This book is for people who want to perform well in their jobs,
progress their careers and become the person every organisation
wants. It is also for unemployed people currently looking for a job.
From start to finish in your career you will be the chosen one for
the simple reason that you have chosen to get that job, whether
you are the chief executive of a large organisation or the new
graduate trainee in a prestigious company.
Your appointment, whatever it is, will be your choice not the
choice of the selection panel delegated the task of filling a
vacancy. You will become so wanted by an organisation that
they will have no option but to appoint you as opposed to the
other candidates whose best is ‘second best’ compared to the
excellence you demonstrate. Such excellence is within reach of
everyone who reads this book, whether they be 15 or 65 years old.
There are no boundaries in ambition except the physical limita-
tions brought about by age.
Career success is not just about successful interviews and the
answers you provide in 45 minutes of questioning. More impor-
tant are the choices you make during the years preceding each
interview. These are the choices you make day by day in your
current work or the choices you make in trying to get work or
the choices you make in pursuing promotion or whatever you
want. These day-by-day choices will, over the long term, influ-
ence your approach at those critical moments of the selection
process as well as when performing your current job. This book
is about those choices.
Anyone desirous of moving their work situation (or non-work
situation) forward from the status quo will benefit from the
practical tips expressed in these chapters. You could be a young
college graduate aiming for that dream job, or a middle-aged
manager desperate to extricate yourself from a rut, or a senior
manager aiming for an appointment on the board. You could be
a self-employed business person seeking to win a major con-
tract, or a sales representative pitching for your first big-ticket
sale. Or you could have just been made redundant after 20 years
with a company that went out of business yesterday. You could
be jobless in a tough recessionary marketplace where few jobs
are available.
The principles and practices expounded here will apply to all.
They relate to the ‘extras’ you provide over and above the ‘core’
professional skills and knowledge which, for the purpose of this
book, it will be taken for granted you have.
This is my sixteenth book and it is based on 45 years of varying
experiences and achievements. This has included the publica-
tion of 15 books and a career that saw me leap from the world of
science to that of management. My career progression (phase
one) resulted in my appointment to the board of an airline at the
tender age of 39. I then embarked on a second career pursuing
my love of writing, teaching and travelling. Officially retired, I
now work harder than ever.
skills and
skills and
wa n t e d
A note on the writing of this book
The book you have in your hands comprises 50 short chapters
and it is recommended that you dip into these at random. It is
not necessary to read the book in the conventional way, starting
with Chapter 1.
My approach to writing the book was to scribble down each
main idea as it came into my head, thus creating a random list of
chapter headings. I would then pluck any number from the list,
apply my mind to the topic and draft the chapter, next assem-
bling them in a very loose order in other words the chapters
were not written in the order you see them now.
The natural desire in any quest for success is to learn from a
rational step-by-step approach. I do not offer this because in my
view it is unrealistic. There is and can be no formula for success.
This book offers various facets and perspectives, some linked,
some not. It is not a comprehensive textbook of knowledge but
more a set of stimuli to prompt readers to think about what is
wanted by any organisation and how to appeal to those ‘wants’.
I have tried to steer away from the conventional stuff about how
to prepare an immaculate CV or how to succeed at interviews. I
suspect that has already been written about. I make no apology
for a rather iconoclastic and provocative approach to becoming
wa nte d

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