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breathtaking career highlights

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New inspiring professionals profiled every Wednesday.

He makes it looks like he works excruciatingly long hours

Raj Patel
Age 34
Vice President, Ameriprise Financial Services

Patel's rapid climb to the upper echelons of his global company can be credited to his ability to appear hard-working and dedicated.  Patel deploys many deceptive tactics designed to create the image as one of the most dedicated executives in his company.

One tactic Patel consistently uses is completing his emails everyday like everyone else but instead of sending them he saves them in his outbox for sending late at night from his home office.  This gives his superiors the impression Patel works into the late hours of every evening.

Another tactic Patel deploys is scheduling late time in his office once per week.  On nights when he knows other executives will be working late Patel stays in his office until 9pm playing World of Warcraft with the sound on his headphones.  When colleagues stop by to say hello, Patel usually says something like, "I'm just trying to get ahead on some of our global initiatives.  These time zone differences drive me crazy.  What's your excuse?"   Patel says this tactic also provides the added benefit of time away from his wife.

"I owe much of my success in corporate America to my mentors who taught me many of these methods.  I am proud to say I have added my own special touches here and there." 


She ensures all employee communications are simple enough for even the dumbest employees.

Jennifer Stallworth,
Age 33,
Director - Corporate Communications,
General Electric

This passionate and driven maverick is know for her ability to design highly effective corporate communications. During her first week in this newly created position, Stallworth developed the following 6 step process for creating effective corporate communications:
1. Attempting to initially write the message at a 9th grade level.
2. Emphasize all the key points and repeating them 2-3 times throughout the communication.
3. Print the key points in large and colorful font.
4. Remove all words that are 3 syllables or more whenever possible.
5. Repeatedly insert the phrase, "If you don't understand this information, you are encouraged to discuss it with your supervisor"
6. Add pictures of generic models in business settings to create the impression that if you understand this stuff you will be good-looking.


He's passionate about creating the impression his company supports charitable causes.

Hayden Fielder,
Age 45,
Vice President,
Selector International

Fielder has served in various public relations positions throughout his career. Fielder was promoted to this position that was created in response to increasing public pressure on companies to support numerous local, national, and international charities.

Using charity dedicated websites, creating internal company charity volunteer groups, and creating 800 numbers dedicated to various causes, Fielder is helping create the impression that Solector cares about charities. In 2008, focus group tests indicate 12% more people believe Solector is a compassionate company. Solector executives believe recent increased sales revenue is directly attributable to this improved public perception.


He goes to great lengths to pretend he cares about employees.

Scott Wendling
Age 44
Director, Ascension Health Care Services

Scott Wendling goes to great lengths to present a caring and concerned appearance at all times. Wendling said, "The bottom line is I am only concerned with my own welfare. I do not care about the company or my employees. But I have worked very hard hide this from my bosses and my employees."

Wendling has developed several techniques for making the impression he is sincerely concerned about the company and his employees. "The best thing I ever did was require my secretary to send birthday, holiday, and get well soon cards to all of my employees. This is a nice touch that makes people feel I really care. For my secretary's birthday I make my wife send her a card. My secretary honestly believes I personally send these cards to her. I always get a chuckle out of this."

During meetings with employees I generally do not pay attention to their boring issues but I practice active listening techniques to make them think I am engaged. While focusing only on my own needs and desires I am able to give the impression I am listening to them carefully. A few sincere nods, some pretend note-taking, and a little basic eye contact goes a long way."


She mastered the art of blaming subordinates for her poor results.

Nichole Dreyfuss
Age 35
Vice President, First Capital Saving Bank

Nichole Dreyfuss has practiced blaming others for her missteps throughout her entire career. She has failed in nearly every major professional assignment since graduating from college but has effectively averted blame in every case by carefully pointing fault at unsuspecting subordinates.

Dreyfuss says blaming down is always the ‘right choice'. As the keynote speaker in a recent banking conference, Dreyfuss explained blaming a peer can be very risky and is not recommended. She received a robust applause after saying, "The naïve subordinate is often unaware he or she is taking the blame. Typically I ensure my superiors the subordinate will receive immediate performance feedback regarding the poor results and a pay decrease. Then I have a quick discussion with the employee about company cutbacks, etc, etc, and problem solved!"

Dreyfuss feels it is appropriate for lower level employees to accept blame because they have less to lose. "Let's face it, hourly workers don't have the burden of possibly losing stock options, immense bonuses, private jet privileges, and luxurious office accoutrements. They live a simple life. Coping with an occasional pay decrease is not catastrophic for them."


She networks relentlessly by attending every charity event that serves alcohol.

Nancy Patterson, Age 31
Owner, Patterson Flooring Solutions

Throughout her career Patterson has been committed to giving back to the community. Alcohol has helped her keep that promise to those who need it most.

"Many benefit events serve alcohol as a way to help break the ice. I've been to a few events that didn't serve alcohol and I was very uncomfortable. It's something I've chosen to refrain from in the future." 

Patterson says to keep her alcohol consumption under control she sometimes has to decline invitations to charity events. "I tend to over do it and embarrass myself when I drink. Unfortunately, I've gotten a couple DUI's driving home from benefit events. That's a lot of money I've given to attorneys that I could've given to my favorite charities that serve alcohol."

This desire to give back is what drives Patterson to work on controlling her alcohol consumption at benefit parties.


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