Are you stuck in the same old job for ages? Why not have a look at what the upper boys are playing at?
Career clue from the boardroom
My way was to plan what I wanted, try to distract the quarry by conceding generously on minor points, and hope the big ones slip through. The key is to listen first. Let them dig a hole for themselves. In one case I had planned to ask for fees of £10,000 per month, but I didn’t answer the straight question of ‘how much?’ Eventually the client, after a preamble about how hard and competitive times were, asked us if we would mind working for a fee of’just £20,000 a month at first’ until he could justify a budget increase to his boss. Surely the best return on investment for lunch at the Groucho an adman could hope for.
Richard Humphreys (serial Chairman)
If you make a move to a new company, you are at some disadvantage against your fellow managers. They know the ropes and how to shine in the existing environment.
It is therefore a very good idea to do something very early on in your new career to question that environment and change it in a high-profile way.
So, think about it when you are making a change of employer. Look at why the company has hired you. If you are coming in at a fairly high level it is likely that the people who hired you saw you as a change agent (rule of 20% Idea 44), for a part of their culture with which they are dissatisfied – new blood and all that.
Career case in point
A manager moved from a telecommunications company to another larger and longer established company. He knew, from his competitive knowledge and from things said at the interview, that senior management were implementing a huge change programme aimed at knocking the old-fashioned corners off their longserving managers. These people were accustomed to a hierarchical rather deferential culture where seniority counted highly. They were also struggling with the concept that the customer was king. The first thing the new boy did on his first day was to remove every car parking space allocated on the basis of management seniority. He re-allocated the best spaces to customers only.
Also in his tour of the car park, he realised that there were some areas that were not only dark but also outside the range of the security cameras. Accordingly, he allocated the next best spaces nearest to the entrance to those women who sometimes or regularly worked late. At a stroke he got the support of those of his people who felt held back by the old guard, and of the more ambitious women willing to work long hours. It also became high profile without his having to tell a soul. The old guard were in furore. They sent angry letters to human resources and senior managers in all parts of the organisation. They themselves gave him the oxygen of publicity. By the end of literally his first day his name was very high profile, he had sorted out the resisters of change from the enthusiasts and impressed on senior management his grasp of what they were looking for in terms of cultural change. Senior management congratulated themselves, modestly of course, for hiring the right person for the job.
We recommend this read to any person who is looking to succeed and wise enough to accept advice from the people who have been there before him.
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