My 4-I formula for corporate success


And here’s my humble attempt at simplifying the recipe for success in the corporate world. Since people love bundling management formulas by using words with the same starting letter, I shall call my 4-I (one more than Lord Shiva’s…must be powerful). So, what I am saying is that if you want to increase your chances of being successful in corporate life, you have to have ALL of the below I’s :

  • Be Industrious
  • Be Intelligent (corporate intelligence is not same as IQ; it isn’t natural or in-born; can be developed, and how)
  • Be Inspired
  • Have high levels of Integrity (tempted to say “Be Integral”, but will pass).

Industrious : Corporate world usually does not require you to find the cube root of 1729. It might require you to find the square root of 81…multiple times. Tasks are repetitive. Some on daily basis, some monthly and some annually (at one point of time, I had got bored making the AOP for the third year in a row !!!). Corporate Executives are paid to deliver consistency and to repeat tasks. There’s no choice. You have to put in your hours. You have to do the tasks. As Thomas Jefferson had said “I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.” ….“Industry” itself is formed from the output of the “Industrious”. 

Intelligent : Intelligence in Corporate world comes from copying best practices of peers, reading industry magazines and from them, finding smart strategies that other companies are following. It also comes from thinking longer on usual problems…and finding innovative ways to solve those problems. It comes from using your experience to find short-cuts, to find process improvements, to think through end-to-end before starting executing. None of the above is Personal IQ…this is Corporate IQ !! You need to be Corporate Intelligent. Comes a bit from hard work.  But largely from applying learnings – your own and of others.

Inspired : Very important attribute as you go up the corporate ladder. Taking Ownership. Having a positive attitude. Being passionate about your work…Being Inspired !! This is different from being hard-working. You may be hard working on your tasks, but are you thinking of yourself as being responsible for the end deliverable ? Will you (possibly, along with others) not go home till the end objective is achieved ? This includes finding out from the market on what’s the best way to do your job. This includes chasing your boss for ensuring your deliverables are completed…cannot be left in the Inbox of your boss.

Integrity : Being loyal to the company, being honest. To the company, to your co-workers. Keeping the cause above the self. Not compromising the objective of the Business. This is Integrity. As per a quote attributed to Einstein (I have serious doubts on the source), “Relativity applies to physics, not ethics.”

 All the best…

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