I wish I knew then what I know now

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In my book Welcome to the Big Leagues, I wrote that corporate America accepts all types. Well, it appears that NBC's hit television show Celebrity Apprentice does too. I must admit that I was looking forward to watching this season's series premiere on Sunday. As one who appreciates all that it takes to successfully drive projects to a close, it's refreshing for me to see celebrities, or those who excel in areas other than business, assume the arduous and often thankless role of project manager.

I've been a fan of Donald Trump's program for the past several years now and even make a reference to it in my book ... when project management leads to finger-pointing and how it doesn't take much for colleagues to throw each other under the bus. Episode after episode, the Celebrity Apprentice proves to present the epitome of such shortsightedness and backstabbing. While many loyal fans of the show find this sort of betrayal most amusing, I take no pleasure in it. Perhaps it strikes a little too close to home for me, as I have watched such types destroy businesses, politics, sports teams and just about everything else they get their hands on.

Having watched only the first couple of episodes of this seventh season, there is already much to be further examined and discussed with business world newbies ... as learning what not to do in business can sometimes be equally as important as learning what to do.

For the purpose of this blog post, I will direct our scope around the two distinct personality types of Geraldo Rivera and Terrell Owens. They have provided us with prime examples of the workplace realities that exist within corporate America; which just so happens to be tightly correlated to some of the examples depicted in my book, Welcome to the Big Leagues.

Arrogance is ignorance.

Almost 30 years ago, while in my glorious teen years, I had the displeasure of meeting Geraldo Rivera. Back then, I was a little more naive about the world and the types of people in it, but I still remember being very unimpressed by the encounter. I won't go into the details but let's just say that Geraldo's ego was far greater than the size of his body, and if he were alive in the early 1800's the world today would know the Geraldo Complex as opposed to the Napoleon ...

When I reflect back on the past three decades of my life, I am tremendously proud of the personal growth, development, and overall man that I have worked hard to become. Unfortunately, it appears as though Rivera focused all of his effort these past 30 years on professional growth, as he hasn't bettered himself one bit.

In a previous blog post I state that "life takes more than it gives, but when people do all of humanity suffers". I'm not saying that Geraldo Rivera isn't a decent humanitarian. After all, he is playing the game of Celebrity Apprentice for charity, right? However, I have little respect for the person behind the mustache and here's why ... (click on image)

150105_2838233_Geraldo_Throws_a_TantrumGeraldo has the most professional experience of any contestant on the show, and the tape doesn't roll for more than five minutes without him telling us so. This all-about-me attitude represents all that is wrong in the world today and I pity those who have to work for such people. Rather than operate as a team player and use his experience to coach others, Rivera's megalomania not only ostracizes him from the pack, it positions him as a disruptive and nonproductive force. Rivera cannot accept constructive criticism or process rejection from anyone he deems as less in rank, but has no problem kissing up to Trump by calling him Boss.

In addition, Geraldo proves he couldn't be more delusional by claiming teammates are worse off for not adhering to his every spoken syllable. When others don't listen they're obviously plotting against him; which is why Geraldo's quick to wear the hat of a victim. This is a very common personality trait among dictators and tyrants who fail to ever consider how the problem could possibly be from within.

Before you are a leader, success is about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.  - Jack Welch

On a more positive note, I cannot give a bigger accolade to the performance and attitude of Terrell Owens this season. Even though he lost his first task as project manager, he did so while embracing the true heart of a humble champion; which is a 180 degree turn from the football player we knew on the field. In fact, while in the boardroom, Terrell explained to Trump that he wish he had experienced this show years ago, as it would have made him a better football player and teammate. Terrell Owens has adopted a pure apprentice mentality by focusing on learning all that he can while bettering himself as a person during the process.

TerrellOwens2I genuinely wrote the Welcome to the Big Leagues book and created The Corporate Rookie website to help new graduates and entrants to the business world achieve what Terrell Owens is accomplishing now as an apprentice ... focusing on skill development and striving for full potential, despite any stagnation or negative influences within the environment. I'd seriously like to see Terrell sustain his positive mindset and accomplish everything he sets out to do while on the show and in all future endeavors. More importantly, I hope today's youth are inspired by Terrell's actions and work in a similar fashion to never stop learning and always put their best foot forward.

