Good Old American Dream: Ways For Women To Get Ahead|
The Wall Street Journal’s favorites FINS reporter, Julie Steinberg, published an article today instructing young women on how to get ahead in business.
At first glance, the article can seem a bit contrary to everything we’ve ever been told. “Do work no one else wants to do,” it advises. “Work hard– and promote yourself legitimately.” Hey– are you chiding us, Julie?
Second glance: Julie is, in many ways, retelling the stories of the most successful American entrepreneurs and titans of industry throughout history.
Lesson 1: Henry Ford Worked Hard
Work hard– do what others aren’t willing to. Do not do what others would have to be crazy to do: do not work without pay, do not sacrifice your entire life for marginal reward, do not be the scapegoat for a company’s misdeeds. Just step up and do the unglamorous things that need to be done in order for your company to survive and thrive.
Henry Ford was born into very unglamorous circumstances. He did plenty of things that don’t seem very glamorous to us today– for instance, learning about machining while apprenticing in Detroit. But he went on to introduce one of the greatest innovations to American industrialism that’s ever happened: the assembly line. Without the less glamorous stuff, he would never have had his Steve Jobs moment (actually, Steve kind of pales in comparison to the impact of the assembly line, but it’s funny to think of that way).
Lesson 2: Indra Nooyi Left to Get Ahead
Leave to get ahead. Indra made the ultimate exit– she exited India and comfortable management positions at Johnson & Johnson and textile firm Mettur Beardsell to acquire more education. Since then, she’s worked her way up to the position of CEO of PepsiCo, where she’s added astronomical value.
Lesson 3: Europe is Living the American Dream
Cultivate the people around you. In other words, when taken with the rest of Julie’s advice: chase after the American Dream. And who’s doing that better than Europe at the moment?