Leading synonym for Career Success: The Power of Hard Work, Adaptability, and Polite Politics

Leading synonyms for Career Success: The Power of Hard Work, Adaptability, and Polite Politics

I wholeheartedly concur with Kate Morgan’s assertion that “simply putting in more effort than everyone else is not the recipe for success.”


From the onset of our educational journey, we were instilled with the belief that if we toiled diligently and with sincerity, we would ascend to great heights in our future endeavors. However, having spent the majority of my life striving to the point of exhaustion, I now realize that hard work and sincerity alone are insufficient. To truly prosper, one must possess the acumen of a shrewd politician, known in the corporate realm as a “sycophant.”

The Art of Sycophancy

In the realm of corporate hierarchy, uttering the words “Yes, boss” is akin to embracing sycophancy in its purest form. Contradicting or expressing dissenting opinions regarding a superior’s proposals or decisions can lead to unfavorable outcomes. Even if one is diligent and sincere, voicing independent thoughts that deviate from those of the higher-ups can bring one’s career under scrutiny, proving detrimental unless rectified swiftly. Hence, it is prudent to adopt a demeanor of calmness and flattery, blindly echoing the words “Yes, boss.”

The height of Sycophancy

A few months ago, an English writer posted a tweet that unexpectedly resonated with millions, quickly going viral. Her tweet read, “When did you realize that your original plan of being kind, working hard, and taking on more responsibilities in the hopes of automatic recognition was futile?” Though the language used was crude, it holds a grain of truth. This is precisely the point I wish to emphasize. Hard work alone is inadequate.

Beyond Hard Work: Adaptability and Likability

In today’s world, one’s success is not solely dependent on hard work but also on adaptability and popularity among peers. It may or may not involve diligent effort. Rather, one must embody what is colloquially known as a “Chaaloo”—an individual who is proactive, proficient, and adept at navigating their way to the top.

The Dilemma of “Yes, Boss”

According to Jeff Shannon, an executive coach and author of ‘Hard Work is Not Enough: [The Surprising Truth About Being Believable at Work],’ hard work serves as a good starting point and can help establish oneself in a job early on in one’s career. However, it eventually becomes an expectation at a certain stage where everyone works hard. Expertise and hard work alone will not propel one up the career ladder.

A) Personal example:

When I received my first promotion to the position of Regional Manager at the Amritsar headquarters in 1996, I felt a deep sense of satisfaction, believing it marked the beginning of a new chapter of accomplishments in my career. I exerted tremendous effort and endeavored to impress my immediate superior with my work. I had high hopes that my achievements as a responsible manager would prompt my boss to transfer me back to Delhi, where my family resided. Coincidentally, there was a vacant regional manager position in Delhi as well. Considering my lengthy tenure in Delhi, I felt I was the most suitable candidate for the role, aligning with the organization’s needs.

B) Fruitless Labor or the Power of Blessings

Now, let us examine the turn of events that confirmed the aforementioned discussion. After nearly three years of serving as a bachelor, when I approached my superior to discuss the matter, he informed me about a new hire who, according to him, lacked sufficient competence but was nonetheless promoted to fill the vacant position in Delhi. Where did my hard work and sincerity go? Why did they not secure what seemed to be the most suitable choice for the organization? In hindsight, I realized my mistake—I failed to master the art of sycophancy. I did not practice the art of saying “Yes, Boss.” I dared to disagree with my superior on certain matters, an act of immaturity that I came to realize much later.


Undoubtedly, the system’s failure to acknowledge hard work is unfair. However, it remains a crucial reality for individuals striving to ascend the career ladder or seeking recognition for their work. To progress, one must surpass the boundaries of their job description. It is not uncommon to witness colleagues with equal or lesser abilities soar to greater heights while one’s own career stagnates. More often than not, those who rise to the top are individuals adept at politicking their way through the ranks, while others are too consumed by their own diligent efforts to notice the importance of demonstrating sincerity and productivity.


Hard work holds little value if it goes unnoticed. To translate one’s efforts into promotions and advancements, particularly in an evolving work landscape, one must garner attention and compel others to recognize their contributions.

According to experts, individuals who solely rely on good work often go unnoticed. Consequently, when opportunities for promotion arise, they are overlooked, fading into obscurity in a benign manner. To climb the ladder, one must not only be an exceptional worker but also possess a degree of manipulative prowess.

So, how does one overcome this predicament?

The solution lies in proactively highlighting one’s endeavors rather than waiting for infrequent events such as annual reviews or performance assessments.

“In many companies and organizations, individuals wait until the end of the year for their yearly assessments. However, one cannot afford to wait a whole year.”

Hard Work + Mastering the Art of Managing Upward = Ascending the Career Ladder

One must effectively communicate with their boss, providing regular updates and contextualizing their achievements. An explicit expression can be as simple as a concise email outlining accomplishments and the resulting impact on the company’s sales, for instance.

Self-promotion is equally important. Although it may initially seem odd to provide unsolicited updates that extol one’s own merits, doing so ensures that higher-ups remain informed. This way, one can remain on their radar. It is crucial to be an expert in self-advocacy, seizing opportune moments to captivate attention and maximize personal gain.

Mastering the Art of Politicking

In most workplaces, proven ability alone is insufficient to facilitate advancement. Likeability and memorability are also vital. “To have influence and impact, people need to trust and believe in you.” Leadership qualities are crucial. While two individuals may exhibit exceptional dedication and produce similar results, the one who excels in building relationships and cultivating popularity will have a distinct advantage in their career prospects. Ultimately, when evaluating overall performance, a boss will naturally gravitate toward individuals who demonstrate leadership qualities and enjoy popularity among their colleagues.

In conclusion, I would like to advise my younger peers who work diligently and achieve results to cultivate the skills of politics and self-expression at the opportune moments. Only then can you influence the top management and persuade them to act in your favor.

Ultimately, it is your responsibility to carve your path and nurture your career. If you do not take the initiative, no one else will.

#CareerSuccess #HardWorkPaysOff #AdaptabilityMatters #ProfessionalGrowth #WorkplaceStrategies