If you have read my work, you may remember my early request of corporate rookies, when I asked them to imagine their future-self, approximately 30 years from now, and to picture their retirement party or last day on the job. I encourage them to consider the following question ... Will you be remembered as a bitter old hack who was out solely for self gain, or a great leader who helped many to achieve success and prevail against the challenges in career and life?

Like I said corporate America accepts all types ... winners, losers, sinners and saints. It is up to each of us to control the type of person, colleague, or business leader we wish to be; which is why I recommend being cognitively aware of the mistakes and regrets of others, and not letting decades pass before wishing you knew then what you know now.

 

 

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"Welcome to the Big Leagues is a very enjoyable read that’s packed with many insights on how to succeed in corporate America and life in general. I strongly recommend it for all new college graduates who are now ready to up their game."

Andrew Del Matto, CFO, Fortinet

Welcome to the Big Leagues: Nine Innings of Essential Tips for the Corporate Rookie
5.0
2014-03-14T15:40:11+00:00

Andrew Del Matto, CFO, Fortinet

"Welcome to the Big Leagues is a very enjoyable read that’s packed with many insights on how to succeed in corporate America and life in general. I strongly recommend it for all new college graduates who are now ready to up their game."

"Every business rookie and professional will recognize themselves somewhere in Welcome to the Big Leagues, as it presents thought provoking stories and solutions to the challenges we face in our daily lives. Del Sordi creates a powerful tool that helps readers to align actions with who they want to be and where they want to go in life."

Jack Morgenstern, Global Head, Wipro Technologies

Welcome to the Big Leagues: Nine Innings of Essential Tips for the Corporate Rookie
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2014-03-26T20:17:43+00:00

Jack Morgenstern, Global Head, Wipro Technologies

"Every business rookie and professional will recognize themselves somewhere in Welcome to the Big Leagues, as it presents thought provoking stories and solutions to the challenges we face in our daily lives. Del Sordi creates a powerful tool that helps readers to align actions with who they want to be and where they want to go in life."

"The corporate rookie of today could benefit from additional support, as the demanding and competitive business landscape has become less forgiving of mistakes and poor decisions. Welcome to the Big Leagues emphasizes the importance of actively managing a host of critical success factors like the ability to drive results, strong collaboration and fiscal responsibility. It provides readers with the much needed edge on how to succeed."

Bettina Koblick, CHRO, Symantec

Welcome to the Big Leagues: Nine Innings of Essential Tips for the Corporate Rookie
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2014-03-14T15:43:04+00:00

Bettina Koblick, CHRO, Symantec

"The corporate rookie of today could benefit from additional support, as the demanding and competitive business landscape has become less forgiving of mistakes and poor decisions. Welcome to the Big Leagues emphasizes the importance of actively managing a host of critical success factors like the ability to drive results, strong collaboration and fiscal responsibility. It provides readers with the much needed Continue Reading

"Carmine presents this treatise against the backdrop of professional baseball; it is a highly entertaining read, providing humor and insight to cement his points and advice. Welcome to the Big Leagues is not only a guide for the corporate neophyte, but a useful guide for evaluation at any level in one’s career. After 30 years in technology development, I have found that it brings clarity to events that have affected my own professional career. I strongly recommend the read."

Steve Menchen, Scientific Fellow, ThermoFisher Scientific

Welcome to the Big Leagues: Nine Innings of Essential Tips for the Corporate Rookie
5.0
2014-03-14T15:44:27+00:00

Steve Menchen, Scientific Fellow, ThermoFisher Scientific

"Carmine presents this treatise against the backdrop of professional baseball; it is a highly entertaining read, providing humor and insight to cement his points and advice. Welcome to the Big Leagues is not only a guide for the corporate neophyte, but a useful guide for evaluation at any level in one’s career. After 30 years in technology development, I have found Continue Reading

"Welcome to the Big Leagues offers inspiration, humor, and the much needed insights to overcome the barriers that exist in the business world. It is a very enjoyable read where the author shares his personal stories in a way to help others."

