Thank You Boss

Harvard Business SchoolKayla Barrett (Brentwood Chapter) has given us some great discussions on “Are You an Upside Down Leader.” What is it about managers and leaders in today’s new world that must be different or they (or the company) won’t survive?

Let me take you back to B-School. For those of you who graduated with a B.S. in Geology (that would be me) or Psychology but got thrown into the business world, “B-School” stands for “Business School.” It’s a term Harvard business school students use. It’s always “B School” and not “the B School.” It’s a term that is never used by Harvard alumni after graduation.

Tip: If someone says they graduated from Harvard’s B School, you’ll know instantly they graduated from Harvard’s two-weekend online course and not the Harvard Business School (thanks to Jim Cumbee for revealing a Harvard secret).

Remember the courses you took? Can you remember any course or professor that really prepared you for the real business world? I mean, did you take any course that you can honestly say, “Yep, that course helped to prepare me to survive my first year in business.”

Of course not.

If the university had actually given you practical knowledge, you wouldn’t be buying my book. You’d be retired at the age of thirty-one living on the Caribbean island you purchased.

Let’s face it. You want to move up in the corporate world? I’m going to let you in on a secret I learned after 33-years as a middle market lender in the starchy world of commercial banking. Here’s what you need to get ahead:

1. You Need Some Intelligence
(translation: Keep your mouth shut and don’t volunteer)

2. You Need a Rabbi
(translation: Mentor – someone who likes you)

3. You Need to be in the Right Place at the Right Time
(translation: You need to be lucky)

For the one percent of you who experienced those three attributes, I congratulate you. I appreciate all the very positive coaching you gave me all those years. I appreciate the breadcrumbs each year around March after you got done gorging yourselves on the loaf (didn’t Marie Antoinette say, “Let them eat cake?” – not if she wanted to keep her head on straight). I appreciate all the support you gave me especially when it was clear you had no idea what it took – day-in and day-out – to be successful in the sales process. I appreciate the times I took you out to meet the new client for the first time and you spent 55-minutes of our one-hour talking about yourself.

Oh, and the accolades could go on and on.

Good luck and good networking.


3 Responses to “ Thank You Boss ”

  1. September 25, 2013

    On that note Stew, even though I have a college degree, the most useful class that I took in all of my education trail has proven to be typing in high school.
    Everything else, I learned in the business world itself. The school of hard knocks.
    Great post.

    • September 25, 2013

      Ivy, that’s so funny because I was going to write the exact same thing! Honestly, I was a corporate “weenie” for a long time. At the risk of sounding like sour grapes, Corporate America has changed drastically over time. Job security is an oxymoron. Being an entrepreneur is not for everyone but breaking out of corporate slavery was the best thing that ever happened to me. Besides my typing skils that is.

  2. September 25, 2013

    Ha Ha . . . That’s the same response I give people when they asked me what the most useful class was that I’ve ever taken . . . typing in high school. I type faster than I can hand write. Thanks.

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