It's Not Always What You Know, It's Who You Know

In retrospect, my friend told me, he sucked up to the wrong guy. Never mind for a long time, he was "the" guy." The guy who groomed him, promoted him, enriched him. Until the guy was gone — fired — just like that.

My friend still doesn't know why. All he knows is "he's" a target now, I guess because his benefactor is gone now. I see it happen in corporate America all the time. The guys who are "it" because their bosses are all "that," until the bosses are not and then anyone connected to that boss is a bust.

Right now, my friend has a bull's eye on his head. And he doesn't like it. He doesn't like it one bit. Of course, he loved it when the bull's eye was a good bull's eye because he was the apple of the boss' eye.

But now the boss is out, and I suspect, so too my friend, who thought he was invincible, only to wake up this morning realizing he likely will soon be invisible.

I think it's a timely lesson in humility. Fortunes change. Careers too. I can't tell you how many super up-and-comers turn into crash-and-burners — oftentimes having nothing to do with what they know as much as who they know.

Or, in retrospect, who they knew.

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