Confession…I was an inadvertent suck-up as a kid
I didn’t go out of my way to be the teacher’s pet. I was a shy and chubby good girl — more than a little geeky. And I was terrified of “getting in trouble” back then. And, at the risk of sounding like an egotist, I was pretty damned smart (streetwise and brainy). So my teachers naturally trusted me. I ran errands for them, read to the class when they had to step out, and — later on — was trusted to advise administration on student issues. I bound my book reports in groovy creative covers with colorful ribbons through punched holes, and went for the extra credit points. Yeah…I was a little Eddie Haskell. But it worked for me.
Those skills came in handy during my corporate years, when I had to learn how to suck up to the new executives who were constantly being brought in to “change the game.” Instead of artistic book reports, I transferred my graphic and writing skills to impressive PowerPoints and learned how to apply my math skills to reporting statistics with charts and graphs. Again, it seemed to work.
I recently had to prepare for a new client presentation. I was reminded of all of my back-to-school skills. I did exhaustive research, checked my fee calculations (by hand AND on my calculator), and proofread, proofread, and proofread some more. Spell-check and autocorrect can be the devil’s work. I prefer old-school reading out loud with a ruler underneath each line. I even added a table of contents and a pretty cover. (I skipped the ribbons.) When the prospective client raised objections during the meeting, I kept my calm and didn’t argue. (Despite my healthy disrespect for authority, I still believe the client is always right.) I got the account.
Thank you to all the teachers — even the really nasty ones — who inspired me to be a better student of life and business! (And, like all great teacher’s pets, when I decide to be a little naughty, I rarely get caught!)
EXTRA CREDIT: Tips and tools from the suck-up files:
|How to become a teacher’s pet from WikiHow.|
|Seven keys to adjusting to a new boss (from Forbes).|
|NOT the star? Don’t be jealous!|
|My favorite presentation app these days. Beats colored ribbon!|