Richard A. Moran, Never Confuse a Memo With Reality, (New York: Harpercollins Publ. , Inc. , 1994), Reader's Digest, October, 1993, pp. 112-114
- Business is made up of ambiguous victories and nebulous defeats. Claim them all as victories.
- Keep track of what you do; someone is sure to ask.
- Be comfortable around senior managers, or learn to fake it.
- Never bring your boss a problem without some solution. You are getting paid to think, not to whine.
- Long hours don't mean anything; results count, not effort.
- Write down ideas; they get lost, like good pens.
- Always arrive at work 30 minutes before your boss.
- Be sure to sit at the conference table&md;never by the wall.
- Help other people network for jobs. What goes around comes around.
- Don't take sick days&md;unless you are.
- Assume no one can/will keep a secret.
- Know when you do your best&md;morning, night, under pressure, relaxed; schedule and prioritize your work accordingly.
- Treat everyone in the organization with respect and dignity, whether it be the janitor or the president. Don't ever be patronizing.
- When you get the entrepreneurial urge, visit someone who has his own business. It may cure you.
- Never appear stressed in front of a client, a customer or your boss. Take a deep breath and ask yourself: in the course of human events, how important is this?
- Recognizing someone else's contribution will repay you doubly.
- Career planning is an oxymoron. The most exciting opportunities ten to be unplanned.
- Always choose to do what you'll remember ten years from now.
- The size of your office is not as important as the size of your paycheck.
- Understand what finished work looks like and deliver your work only when it is finished.
- The person who spends all of his or her time at work is not hard-working; he or she is boring.
- Know how to write business letters&md;including thank-you notes as well as proposals.
- Never confuse a memo with reality. Most memos from the top are political fantasy.
- Eliminate guilt. Don't cheat on expense reports, taxes, benefits or your colleagues.
- Reorganizations mean that someone will lose his or her job. Get on the task force that will make the recommendations.
- Job security does not exist.
- Children are a source of truth and ideas. The best icebreaker to use in intense meetings is one I heard from a six-year-old: "Raise your hand who's mad."
- Always have an answer to the question "What would I do if I lost my job tomorrow?"
- Go to the company holiday party.
- Don't get drunk at the company holiday party.
- Avoid working on the weekends. Work longer during the week if you have to.
- The most successful people in business are interesting.
- Sometimes you'll be on a roll and everything will click; take maximum advantage. When the opposite is true, hold steady and wait it out.
- Never in your life say, "It's not my job."
- Be loyal to your career, your interests and yourself.
- Understand the skills and abilities that set you apart. Whenever you have an opportunity, use them.
- People remember the end of the project. As they say in boxing, "Always finish stronger than you start.