In The Trenches
Heinlein). No one is going to give you
success except yourself. Dieters are the
classic example of failing to execute a
plan. The goal is to lose 10 pounds in a
month. The plan is to go to the gym
twice a week and to eat less. The cost is
time and no more chocolate. But, I'm
too busy this week to go to the gym.
And I went out for lunch and they had a
birthday party and I couldn't refuse the
cake. And then there's your mother.
"You're not going to get that A if you
don't study!" She knows all about executing a plan.
ful". Your co-workers may have advantages you are not aware of. This type of
success cannot be controlled by you.
However, you can certainly influence
and enhance your chance of winning by
following the four steps of success.
Getting that New Job
In some things, you can be successful all by yourself. You can learn a
new computer language by yourself, or
ride a bicycle, or design a circuit. There
are other times when you have to compete with others to be successful.
Obviously, you can't win a tennis match
without beating your opponent. And
lots of others want that trophy, job, or
promotion just as badly as you do. The
first thing to realize is that competing
against others is always uncertain. The
simple and obvious reason is "success"
now depends on what others think and
do. Your boss chooses who is "success-
What is your real goal here? Do
you want more money? Do you want
the prestige of a nice title? Do you want
to have a more interesting job? If you
don't know exactly what you want, you
can't plan for it. When competing, the
planning stage is usually second followed by the cost of implementing the
plan. And in order to make any plan,
you have to have information. What are
the others' qualifications and abilities?
What are your strong points? More
importantly, what are your weak
points? What are the standards you will
be measured on? If you don't know
these things, you will have little chance
of success. If you are competing for a
new job in a new company, learn everything you can about the company.
Learn how it was founded, who runs it
now, their work ethic, what they do, why
they do it, how big it is, etc. With all the
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All questions should be
websites nowadays, this is easier than
ever. The most critical piece of information you need is to learn exactly what
they want. Or, more to our point, what
is their goal? They want to succeed,
too. They have a goal, plan, and cost
already in place. Now they are executing that plan. You need to match your
plan to their goal better than anyone
else. Then you have to make them
aware of that.
For example, a long time ago, I
wanted to work at a particular company. I researched them and determined
what mainframe computer system they
were using. I then called the local representative of that computer system to
get some details about the system in
general. I had a nice conversation with
the representative and he mentioned
that the company had just ordered a
new system. At the interview, I was
asked if I was familiar with the computer type they were using. I said yes but
that it would be interesting to learn
about their new system. You know, the
one you ordered a few weeks ago. The
interviewers looked at each other with
their mouths open. The goal of most
interviewers is to find aggressive, hard-working, and competent people. Those
two sentences clearly demonstrated
that to them. I should point out that
these people wanted to hire me on the
spot. However, another interviewer felt I
"looked too young." I was later told that
there was quite a battle between the
interviewers. I did not get that job. This
points out the fact that no one can plan
for everything. Plans fail for reasons
you might never consider. But, the failure of the plan does not mean that the
person is a failure. It's important to
know this. Of course, it's disappointing
and discouraging. It's not personal,
Success through unethical behavior is a topic that clearly has to be discussed. Some students cheat to get a
better grade. Athletes sometimes use
drugs to enhance their performance.
Executives may take money from