How to Succeed in Business by Really Trying


Except in rare instances, achieving success is no accident. And hope, by itself,
will not navigate you to your goal. Although it’s true that luck often plays a role,
even a streak of good fortune isn’t enough without planning and determination.
The following checklist provides some solid tips for building a successful career.

  • Develop excellent work habits—for example, meet deadlines and don’t procrastinate.
  • Read extensively about your primary career area. “Own” your profession by developing a disciplined reading program, so you’ll be aware of trends and developments.
  • Practice team playing—learning from colleagues and sharing your knowledge. Beware of hubris.
  • Know both your job and your organization’s expectations, and be sure they’re on the same track.
  • Set goals, write them down and evaluate your progress.
  • Focus on understanding your clients/customers. Come up with strategies that add value for them.
  • Don’t dodge administrative tasks—it upsets most supervisors.
  • Volunteer for outside activities: Accept assignments to speak to outside groups, lead professional panels and write articles for professional journals.
  • Build executive communication skills and cultivate an executive persona by reading books on the subject and attending seminars.
  • Take risks with personal development, acknowledging both strengths and weaknesses; build on strengths and correct weaknesses.
  • Seek out notables both inside and outside your profession, and watch and learn from winners.
  • Always seek opportunities. Success is not a sweepstakes waiting for the knock at the door.
  • If your employer does not emphasize learning and achievement, move on.
  • Think big—but always manage the details.
  • Take manageable risks. Remember, without occasional failures, success is unlikely.
Source: Rowbotham & Co., a worldwide network of accounting and consulting firms.

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