I heard an interesting interview a few weeks ago with, of all
people: Simon Cowell. I actually have a strange respect for Simon
Cowell. He says what we all secretly want to say, he says it with
candor and direct honesty, and he never apologizes for his opinion.
Whatever your opinions of him are, one fact remains: he pulled himself
up from nothing and created an international phenomenon with the
American Idol franchise.
An interesting fact: he got his start in the mail room. He scratched
and pushed his way to the top. He asked for odd jobs. He shadowed
executives. He learned from others. He watched, listened, and absorbed.
He hustled daily.
What I learned from this example is that most executives, especially
those that have an insatiable need to get ahead, are willing to
sacrifice and do just about anything to get ahead. They stay the
course, regardless of how difficult. They bring to any job, including
being a mail clerk, a hunger which transforms the job into something
greater than perhaps what it really is.
That attention, discipline, and ambition is what drives many executives out of the mail room and to the ivory tower.