As a freshman accounting major in the illustrious School of Business and Industry (SBI) at Florida A&M University (FAMU), Dr. Auzenne taught me that achieving success in business required three things: Performance, Image, and Exposure – PIE. Done right, in proper proportions, the individual can achieve great success both in business and in other dimensions of life.
P – Performance
Face it; you must have the knowledge, skills and abilities to do the job – whatever the job is - competently. Doing it well helps! Doing a bad job makes you successful…at failing!
I – Image
Like it or not, as I mentioned in a previous post, clothes matter. How you dress is a part of your image, but it goes beyond attire. How you talk, walk, write, shake-hands, smile, and so forth all contribute to image. You’re hygiene matters. You’re associations matter. Hanging with the wrong folks, wearing the wrong clothes, saying the wrong things, especially at the wrong times don’t mean you are not technically proficient, but they can impede progress!
E – Exposure
This trips a lot of us up. You perform well and have a flawless image, but who knows you? You have to make it to the receptions, luncheons, dinners, happy hours, volunteer efforts, holiday parties, staff meetings, and you have to glad-hand, schmooze, rub elbows, cheese…not cut cheese…with the right personnel. Some folks call this “networking.”
I graduated a long time ago and am probably a bit of a disappointment to Dr. Auzenne today, because it took me so long to learn that he was right instead of just accepting that he was right.
Fortunately, now I know he was right, not just because I heard it, but because I experienced it.
Off to get a slice of the PIE!