Sally Jenkins, VP Marketing, VMware

Welcome to the Big Leagues: Nine Innings of Essential Tips for the Corporate Rookie
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2015-03-30T12:25:09+00:00

Sally Jenkins, VP Marketing, VMware

"Welcome to the Big Leagues offers inspiration, humor, and the much needed insights to overcome the barriers that exist in the business world. It is a very enjoyable read where the author shares his personal stories in a way to help others."

"I've read Welcome to the Big Leagues twice and found it to be just like watching a movie, where you pick up more the second time around. This book is very powerful and packed with real world advice that college students, graduates, and millennials will all benefit from."

Spencer Hughes, Radio Host, The Spencer Hughes Show

Welcome to the Big Leagues: Nine Innings of Essential Tips for the Corporate Rookie
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2014-09-25T07:10:06+00:00

Spencer Hughes, Radio Host, The Spencer Hughes Show

"I've read Welcome to the Big Leagues twice and found it to be just like watching a movie, where you pick up more the second time around. This book is very powerful and packed with real world advice that college students, graduates, and millennials will all benefit from."

"As a manager and mentor of recent college graduates throughout my whole career, I have finally found a guide book to recommend to those that want to succeed. Welcome to the Big Leagues gives straight-forward advice to new entrants to the maze that is corporate America. Passionate, practical and with a purpose!"

Jeanne Phares, VP, Group Controller, Macerich

Welcome to the Big Leagues: Nine Innings of Essential Tips for the Corporate Rookie
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2014-03-14T16:10:18+00:00

Jeanne Phares, VP, Group Controller, Macerich

"As a manager and mentor of recent college graduates throughout my whole career, I have finally found a guide book to recommend to those that want to succeed. Welcome to the Big Leagues gives straight-forward advice to new entrants to the maze that is corporate America. Passionate, practical and with a purpose!"

"Welcome to the Big Leagues does a very good job of guiding the corporate rookie through the minefield of joining corporate America and providing a path to a successful career. Having played the game for close to 40 years; which included owning the roles of coach and mentor, I highly recommend this book for rookies and veterans alike."

John Sorci Jr., VP Global Operations, Symantec

Welcome to the Big Leagues: Nine Innings of Essential Tips for the Corporate Rookie
5.0
2014-09-24T16:00:37+00:00

John Sorci Jr., VP Global Operations, Symantec

"Welcome to the Big Leagues does a very good job of guiding the corporate rookie through the minefield of joining corporate America and providing a path to a successful career. Having played the game for close to 40 years; which included owning the roles of coach and mentor, I highly recommend this book for rookies and veterans alike."

"Finally a 'manual' for true professionalism in today's corporate workplace. From my seat, I have witnessed far too many times a recurring theme: Rookies, newcomers, young employees all looking to go from A to Z without any stops in between. This book should be a mandatory read for all job applicants and veterans like us who could surely use a refresher. Carmine Del Sordi knocks it out of the park."

Todd Kauffmann, Senior VP, UBS Financial Services

Welcome to the Big Leagues: Nine Innings of Essential Tips for the Corporate Rookie
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2014-03-14T16:05:40+00:00

Todd Kauffmann, Senior VP, UBS Financial Services

"Finally a 'manual' for true professionalism in today's corporate workplace. From my seat, I have witnessed far too many times a recurring theme: Rookies, newcomers, young employees all looking to go from A to Z without any stops in between. This book should be a mandatory read for all job applicants and veterans like us who could surely use a refresher. Carmine Continue Reading

"A positive wake-up call to remind us on how to do things right again. Welcome to the Big Leagues logically details the methodologies needed for building a blue print towards success. I wish I had this when I was entering the working world after my undergraduate degree. Every college graduate with the aspiration of performing at full potential should read this book."

