What Rising Stars Should Know

This article offers career-determining advice for marketing rookies and some reminders for veteran marketing VP’s.

In his article ‘ 4 Things You Should Never Say to the CEO’ posted at hotjobs by the speech writer of GE’s famous prior-CEO John Welsh, he points out some valuable advice for any corporate rising star or VP.

When you talk to a CEO or a CMO, the advice is the same. The four detrimental verbal mistakes he is alerting to are:

1. “I’ll have to get back to you on that.” You’re giving a presentation, but you didn’t do your homework properly. Welch fired one vice president who gave that answer several times during a presentation. Avoid this!

Solution: know your facts and don’t fold when challenged. Details can be important when they are of interest to a CEO.

2. Making fun of a corporate program. Some corporate initiatives lack lustre and depth, others never received a catchy title, or worse, receive an unfortunate title, that begs for fun making and jokes.

Solution:Don’t joke about any initiative. The CEO usually buys into initiatives to some degree and poking fun at them is poking fun at her. If you don’t value a certain initiative, keep your mouth shot!

3. Tell jokes at the beginning of a presentation.

Solution: don’t waste a CEO’s time and be serious about your subject matter. After all, it is a big deal that you get time from a CEO.

4. Answer back to a CEO: “That can’t be done.”

Solution: No matter how impossible the request from a CEO who wants something done, the right answer is: “Difficult, not impossible.

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