Tips from a successful corporate figure

Case Study

Even though this interview is almost 10 years old, it is still relevant in today’s working world. There is a very good article that I came across from The Star Bizweek with Tengku Zafrul Aziz under the Business section of “Your 10 Questions”. Each week, a public figure will be picked to answer 10 questions. I learned a lot from the article that I think it is too good to just be yesterday’s news (I have gotten used to using my blog to document great articles that I have came across):

Tips from successful corporate figure

View source here.

1. We must know what we want before planning for the next big step

Knowing what we want may not be easy- we can start by reviewing our strengths and weaknesses. Then choose a job where we can excel in our skills with a company that needs and appreciate your skills.

“Don’t be too influenced by those around you- only you know who you are, what you want and what’s best”. — I find his saying to be very true.

2. Successful people can find good ways to destress.

Tengku Zahrul runs and do triathlons, other sports and plays with his 5 year old daughter.

It is important to find effective ways to destress. Exercising is a great option- else, I have observed that the stress will get to the person, affecting both their family life and health.

3. One should be firm but fair to make it in this sometimes ruthless corporate rat race.

Even though some friends had told him that he was not shrewd or ruthless enough, he still stood by his principles. He believed that everyone has his/her own style of getting things done. But I like his principles, the same with my one of my former boss who is my role model and is now very successful: ‘what goes around comes around, so be fair and honest. Never give up and don’t surrender a fight that you believe in and stand for’.

My ex-boss has a knack of bringing out the best in people- and she can effectively motivate staff of all levels. She had never played the dirty corporate game- she rose in her corporate position through hard work, fairness, good strategical planning, honesty and rewarding deserving staff.

4. Success depends on hard work and passion, and just not on who you know.

Tengku Zafrul made a lot of sense when he said, “there is so many people out there who know the same people you know. To survive in an ultra competitive world, it is not just about who you know, but what you know.”

Sometimes, I hear sour grapes comments when people get around of talking about other successful people: that these people are successful because they know the right people. You know, a successful person will have to deal with many ‘newfound friends’ who would want to flatter their way to the top. And don’t you know that experience will not teach these folks to sniff out a fake a mile away?

In the end, to survive, it really depends on one’s skills and abilities. I have known of a young guy who resorted to sleeping with older his female boss in order to get a promotion. He took advantage of her loneliness and vulnerability to climb up the corporate ladder. He got the promotion alright, but he was not competent enough to remain in the position for long.

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