a search for new cheese. However, Hem is comforted by his old routine and is frightened about the unknown. He knocks the idea again. After a while of being in denial, the humans remain without cheese. One day, having discovered his debilitating fears, Haw begins to chuckle at the situation and stops taking himself so seriously. Realizing he should simply move on, Haw enters the maze, but not before chiseling “If You Do Not Change, You Can Become Extinct” on the wall of Cheese Station C for his friend to ponder.

Still fearful of his trek, Haw jots “What Would You Do If You Weren’t Afraid?” on the wall and, after thinking about that, he begins his venture. Still plagued with worry (perhaps he has waited too long to begin his search…), Haw finds some bits of cheese that nourishes him and he is able to continue his search. Haw realizes that the cheese has not suddenly vanished, but has dwindled from continual eating. After a stop at an empty cheese station, Haw begins worrying about the unknown again. Brushing aside his fears, Haw’s new mindset allows him to again enjoy life. He has even begun to smile again! He is realizing that “When you move beyond your fear, you feel free.” After another empty cheese station, Haw decides to go back for Hem with the few bits of new cheese he has managed to find.

Uncompromising, Hem refuses the new cheese, to his friend’s disappointment. With knowledge learned along the way, Haw heads back into the maze. Getting deeper into the maze, inspired by bits of new cheese here and there, Haw leaves a trail of writings on the wall (“The Handwriting On the Wall”). These clarify his own thinking and give him hope that his friend will find aid in them during his search for new cheese. Still traveling, Haw one day comes across Cheese Station N, abundant with cheese, including some varieties that are strange to him, and he realizes he has found what he is looking for. After eating, Haw reflects on his experience. He ponders a return to see his old friend. But Haw decides to let Hem find his own way. Finding the largest wall in Cheese Station N, he writes:

Change Happens
They Keep Moving The Cheese
Anticipate Change
Get Ready For The Cheese To Move
Monitor Change
Smell The Cheese Often So You Know When It Is Getting Old
Adapt To Change Quickly
The Quicker You Let Go Of Old Cheese, The Sooner You Can Enjoy New Cheese
Move With The Cheese
Enjoy Change!
Savor The Adventure And Enjoy The Taste Of New Cheese!
Be Ready To Change Quickly And Enjoy It Again
They Keep Moving The Cheese.

Cautious from past experience, Haw now inspects Cheese Station N daily and explores different parts of the maze regularly to prevent any complacency from setting in. After hearing movement in the maze one day, Haw realizes someone is approaching the station. Unsure, Haw hopes that it is his friend Hem who has found the way.

It is indeed the friend, who has found a way to escape the rat race.

The article is taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Who_Moved_My_Cheese%3F

Characteristics of Engaged Workforce

The level of employee engagement can be measured by the willingness and ability of employees to contribute to the success of their organization. It is their discretionary effort which is an essential element for the good health and well being of a company.

Engaged Employees

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A highly engaged workforce shows the high level of engagement in their work and is always keen to take up new challenges in order to bring a positive change or establish a highly conducive work environment. Various studies have shown that higher level of employee engagement is directly linked to high satisfaction among them, productivity and profitability of organization and satisfied and loyal customers.

The model below illustrates a few characteristics of an engaged workforce that play an essential role in the success of any organization.

Mutual Trust: Trust is the base of any organization. Letting people do their work without telling them how to perform it is one of the best ways to engage staff. Employees welcome each other’s opinions and find out a wide variety of ways to accomplish a particular task. A highly engaged workforce doesn’t need directions at each step. They can perform their jobs with mutual help and trust.

Job and Career Satisfaction: Job satisfaction is one of the main characteristics of an engaged workforce. The individual who is satisfied with their career and the way their career graph is raising prefers to stick to the organisation for a very long period of time. Switching the organizations frequently is not a characteristic of satisfied employee.

Credible Leadership: As mentioned earlier, an engaged workforce doesn’t need directions for performing a specific job from time to time. Employees know how to do it in the best possible manner. They not only exhibit credible leadership qualities in routine tasks but also come up with innovative ways to deal with crisis or emergencies.

Focused and Keen to Take up Challenges: An engaged workforce is entirely focused and knows what to do and when. They are always keen to take up new challenges in order to solve the existing problems in the organization as well as acquire new skills. Not only this, they are always keen to learn new things and widening their horizon.

Better Performance: Employee engagement is directly related to better performance. Employee performance is the only way to measure the engagement, involvement and dedication of employees towards their jobs. If all these factors cannot be interlinked, there is no meaning of anything. It can be said that the workforce is not engaged or actively disengaged.

