PLAYING BY THE (NICE) RULES
The recruiter’s face was one giant smile: his lips pulled back as far as possible over zoom-whitened teeth that would put Tom Cruise to shame. ‘So,’ he said, leaning forward so I could smell his minty freshness. ‘Why wouldn’t you want to come and work for us? We’re a caring company. We look after our own.’
I frowned as he looked at me, that grin still glued into place. ‘But what about the editor you already have in place?’ I asked. ‘The one you’re secretly trying to hire me to replace? How exactly are you looking after her?’ His smile vanished.
It was almost as cringeworthy as the moment a CEO introduced me to the editor I was taking over from on a leading magazine. ‘Why do you want to leave?’ I asked her innocently. She welled up instantly, tears threatening to spill. ‘I don’t,’ she said, ‘I didn’t have a choice.’
Both times I wanted to go home and scrub myself clean. Sure I’m ambitious and as eager to get to the top as the next person, but I’ve never been willing to trample over others to get there. I’ve always played by the (nice) rules. Stealing colleagues’ ideas or staff? No way. Taking the credit for your team’s work? Absolutely not. And racing to sit in the boss’s chair after stabbing him or her in the back? Not my style. It shouldn’t be yours either, which is why we’ve asked the experts for their top tips on how to be successful without causing collateral damage. After all, the ones you clamber over on the way up will still be there waiting for revenge as you’re on the way down! Read our fascinating feature on leapfrogging your colleagues without harming their careers on page 42 and let me know what you think of that and the rest of the issue.
Until next week,
My kids (and I) have been star-struck this summer thanks to celebrity guests at Dubai Summer Surprises (#DSS Starz). They met Laura Marano – Disney’s Ally in Austin and Ally – and Jaden and Willow Smith. And, yes, Jaden gave my son Deme his hat and daughter Anaïs a cuddle!