Succeeding in 2018
A summary of Chapter 10 in Scott Galloway’s book, “The Four”.
Scott’s a professor at NYU, entrepreneur (he’s started and sold 6 companies), and if you don’t follow Scott Galloway, please do so now. He’s just released a book called “The Four”, and also offers some great career advice. Please watch his YouTube channel, buy the book, subscribe to his newsletter.
And so the plagiarism begins… This is my summary, but please, buy the book.
Manage your own enthusiasm. Be poised under stress. Don’t feel entitled. Give more than your expected to give. Don’t wait for the perfect moment, the most clear task. When things are uncertain, give and take direction. Apply what you’ve learnt. Know when to speak, waiting for the right time is ok. Drop the ego.
“What if we did it this way”. Come up with the practical AND batshit crazy ideas. For every 4 things you’re asked to do, deliver one thing that’s unexpected.
Own your task, project, business. Assume that if you’re not all over every detail it won’t get done properly. Because if you’re not, it probably won’t be.
Certifications aren’t everything but they give credibility in a sea of linkedin self promotion horse shit (instead of a janitor, you’re an “Associate Director of Hygiene Consultation”). Get a degree, get a hard certification. I doubled my salary one year by completing the first level of the CFA certification. That year globally only 25% passed the 6 hour exam. My salary doubled because it was a hard certification. Also — the certification only cost $300… and 6 months of my life. The big jumps require hard work.
Be competitive, be action oriented, be driven by ticking things off the checklist, delivering great projects, selling, ‘shipping’, getting things out the door. It’s a habit. We’ve all dealt with people who are known as ‘high output’, and we’ve also all dealt with people who have been a project for 6 months and have nothing to show for it.
Go where the growth is
Tony Robbins once said “Proximity is power”. Once you reach a certain level, you won’t find new opportunities through recruiters and job postings, they’ll happen with people you meet in your day to day work. Go somewhere where there are lots of people, where growth is going crazy. Particularly in tech, where there is big growth, there’s also a talent shortage. Good people are still very very hard to find.
Pimp your career
You need a way to stand out. Scott Galloway wears crazy wigs and speaks his mind through a youtube channel. I run this blog, and use video internally to communicate. A video is like a jet engine power over a sea of powerpoint horse shit. You need a way to stand out from the noise.
Learn how to manage young people
Millennials are the largest part of the labour force. Stop complaining, learn to work with them, they have so much to give. At my employer they account for over 50% of the workforce. Clear objectives, metrics, investments, empathy.
Be passionate about being relevant
If you’re in marketing, get to know every last detail about how facebook dark posts work. Get relevant, get hands on about the latest trends, get your hands dirty.
Get a stake in your work
At some point get part of your salary in equity. Aim for 10–20% of your salary rewarded as shares in your company.
Pick an employer, give 3–5 years
Don’t be that dude that never lasts more than 6 months at a company. In any new company it will take a little while before you are trusted. It’ll take a little while to build the network to pull together the right people to make something special happen.
Stay loyal to people
There will be days where the organisation brings you down. Remember those you work with, you work for. Stay loyal, don’t gossip, be the better person. If your boss isn’t your biggest advocate and carving opportunities for you, they’re a crap boss or you’re a crap employee.
Follow your talent, not passion
Follow what you’re good at. Generally the better we become at something the more we like it, the more confident we are, and the more we can do with it.
Don’t expect justice
There’s no guarantee of things being fair. In fact, they definitely won’t be. And it’ll be unfair in your favour just as many times as it won’t be. Try hard, try really hard, but don’t expect it to be fair.
Regression to the mean. Put it in perspective
Eventually things even out. For every few good projects you have, you’ll have a shit one. Savour the good times, and in bad times remember that eventually it’ll even out.
Go where your skill is valued
If you’re great with people, work for a services consultancy. If you’re a great engineer, work with an ISV. If you’re a great sales person, work for a software company. If you’re a great marketer, work for a high growth consumer product company. Google is an engineering firm, the techies thrive, Accenture is a services firm, the people people thrive.
Sexy jobs have low ROI
How much do you think social media managers get paid? Very very little. It’s sexy and it’s not hard to do, which means there’s a ton of competition. Also your future prospects are minimal. Have you learnt niche skills (be honest with yourself)? Boring but brilliant is where the money is. Be the best integration architect or data engineer there is in the world. You may not have emoji’s in your title but you’ll always have tons of job prospects and you’ll be well paid.
Be strong, be fit, be healthy
The #1 common trait across execs is daily exercise. It’ll make you feel amazing, think better, live longer and be happier.
Help those below you
As your team thrives so will you. Be a mentor, take it seriously.
Know your strength
At any point in time a company is starting, growing, stabilising/scaling or dying. Where do you thrive? Is it in a well established company where you can help lay operational standards? Or is it in being the support guy-salesperson- engineer-consultant for a great new product that has just launched.
Have fun. Don’t be a dick (this is mine, not Scott’s)
As above. Take it seriously, but not too seriously. You’ll be dead soon.