The Single Piece Of Advice That Changed The Course Of My Career
Darius Foroux

My brilliant Darius Foroux, I have mixed feelings about this piece.

My integrity agrees with every word. Work hard, explore and manifest your vision, and be brave in spite of your fear of what others may think of your ideas.

Avoid gossip, backstabbing and manipulation.

Unfortunately, the quiet humble genius is often overshadowed by the mediocre, over confident braggart, who convinces many managers that he or she is extraordinary, simply because they keep announcing their (nonexistent) talent with unwavering confidence and their coworkers believe them, all evidence to the contrary.

It has been my observation that people will follow someone who is confident but lacking talent, before they will follow a brilliant yet shy genius. I have seen this first hand in the workplace more often than I can count.

When I finally realized that confidence is frequently confused for talent by upper management, I made a conscious effort to stop making self deprecating jokes about myself, and assumed an aura of confidence and “of course I can do this.”

I also stopped asking questions, proving the old adage “It is better to ask for forgiveness than permission,” (particularly aimed at the work place.) This made no sense to me, because by asking a simple question I could have saved the company thousands of dollars, but it was clear they weren’t interested and simply annoyed by my intrusions.

Did I gossip about some of my co-workers? I’m ashamed to say yes. As a matter of fact, a therapist I was seeing at the time told me that sociological studies had been done, sadly proving that people who remain outside the inner pulse of the office social dynamic actually don’t succeed or do as well because they are considered outsiders.

The results of these changes were astounding and propelled my career to heights I never could have anticipated.

I am not in any way endorsing the above strategies. I find them extremely distasteful and a sad commentary on human nature.

I am very happy today, not to be working in an office setting and grappling with office politics.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this, Darius, if you have time. I value your opinions and approach to life.