Problem Solving Attitude: Engaged workforce not only delivers its job responsibilities but also keeps a problem solving attitude always. A highly engaged employee displays a sense of belongingness towards the organization and makes every effort to solve the problems that pose a hindrance in the organization way of success.

The above mentioned are the essential characteristics of an engaged workforce. However, mutual respect, commitment, enthusiasm, optimism and discretionary efforts to serve customers better are add-on characteristics that an engaged employee generally exhibits.

Article taken from http://www.managementstudyguide.com/characteristics-of-engaged-workforce.htm

What changes can you make regarding your engagement at work today?

You have the power to create an environment that is fully engaging where you are learning and growing daily.

What conversation will you have with your peers, team, and or manager today?

It’s time for action, jump into full gear.

Jim Collins: Good to Great in 10 Steps

You're great

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1. Download the diagnostic tool at jimcollins.com, and do the exercises with your team. Yes, I thought this was self-serving at first. Then I looked it, considered that it’s free and doesn’t require you to sign up for anything, and immediately saw his point.

2. Get the right people in the key seats. This comes from Collins’ famous observation that building a company is like driving a bus. You need a driver, but you also need the right people in all the key seats. So, says Collins, figure out how many key seats you have, and make a plan that will make sure you get all the key seats filled by the end of the year.

3. Once a quarter, have a brutal facts meeting. Be careful about who you include in this meeting. You will be discussing just the brutal facts. This is not the time to express opinions or strategize. Repeat: Only discuss the brutal facts.

4. Set a 15 to 25-year big, hairy audacious goal (BHAG). This is a goal that is concrete enough, and ambitious enough, to guide your company’s progress for years. Collins writes that “With his very first dime store in 1945, Sam Walton set the BHAG to ‘make my little Newport store the best, most profitable in Arkansas within five years.’ He continued to set BHAGs, which continued to get larger and more audacious, as his company grew.

5. Commit to a “20-mile march” that you will bring you to your big hairy audacious goal. Collins makes the analogy to someone who is trying to walk across the county. The best approach, says Collins, is to attempt to travel the same distance every day. If you’re on a 2-mile march, says Collins, you don’t bolt 30 miles ahead when the weather is good. You go 20 miles. When the weather is bad, you can’t sit inside and complain – you still have make 20 miles.

What does this have to do with entrepreneurship? In his research, Collins found that companies that perform consistently do much better than those that do spectacularly one year and are feeble the next. That’s because if you overextend in good years, when opportunity appears to be everywhere, you may not have the resources to get through the lousy years. The 20-mile march is a metaphor for the milestone that you can reach day-in and day-out.

6. Place at least one really big bet in the next three years, based on having fired bullets first. No entrepreneur has unlimited resources, just as no small army has unlimited gunpowder (this metaphor may be dated, but you get the point). The best use of limited gunpowder, or resources, says Collins, is to fire bullets to ensure that your aim is calibrated properly and that you can indeed hit your target. Only when you’re sure of your ability to hit your target should you load lots of gunpowder into a cannonball and fire away. “Fire bullets to calibrate. Fire cannonballs to go big,” says Collins.

7. Practice productive paranoia. Collins says he fondly refers to his entrepreneurial subjects as PNFs, or paranoid neurotic freaks.  “Successful companies have three to ten times the cash on their balance sheets as their peers even when they are very small,” says Collins. Or as one of the CEOs he studied said to him, “We’re very proud of the fact that we’ve predicted 11 of the past three recessions.”

How exactly can one practice productive paranoia? Collins recommends making a plan that will allow you to go for an entire year with no revenues, and still survive.

8. Get a high return on your next luck event. Collins says that both great and mediocre companies encounter the same amount of luck, good and bad. What matters, he says, is how well they’re able to capitalize on it. Collins refers to this as ‘return on luck.’ “How are you doing on luck?” he asks. “Have you turned your bad-luck events into a big part of what makes your company great? Are you squandering your good-luck events?”

9. Make a to-do list. “If you have more than three priorities, you don’t have any,” says Collins. For every major ‘to-do’ on your list, you should have a corresponding item that you will stop doing. The ‘stop-doing’ list.

10. Commit to a set of core values that you will want to build your enterprise on, without changing them, for 100 years.

“Kimberly Weisul is editor-at-large for Inc. Before joining Inc., she was a senior editor at BusinessWeek, where she spearheaded coverage of entrepreneurship and small business. She is also the co-founder of One Thing New@weisul”



Gikasan Services Inc, Owner William Herrera is looking for two persons in South Jersey to help in his company. He has the contract to clean Ross Stores in Voorhees and Apple Stores in Cherry Hill NJ.

Job available
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