How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying

As I was planning a possible long weekend in NYC last month I was pursuing different Broadway shows that were currently playing that I might want to see. I was surprised to find that there was a remake of the Broadway show “How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying” starring John Larroquette and Daniel Radcliffe of Harry Potter fame. The story is about a young man that works as a window washer that finds the book “How to Succeed in Business.” He reads the book and believes he would be able to succeed in the corporate world even though he had no training and no skills. Much to everyone’s surprise he follows the suggestions in the book and is able to quickly climb the corporate ladder – but only by stepping over and stepping on everyone in his way. In the end he is forced to look at his life path and realizes that he really has not achieved any success.  This got me to thinking about my own career path and where I am headed.

When I graduated from college I was certain that I was headed on a fast track to the top of the corporate world. I was an honors graduate. I had studied hard planned my career and life goals. I was ready to make my mark in the world! I thought I had what I needed to succeed. Ah, big news – college did NOT teach me all there is to know and did little to prepare me for the challenges I have had to face in the career world – in other words I found that “you cannot succeed in business without really trying.”

Success has been much harder to attain in the business world than it was in college. There are far more variables to contend with, more personalities to pacify and there is a lot less bending of the rules. I have had to rethink what it takes to succeed and the lessons have not all come easily. Much like J. Pierpont Finch in the musical “How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying”, I found that the desire to succeed is not nearly as important as the effort you have to put in to attaining that success. For me, setting goals, study, and the willingness to listen and learn from my colleagues has helped to direct me to my long term goals of personal and financial success. Understanding the mission and vision of the company as well as the expectations of my supervisors have also helped direct me along my career path. However, learning to focus on my customers’ needs has proven to be the most successful and satisfying goal of my short career, and I believe it will ultimately be the key to my success. If I can provide my customers with the absolute best care, instead of having one time run-in’s, a relationship will form and there will always be a chance of repeat business…  Especially in the BlueGrace World.

– Bryan Byak, Account Manager
Follow me @bryanbyak

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