Jay Kaufman, VP Marketing & Strategy, Annai Systems

Welcome to the Big Leagues: Nine Innings of Essential Tips for the Corporate Rookie
5.0
2014-03-26T20:14:08+00:00

Jay Kaufman, VP Marketing & Strategy, Annai Systems

"A positive wake-up call to remind us on how to do things right again. Welcome to the Big Leagues logically details the methodologies needed for building a blue print towards success. I wish I had this when I was entering the working world after my undergraduate degree. Every college graduate with the aspiration of performing at full potential should read Continue Reading

"In the business world, greatness only comes to those who consistently perform at peak levels and work hard to raise the bar from there. Welcome to the Big Leagues is a profound guide; packed with essential tips and powerful stories to coach rookies on how to achieve all-star performance, while getting the most out of career and life."

Luigi Sciabarrasi, Senior VP, DTZ

Welcome to the Big Leagues: Nine Innings of Essential Tips for the Corporate Rookie
5.0
2014-03-14T16:08:32+00:00

Luigi Sciabarrasi, Senior VP, DTZ

"In the business world, greatness only comes to those who consistently perform at peak levels and work hard to raise the bar from there. Welcome to the Big Leagues is a profound guide; packed with essential tips and powerful stories to coach rookies on how to achieve all-star performance, while getting the most out of career and life."

"Welcome to the Big Leagues embodies Carmine's passion and commitment towards achieving greatness. The valuable tips and concepts apply throughout all industries and business sectors. With three corporate rookies of my own, I bought each a copy."

David Laverty, COO, Nixon Inc

Welcome to the Big Leagues: Nine Innings of Essential Tips for the Corporate Rookie
5.0
2014-03-14T16:03:36+00:00

David Laverty, COO, Nixon Inc

"Welcome to the Big Leagues embodies Carmine's passion and commitment towards achieving greatness. The valuable tips and concepts apply throughout all industries and business sectors. With three corporate rookies of my own, I bought each a copy."

"Very creative! Welcome to the Big Leagues is a unique thesis on how to make an impact on the corporate environment. Using baseball as the backdrop, the reader is able to easily absorb and remember the lessons, the author, Carmine Del Sordi, is conveying. Very few business books speak to both physical and mental wellbeing; which further makes it essential to read."

David Tu, President, DCL Inc

Welcome to the Big Leagues: Nine Innings of Essential Tips for the Corporate Rookie
5.0
2014-03-14T16:28:33+00:00

David Tu, President, DCL Inc

"Very creative! Welcome to the Big Leagues is a unique thesis on how to make an impact on the corporate environment. Using baseball as the backdrop, the reader is able to easily absorb and remember the lessons, the author, Carmine Del Sordi, is conveying. Very few business books speak to both physical and mental wellbeing; which further makes it essential Continue Reading

"Carmine identifies the critical components that are necessary to live, survive and succeed in the corporate world. He does so in a manner that parallels the world of baseball and adds a dash of humor along the way. He is right on the mark and hits home as I relate back to the early part of my career. The corporate world is a very competitive environment that can be loaded with stress, ill feelings towards others as well as being a very unhealthy place to be. It is only those who understand how to identify roadblocks and how to handle them who thrive in such settings. In his book, Carmine has done an excellent job in highlighting all of this and giving some great advice to the corporate rookie, but I will also say that it is a refreshing read for us veterans that have been through it. I found that I was very entertained and recommend it to all."

Peter Gebert, VP Finance, Mannkind Corp

Welcome to the Big Leagues: Nine Innings of Essential Tips for the Corporate Rookie
5.0
2014-03-14T15:37:11+00:00

Peter Gebert, VP Finance, Mannkind Corp

"Carmine identifies the critical components that are necessary to live, survive and succeed in the corporate world. He does so in a manner that parallels the world of baseball and adds a dash of humor along the way."
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12 Responses

