The CEO of one of the most large and successful public relations firms with over 45 offices around the globe, GolinHarris‘s Fred Cook shares career advice from his new book, “Improvise: Advice from an unlikely CEO.”
One of Cook’s first tips to actually getting ahead in your career? It might sound simple but it’s sound.
People who decide to enter in on the world today are a dime a dozen. Cook says that most have gone to the same schools, taken the same courses, read the same books and watched all the same movies. That being said, companies are on the hunt for minds with a fresh perspective to help them when it comes to cultural and technological changes.
Cook encourages entrepreneurs to imagine life as a huge magazine rack.
And when you stand in front of it deciding which to choose – Cook says to abstain from reaching for People or Cosmopolitan – but instead, choose a copy of Inked, Guns or Bass Fisherman.
This practice will expose you to unusual ideas and engaging unconventional individualist. If you do experiment with your life, you will learn a lot about yourself and the rest of the human race.
Listen to a Guru
Listening is important for anyone who wants to be a CEO but today, it is not a common trait.
“High in the Himalayas, a guru taught me the secret to listening. As we walked together down a crowded street, the ‘Hippie Guru of Darjeeling’ promoted his psychic credentials and his mastery of the spiritual world, either trying to impress me or to scam a few rupees. When I jokingly accused him of lying, this little old man responded with a hard left hook to my jaw, teaching me a valuable lesson. Sometimes you should just SHUT UP and listen!” Cooke says.
If you are afraid, do it anyway
Behind every idea, is a dream. When it comes to new products, services, etc. — where do these ideas happen? Over a brewski.
So why do we have an influx of ideas but have a hard time committing to our brilliant schemes? Because we are afraid to fail.
Cook encourages young entrepreneurs to not be afraid to translate their ideas into reality. While most people first encounter business through internships (which are mandatory for most college students) being an entry-level employee at someone’s company will teach you a lot about business.
So you can only imagine how it will feel being the president of your own!
Make the Rules
Executives make their way to the top by adapting to their company’s culture as well as meeting quarterly financial goals and last but not least: not getting fired.
So how does one from outside the corporate world get accepted into this elite group and make it to the top?
While the business world is chalk full of rules — as they say, some rules are meant to be broken.
Cook recommends that you must find your own balance as breaking all the rules will scare people but if you create your own rules — they may not even notice.
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