top of page


  1. Put in the extra time: remember that habitual nine-to-fivers may often be considered unpromotable. But you may do your best thinking and creative work outside the office; in your car, on trains, planes or in the quiet of your own home.

  2. Keep your ears, eyes and mind open: the more you hear and see, the better input you will provide. Listening is the most important. Do people the courtesy of hearing them out before offering a counter-argument.

  3. Be inquisitive: ask your boss and subordinates questions – and then question their answers. This is how you’ll learn the business.

  4. Keep on learning: read the daily papers and weeklies that get behind the news. Demonstrate (subtly) that you are well informed about the whole spectrum of business and public affairs.

  5. Write and present well: whether it is a memo or a report, write clearly and to the point. Your boss will give you top marks for saving them time.

  6. Get and use information: deliberately memorise facts and statistics, quote respected people and publications etc.

  7. Think before you speak: avoid being garrulous at meetings. Better to make to well timed, well expressed observations at a meeting than give frequent inconsequential “look at me” interruptions.

  8. Never give your boss surprises: don’t ever hide blunders – they will turn up eventually. Also remember that to be a good liar you need a very long memory. The truth is easier.

  9. Be visible: you are in a competitive business so don’t hide. Copy key people in on your most lucid work but don’t brag. Be alert to the fact that your workmates can be your most powerful enemies. Related to this, honour confidences and fight the temptation to indulge in office gossip.

  10. Remember honour and modesty: effective managers still have time to laugh. They also maintain a certain modesty.

  11. Share credit for good work: with the people who helped. But think very carefully before you apportion blame.

  12. Begin writing and speaking about your business to audiences: this is one of the best ways to be noticed, inside the company and outside it.

bottom of page