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Tuesday, March 2, 2004
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John Porcaro comments on Donald Trump's 7 Rules of Success and adds the MS ingredient into the mix. John is a marketing manager at Microsoft who is very passionate about his work.

Donald's 7 Rules of Success

1 You have to be born with enough brainpower. At Microsoft, we have built a culture around hiring brainpower. Every day I wonder how I snuck through, and I aspire to be smarter and more engaged. But every now and then I deal with groups outside of our company, and without sounding like an egocentric jerk, I'm usually left being grateful that I work with such a stellar bunch. There are very few who I think aren't smart. Uninformed, egotistical, competitive, but never stupid.

2 Once you have that, you have to love what you're doing. I've never seen anyone succeed who didn't love what they were doing. Wow. Even for the Donald, this is profound. I've seen people in jobs they're not qualified for really do great things because they're engaged. There is rarely a substitute for passion. It's why you should do everything you can to find a job you're passionate about.

3 You cannot stop. If there is a concrete wall in front of you, you have to go through it. You can never, ever give up or even think in terms of giving up. This, I see too much of. As managers, it's common to set limits because of scope or budget or permission. The most successful people don't do that.

4 Confidence is a very important thing. But confidence isn't something you just develop by saying "I'm going to do this or that." You really have to believe it. Something I've learned in my experience. There are those that have "false" confidence, and calling BS is become an art form here at Microsoft. Really being confident is something I struggle with, because it comes from experience, skill, knowledge, and you have to have some natural talent for your job.

5 I love pitting people against each other. My whole life is based on that. It brings out the best in people and the worst in people. If the worst comes out, you don't want them working for you. Microsoft was built as a competitive meritocracy. Our reviews are competitive. Our hiring is competitive. And we reward winners. We're shifting to being more of a collaborative company, but if you hire scrappy, competitive people, they'll do what it takes to succeed (the effective manager knows how to harness this type of employee).

6 You have to remain cool under fire and let criticism roll off you. Good leaders handle conflict easily and bad ones are eaten up by it. Very, very true. I often remark that the difference between positive and negative criticism comes down to trust. When you know someone is trying to help you with conflict, it can be the most important ingredient to a successful team--it keeps people accountable and collaborative. When people think you're trying to harm them (a danger in too competitive an environment), conflict can quickly shut down productivity.

7 You must work well with others and be loyal to your team. Disloyalty is the worst of all traits. I seldom use the words "You're fired!" in business, unless somebody is really scum and stole from me. Interesting. We too rarely "fire" anyone (our attrition rates, even our "good" attrition rates, are below average). Usually that's a good thing. I think this is more about human nature and reflects the social nature of business. Nobody wants to associate with disloyal people, even if the thing they're being loyal to is a project or a workgroup. That's another reason competitive cultures can be harmful. Being loyal goes beyond kissing up to your boss or toeing the company line. It comes down to relationships and shared experiences and most of all shared goals. If you're really working as a team, and everyone's doing their part, amazing things can happen. And when someone slacks off or sabotages another employee, they might last a little while, but before long, they'll hear from their boss:

"You're fired."

[Now Playing: Aankhen Khuli - Mohabbatein]

Tags:: Musings
3/2/2004 11:31 PM Eastern Standard Time  |  Comments [0]  |  Disclaimer  |  Permalink   
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