Wednesday, October 7, 2009

How to Play The Game at the Top: Beyond the Resume – Measuring What Really Counts


by Fenorris Pearson 

Education is critical for success, but when everyone has the same education from the same Ivy League schools with the same GPA… how do you stand out? Other factors beyond education – business etiquette, dress, playing well with others, teamwork and dedication are easy to measure and log. But what of those immeasurable traits that count for just as much in the corner office: passion, drive, commitment and stamina?

How can we measure the immeasurable?

When it comes to playing at the top, it’s often the intense, burning desire of the candidate that makes the difference between success and failure. At the end of the day, performance and results are two of the most important traits a top performer can possess. Work harder than your competition, and you’ll win the battle every time.

Another thing that people can’t measure with grades, paychecks, promotions or time cards is what’s inside your heart.

Never underestimate yourself or let someone tell you that you can’t get to the top. Dreams are crushed by negativity, not reality; if you hear that you’re worthless, unqualified or “not the right material” long enough you may tend to believe it. Trust me, plenty of people will try to impede your rise to the top; don’t let them do that to you. Believe in yourself but, more importantly, prove yourself.

Top performers – and those who hire them – are as concerned with those traits they can measure as they are with the immeasurable. When I’m selecting someone for my team, my department or, for that matter, my replacement, I look at the measurable skills, but also work hard to decipher those immeasurable skills the candidate might possess. If someone comes into an interview and looks good on paper, I then work to find out what the resume isn’t telling me. If I see something in their eyes that says they will go above and beyond the call of duty and that they are going to be able to get the job done no matter what, they will surely move ahead of the pack.

Why do I work so hard to look beyond the resume, the GPA, the dress code and the hair gel? Because most of the top performers in my company defy conventions, go completely off the charts, and create a new breed of success. This is true for corporate America in general. Top performers are cut from a different cloth than the rest of the competition. My years as a Vice President at Dell and CEO of Global Consumer Innovation taught me that if you’re not thinking outside the box, you will always remain inside the box. It’s tough to teach someone to be great.

To read more about going beyond your resume, please visit to purchase an advanced copy of How to Play The Game At the Top and receive free access to How to Play The Game At The Top 101 Course.


Fenorris Pearson is the CEO of Global Consumer Innovation, INC ( and one of the youngest people ever to be a VP of two fortune 50 companies (Dell and Motorola), a feat he completed before turning age 40. An avid Philanthropist, Fenorris is currently serving on three boards: Alonzo Mourning Charities located in Miami, FL, Imagine Schools of Central Texas located in Austin, TX, and SIFE: Students In Free Enterprise. To find out more information visit or call (901) 413-0203.

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