I have “discovered” there is three ways to get ahead in business (speaking now as an employee rather than an entrepreneur or independent contractor) that pretty much describes what you must accomplish to advance up the “ladder of success.” You advance by using PUSH, PULL, or SUCK.
Push is the idea of being promoted by your peers. Working well together in teams, sharing credit for success and accepting blame for your failings, your teammates insist that superiors move you upwards in the organization for the benefit of all. Often found while working in the presence of Leaders (rather than Managers, see Why Nobody Plays “Follow The Manager”) it is the most satisfying and least common method of rising in your career. Your advancement is based on what you do.
Pull occurs when you have a benefactor somewhere in middle or upper management and they have a vested interest in your career. (Note: “vested” may not mean “personal” interest. It is possible the shadow broker has chosen the pawn in play to enhance his own fiefdom rather than to benefit the victim’s career.) Not restricted to familial relationships (but a family “friend” is often a good source for this advancement method) a secret, closed meeting somewhere generates a ripple in space-time that propels the target’s career forward in a non-linear fashion, often to the dismay of more talented (and worthy) peers, who are left to try and understand why they were slighted for the promotion. Truth is many (if not most) people using advancement by Pull are at or near the event horizon of the Peter Principle (often it is the last Pull that truly demonstrates the effect has already occurred). Your advancement depends on who you are.
Sadly, the last method is the most insidious of all. Suck requires the person to prostitute their ideas, ethics, and actions to any and all members of the higher echelons of the company. They will polish apples, salute any and all flags run up flagpoles, follow any and all orders and declare their eternal “yesness” for any idea. They will “kiss” [REDACTED] as often as is necessary to be seen. Their motto is “it’s not what you know but who you blow” that get’s them advanced.Your career path depends on how willing you are to….
It would be funny (in a pathetic way) if it weren’t so demoralizing to see these leaches advanced over the people doing the actual work without getting the credit due. Even worse is to eventually be a subordinate of a person that successfully activates Suck as their preferred method of advancement. They often reciprocate within their circle of influence, providing potential proteges with the opportunity to skip vast amounts of effort, watching as their career launches into the loftier regions of the company. You can end up making (and fetching) a lot of coffee over the years.
Of course, you could also spit….
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