if you’re not getting the recognition you think you deserve, this excerpt from my new book might be for you. coming from the perspective of an executive, this is about how to take control of your own destiny. i’m told it may resonate especially well with millennials… i dunno, let me know what you think 🙂

Dear Employee (From Executive)

So you want to be successful in your career. Maybe you believe right now that you deserve a promotion or a raise. Or you’re just bored at work. Maybe people don’t respect your (great) ideas, or listen to you there. That you’re not getting a fair shake from either the owners or perhaps customers. Maybe our management systems are just broken and defeat our people’s best efforts (though we can’t admit that publicly).

We like you as a person and think you’re swell, and you’re doing well in your job, that’s the minimum. We don’t see how you’re going out of your way to contribute in other ways. (And all those side projects you’re working on don’t count. What, you think people here don’t know about them?)

If things aren’t happening the way you want, it’s time to take charge of your own destiny rather than believe it’s “other people’s fault” such as your manager, owner or team’s fault. Don’t blame others for not recognizing your greatness. If you wait for people to recognize or discover you, here or anywhere, chances are you’ll be waiting a loooong time. The opportunity will never be perfect – work with what you have, as frustrated or defeated as you feel.

FITI-3DA company is full of people who need things: products launched, marketing campaigns run, sales closed, employees hired and trained, customers serviced and bills paid. There will always be innumerable problems to solve; pick one and do something about it… and do it without sacrificing results in your “day job”. If you can’t deliver on what we hired you for, we’re unlikely to trust you to deliver on anything else.

If your reaction is “how do I do that?” then, well, that’s the whole point, because we can’t tell you. If we knew, we’d already be doing it. How can you improve the business in ways that we don’t see or aren’t practical yet? If your reaction is “I’ve tried to do that, and keep getting shot down!” then the best we can say is, find someone who will believe in you and coach you here. Even if you have to do it privately, since it might not be your manager. You can’t wait for the company (or anyone) to figure this out for you.

Unsure where to begin? Start by talking to us and other employees. What problem needs to be solved, what function needs an owner, or who wants to help you? There is no magic recipe to follow, where someone can just “tell you what to do”. You have to practice figuring it out on your own – this is part of taking the initiative!

Remember: so many of the success stories around you are part of the Reality Distortion Field, and they leave out most of the undramatic (and thus boring) bits on the daily struggle, from which 98% of success comes from. Don’t be afraid to do the time! We know you’ve got unbelievable potential, so stop talking about it and show us by taking the initiative. Put down your smartphone, step away from Instagram and get out from behind your computer. We want you to succeed here as badly as you do.

not to be biased, check out the flip side to this argument, in the next post,

Dear Executive (From Employee).


check out more in my new book co-written with jason lemkin,  “From Impossible to Inevitable”.


– air

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