Three Rules of Success, According to Accenture’s Chairman


I always read the “Corner Office” column in the Sunday New York Times. It’s a question-and-answer column with a CEO regarding his or her management experiences.

There’s usually a something valuable in each week’s column.

This week’s column, “68 Rules? No, Just 3 Are Enough,” interviewed William D. Green, CEO of Accenture, who made this point:

I once sat through a three-day training session in our company, and this was for new managers, very capable people who were ready for a big step up. I counted, over three days, 68 things that we told them they needed to do to be successful, everything from how you coach and mentor, your annual reviews, filling out these forms, all this stuff.

And I got up to close the session, and I’m thinking about how it isn’t possible for these people to remember all this. So I said there are three things that matter.

  1. The first is competence — just being good at what you do, whatever it is, and focusing on the job you have, not on the job you think you want to have.
  2. The second one is confidence. People want to know what you think. So you have to have enough desirable self-confidence to articulate a point of view.
  3. The third thing is caring. Nothing today is about one individual. This is all about the team, and in the end, this is about giving a damn about your customers, your company, the people around you, and recognizing that the people around you are the ones who make you look good.

Pretty simple, and all are important. But the first two aren’t enough — the third point is vital, especially in today’s economy.

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