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My corporate climb

jenningswire, annie jennings pr, bud bilanichThe other day, I interviewed Andy Mills retired President of the Thomson Reuters Financial Professional Publishing Group.  This interview is for my membership site, My Corporate Climb.

Andy grew the Thomson Reuters Financial Professional Publishing Group business from $300,000 in annual sales when he took over to over $3 billion.  These days, he spends his time doing a lot of work with non profits.

Andy and I discussed what he thinks it takes to make it in today’s competitive corporate environment.  Some of his advice may surprise you.

Take a look…

·         Be a person of high integrity.  You carry your reputation with you for your entire life.  Be honorable.  Treat people fairly.  And remember, a solid reputation that takes years to build can be destroyed in a single moment.  Just ask Tiger Woods.

·         Develop your influence skills.  Find a way to be influential even if you have no formal authority.  Influence, more than position power, is the way most things get done in today’s world.  If you are influential and persuasive, you’ll climb the corporate ladder faster than most.

·         We all have special gifts, skills and capabilities.  Recognize and use yours.  If you don’t know what your gifts are ask someone close to you, like your parents.  Andy points out, and rightly so, that parents observe their kids closely.  Your parents will be able to tell you what came naturally to you and, to use his words, “what you were hopeless at”  Figure out your strengths and gifts, then develop them.

·         Take the first step.  You might not find your dream job right out of college.  That’s OK.  Take what’s offered and develop yourself.  Andy started his career selling fabric in the East End of London.  He ended up leading a financial services company.  The important thing is to start.  Get moving.  The law of inertia says that a body in motion stays in motion – get moving and keep going.

·         Do it well.  You have to perform.  I often tell my coaching clients that while good performance is not enough to guarantee your rapid ascent up the corporate ladder, it is an absolute prerequisite for success.  Care about what you do, and do it well.  As Andy points out, your first or second job may require you use only a part of your brain, or skills, but that’s OK.  Approach any task with enthusiasm, do your best and you’ll be moving in the right direction.  You can stand out it an entry level job.

·         Think before you take off two years to do an MBA.  Even though he has an MBA from Harvard, Andy questions the value of a high priced degree that requires two years away from work and is very expensive.  He suggests that taking advantage of your company’s tuition reimbursement program and studying for an MBA at night while working full time demonstrates self-discipline, drive and commitment to your career

Advice from Andy Mills

I think this is some outstanding career success advice from a successful business person, Andy Mills.  I’ve known Andy since 1980 and have found that he practices what he preaches.  He is a good man with lots of common sense advice about what it takes to climb the corporate ladder.  Pay attention to the six points above.  Use them, and watch your career take off.

What do you think about Andy’s ideas?  Please take a minute to share your thoughts with us in a comment.

As always, thanks for taking the time to read my musings on life and career success.  I value you and I appreciate you.  If you want to learn more about how to climb the corporate ladder faster check out the free rebroadcast of a webinar I did recently.

You can find it here

By Bud Bilanich, a contributing blogger for JenningsWire.