Condensed from an article by William D. Ellis
As a college freshman, Jay Layden landed a job parking cars. Within months, he was in charge of two lots for Allbright Auto Parks, Inc. By age 36, he had become president of the world’s largest auto parking firm.
After graduating from Vanderbilt University, Jane Evans went into the training program Genesco Inc.’s I. Miller Shoe subsidiary. By age 25, she became president of I. Miller and by age 36 she was named executive VP of General Mills Fashion Group. That company grosses $650 million per year.
There are many stories like these and there’s an important lesson to be learned: whether you’re just starting out or making a mid-career change, a fast start can propel you to success. But there’s another side to this lesson: conversely, a plodding start establishes an imprint of low expectations among those around you.
In studying nine major organizations, management researchers Thomas P. Ference, James A. F. Stoner and E. Kirby Warren found that in most cases, sophisticated organizations make very early judgments about new people. “These judgments, whether accurate or not, become self-fulfilling prophecies,” they concluded.
Here are SIX STRATEGIES FOR A FAST START that are used by successful business people to establish themselves early on as winners:
After Victor Kiam graduated from Harvard Business School, he accepted a sales job with Lever Brothers Company. He didn’t know anything about salesmanship, but he was determined. While his peers put in 40 hours per week, Kiam called on potential customers for 12 hours per day, six days per week! He overwhelmed his quota and climbed the marketing ladder very quickly. Today we know him as the president of Remington Products, Inc.