You really do not have to do much work to find business advice online.
The problem is that most of the business advice applied last year, never applied at all, or represents the idealistic views of someone seeking to influence change.
Here’s some advice smart executives know should be ignored. They know this advice never works when you are someone seeking out an executive career.
1. “Good Things Come to Those Who Wait.”
No, they do not. This advice is mainly ignored because it reeks of choosing to procrastinate out of an overwhelming fear of loss or facing potential obstacles.
But executives know there is no better time to do what you know is right than right now. Your executive resume is more effective when you show you can execute strategies or plans.
The meaning of this quote often gets lost in translation when someone starts believing, “I need to be more patient.”
As an executive, the only way you know you will accomplish something is by doing and discovering all the obstacles in the process.
2. “Always Be the First in the Office and the Last to Leave.”
Executives ignore this advice mainly because they understand today’s importance of “working smarter and not harder”.
Sure, the struggle to succeed as an executive, or in any position, is very real. But unlike in the past, executives need to be flexible about when and where they work.
Most importantly, they must deliver on promises made. Companies care very little about the amount of time you spend in the office. They care more about your executive ability to improve growth while managing all of the responsibilities surrounding that growth.
Smart executives know technology has been changing the way they work for the last 20 years. Being confined to a desk and micromanaging every move in the office will not lead to big-picture results.
Those big-picture results help shine a light on why an executive should be hired for future jobs.
3. “You Have to Take It One Step at a Time.”
In today’s current US work environment, this advice ranks up there with waiting for something good to happen in your executive career.
There is no reason why, given the availability of information today, that an executive cannot manage several steps at once. If executives wait for one step to be completed before moving onto the next one, they will miss out on opportunities.
Doing more than one step at a time requires creativity, managing relationships, and at times, breaking rules or ignoring established traditions.
Those executives who job search, interview, or take business courses with a “one step at a time” approach often fall behind in career trends and take longer to get hired.
Most importantly, these executives miss valuable opportunities that could have led to career growth and success.
4. “Never Let ‘Em See You Sweat.”
First things first, advertising slogans should not be seen as executive advice. This saying is from a 1984 ad campaign in the USA for Dry Idea deodorant by Gillette.
Needless to say, this advice is not relevant to the 21st century, globally connected workforce.
The executive who has spent time sweating discovers what it means to be human and has plenty of inspirational stories to cement the executive as a leader.
An executive who does not mind sweating also earns trust and creates more influence in an era of social media.
Executives with these stories of times when they broke a sweat show they were willing to go beyond a job and went on an adventure to discover how to be a leader.