  1. Great post. When younger people never think of retirement coming soon, it looks very far away and at that time there is more of selfish thinking than thinking of others. However there are few who are just there to help others and for some it is learnt through experience and maturity. Thanks for the share.
  2. I can understand why most people, would not be able to begin to share what they vision of a 30 year future. Most are not able to remember how to imagine. First they would have to be willing to change their perception. That is a challenge people do not understand how to walk through. Great share and I look forward in learning more about your perception.
  3. Hello Carmine. I didn't see the Apprentice television show, but it sounds like I missed some interesting personality types! Geraldo Rivera does seem to present a persona of being ego-centric, which often makes me wonder how in the world he landed his own TV show years ago and is now on one of the top news stations. I just don't get it. Based on what you said, I agree with your assessment of Terrell Owens embracing the attitude of a true apprentice. And I think that is the attitude we should always embrace no matter where we are in life. We should always be open to learning and making the most of a situation. I also agree that we need to focus on who we want to be before letting too many years go by! Both true in business and personal life, really.
  4. I love this post and the contrast you highlighted between the two types of people. It sounds to me like there are issues of low self worth with the first individual, which contributes to a lot of the qualities you listed (all about me, needing to pump himself up, not taking criticism, not seeing where he needs to grow). It actually saddens me to see it (and it's really common, actually). I totally agree with this: "It is up to each of us to control the type of person, colleague, or business leader we wish to be." We're 100% responsible for our lives, for how we choose to respond to things and for growing and improving . . . regardless of things that happened that may have contributed to low self worth or any other challenges we may experience.
  5. Hi Carmine, when we are younger we seem to have an attitude of 'know it all' and thinking we are right. Some of us grow out of this and others obviously don't. Interesting information. Cheers, Yorinda
  6. Hello Carmine, I do enjoy the Celebrity Apprentice as well but have not yet had a chance to catch an episode this season. Well it is a little after 7 and I am almost finished here for the day SO GUESS WHAT? Yeppers I am shutting down this computer here shortly and going to go and watch this. I will keep in mind what you have said about Geraldo Rivera and Terrell Owens, I am curious to see what they are both like. This did get me thinking about how others see us.. Have a Great Evening & Thanks for sharing.. Chery :))
  7. Carmine, You are certainly clear about what you believe works and doesn't work in building a successful life. It is so good to hear you remind us about the importance of learning and developing and then using our expertise to coach others. Just today I realized how few of my mentors were really coaching ME. Instead, many of them look at their students as extensions of themselves, so they just want their students to succeed at what they were good at - instead of helping the student to find his or her own unique strength and skill set. It boils down to ego. When I studied guitar, I had that experience with every teacher leading me into their specific system, no matter what I really needed. And then I met that one teacher who mentored me - and I began writing songs. Wonderful post and your book must be incredible. Warmly, Dr. Erica
  8. Carmine, I really appreciated your analysis of two very different personality types on the apprentice show. I did check out the first two episodes and you are spot on with how the episodes played out. I think its so important to learn how to be a team player and when to take a leadership role and teach others without having an all about me attitude or acting like your way is the only way to complete a task. I absolutely agree with you that learning what not to do in business can sometimes be equally as important as learning what to do. I am going to have to check out your book because you really have a great perspective on how to succeed in business. Thanks for the great post!
  9. Some really amazing comments about this post. I'm especially appreciative of the expressed interest in my book. I'm trying to promote Welcome to the Big Leagues within my blog posts without going too far. The book truly hits the mark for the 20 something year-old and I'm working hard to get it into their hands. Your support means the world to me. Thank you all very much!
  10. machnolee
    Humility in a leader cannot be understated. Unfortunately, the more successful someone is, the harder it is to be humble, and without humility, a boss is likely very difficult to work for. I don't think most people realize that humility is actually a trait to be desired and makes one a better leader. People think it's a weakness. I think to a large degree, people who are always touting their own successes are insecure.
  11. I never have been a huge fan of Celebrity Apprentice. I just couldn't get my head into it. With that said, I am also not a huge fan of corporations. LOL I am a small business fan.
  12. Um... I have such a tyrant at my office... the problem is I have become her target to project all of her insecurities and when I demonstrated that I have no intention of fitting the mold she wants to put me in she all but hates me. As an employee her numbers are far better than mine, but in the end I am the one who got the promotion--yet another reason for her to hate me... it really has been a rollercoaster ride with this girl but I am experiencing exactly what you write about. I hope that through your work you are able to inspire many more young rookies to leave their egos aside. Unfortunately, and I speak from personal experience, sometimes you don't realize how big your ego is until you get knocked down. Great piece Carmine!

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