In his book Always in Fashion, Mark Weber writes, “For you to compete, it’s not okay to be good at something to get to the top. If you go into finance and you’re good, you’re competing against great; if you transfer into sales, again you’ll be competing against sellers who are great, and if you’re just good, you’re not going to get to the top.”
The point here is that you need to be well-rounded and have a strong understanding of multiple aspects of business. You can’t be expert at every discipline, but you can move into different positions that give you a different perspective on the business or ask for a mentor to teach you components of business that you need to improve. If you are a great salesperson, then ask to learn more about marketing; if you are a great manufacturer, then pursue learning opportunities in product design; etc. And finally, understanding the financials is critical to excelling in a senior-level position. There are few, if any, senior-level executives who don’t know how to manage a P&L and fewer who stay in these positions if they can’t achieve budgeted financial targets on a consistent basis.
Mark Weber, Always in Fashion: From Clerk to CEO—Lessons for Success in Business and in Life
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