How to Get Ahead

Deep Thinkers Need Not Apply: How To Get Ahead In the Modern Business World [the broken link has been removed – when will sites be managed with the known wise practices from 1998 (web addresses need to live forever)?]:

Fast forward to my first real job out of college. It didn’t take long for me to realize that management’s perception of who should be promoted was heavily biased by who they liked. There was one engineer in particular who was highly skilled and detail oriented, but was one of the last to be promoted to the next level. Why? Because he was always working instead of schmoozing. As a result, it was thought that he “didn’t have good people skills,” when really, he was an excellent communicator, but simply didn’t waste time with frivolous talk and schmoozing.

This is something to be very careful of when managing people. I find that who says something is usually more important in predicting how people will react than what is said. As I have tested this myself I have learned how biased people are by who is talking; and I have tried to correct the judgments I reach (I know I don’t do it all the time but I try to especially for important things).

Fast forward to today. I sit in meetings with strangers and say things that are deep and insightful (at least, I think they are), but no one pays attention. A friend of mine in the group says “Rob has a popular business blog…” and suddenly I can say nothing wrong. My ideas are the same, but five minutes earlier, no one cared. Now I’m perceived as popular. Now my ideas matter.

I haven’t managed to have that reaction yet 🙁 Ok, maybe I am not suppose to wish that people would use poor reasoning to listen to me but I am in favor of any reason that makes them listen 🙂

Related: Management is PredictionProblems Caused by Performance Appraisalposts related to psychologyCurious Cat Management Improvement Jobs

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