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Becoming Rich or Successful By Communicating Selectively and Effectively

As some of you may know, in addition to sharing my story and progress (see my gain in Net Worth article), one of the big reasons I blog is to improve my communication and thinking skills.  Lately, I believe both of these two skills have jelled to enable me to see more about my life as an employee than it had in the past with respect to my career as an employee.

Are You Brilliant But Unknown?

Have you noticed that a lot of your ideas are all around you at work, but you still not a director or higher yet?

Well it could be that you ideas are being credited to others around you.  I use to be open with my thoughts on particular problems and would speak about my solutions to any peer or friend that was within earshot.  Surprisingly (or perhaps naively), I never communicated those ideas to my bosses and their bosses…

A few years back I remember telling my boss a brilliant idea that I had that would save the company hundreds of thousand of dollars each year.  The idea was unique and I’m quite sure that it was all mine.  I remember being excited about the idea and upon thinking of it, immediately requested a meeting with my boss (at that time) to discuss the idea.  We had the meeting, and while he didn’t shoot it down, he was reserved and said he would look into it.

Time passes and a few month later, my boss tells the my department, this brilliant idea at a departmental meeting, and gives credit to a peer that was a good buddy of his.  More time passes, and he gets the credit (via corporate awards) entirely with no mention of me (or even his buddy that he mistakenly gave the idea credit to).

Yeah, I was bitter, but you want to know something…  It was entirely my fault for not gaining the credit that I should have had!


First, I knew of the reputation that my former boss had and knew that I shouldn’t have told him the idea in private meeting (what was I thinking?).  Telling my boss alone, was like putting both a shark and a seal in the same SeaWorld aquarium…  (poor seal…)

Second, I didn’t write-up the idea in a written proposal and email it to a few of the big bosses!  Such an action could help your idea get recognized by someone in a higher management position, or perhaps you might start to develop a friendship with one of them.

Third, I didn’t re-enforce the idea by being more social with management.  After sending the proposal, I should have tried to meet with the few managers to point out the strengths of my idea and answer any questions about the proposal.  I could have even scheduled a meeting as a friendly Q & A (question and answer) session.

Forth (and this may be the most important), I should have tried to socialize more with management!  I’ve seen many a lesser peer get promoted faster than I have because they are a golfing, card playing, or sport watching buddy with management.  It’s human nature to try to surround yourself with people who like you and you like too.  This is one of my biggest problems over my career, and is totally my fault (I’ve had opportunities).  Remember, your managers are still just people…

Believe it or not, the same principals apply to becoming rich too!  I’ve discussed these ideas with a few of my friends that are millionaires, and they say the same communication skills apply to gaining business (becoming rich), too.  Of course upper management in their case are clientss, and other business connections.  Obviously, they aren’t going to share their ideas either, instead they are going to present products for their business clients to buy…

I hope this little insight helps those suck in a dead end job or those just starting out.  If you want to hear specific stories (I have plenty), email or comment below and I’ll introduce some in future articles.

Bests to you,



16 Responses to Becoming Rich or Successful By Communicating Selectively and Effectively

  1. Isn’t it sad that adults behave in such a manner? I was just explaining to my son how adults are really just kids in bigger outfits. Just because you are over 20 years old doesn’t mean you are mature.

    Credit stealers drive me crazy, and just about everyone learns the lesson you did the hard way. I guess it is human nature to just trust people, but it is not always the best solution unfortunately. I had someone steall credit from me just yesterday. It was a minor issue, but it was still irritating as heck.

    Great suggestions on how to ‘get yourself out there’.

    • Yeah, it happens a lot at work.

      The kicker was when someone tried to explain to me what the system that I created and wrote did.

      Then I once had a business user tell me a different program did something that I knew that it didn’t. That was a blast too.

  2. Very good advice. Some of us are by nature introverts, so it’s more difficult to socialize. But you can learn to do it. I’m speaking as an introvert who did learn. It becomes less stressful the more you do it.

  3. That is a horrible story about your boss taking credit for your idea. You offer really great practical tips for others, learning from your mistake. I will be following this advice in the future. Thanks!

    • Excellent, you are exactly the type and age person my message is for! The kicker is that I don’t think my boss was really being a bad guy, but the saying out of sight out of mind applies. Make management your buddies instead of slaving away in your area waiting for them to notice you!

  4. It really bothers me when credit is taken when credit is not due. I think it is the dishonesty that bothers me the most. I too have run into this before however I have remained the bigger person and not made an issue. By being professional and keeping my emotions at bay, things have worked out in the long run and I have gotten the credit I deserve. Just takes time and a cleaning of house sometimes. I also try to influence others to do well so even if I don’t get the credit for the work I can be proud that I helped someone else get some experience.

    • Your way sounds perfect!

      The former boss that I had wasn’t very bright and forgot things too easily. I’m not even sure he did it one purpose, but had I talked to others and impressed them at the same time, my former boss wouldn’t have mattered anyway.

  5. Great to hear you didn’t allow this situation to hold you back or get you down. You identified the things you did wrong and will correct the behavior in the future.

    Thanks for sharing that experience. Hopefully, it will never happen again. This will not be your only big idea, so make sure you start rubbing elbows with the big wigs and soon you will be one as well!

    Best of luck!

  6. Great advice – sometimes it’s hard to swallow that people aren’t really going to look out for you, especially when it comes to career advancement. I am one of those people who naively thought that if I put my head down and worked hard I would be rewarded.

  7. This has happened to most, and it stinks. On a positive note, I appreciated your focus on succinct communication as it’s a personal goal of mine as well. Thanks for the reminder!