Yesterday, a very good friend of mine scored an incredible, out-of-this-world radio programming job.
Knowing my friend as I do, this position is custom made for him and it is in one of the cities he desired to be in the most: New York City.
My buddy has been extremely successful there before, just as he has been successful in virtually every challenge he has accepted. I’ll not include my friend’s name because he knows who he is and, chances are, you do, too. He is very high profile and a great guy with about as few enemies as one can accumulate in our business.
A long time ago, my friend discovered that his ‘customers’ are his listeners, advertisers, community leaders, bosses and colleagues. Everyone. He never asks someone to do something that he wouldn’t do. He takes pride in the quality of their interactive experiences with him and his product.
So, the topic of conversation today is why some guys make it, stay on top, and go out on their own terms, while others ridicule the business and tell young people that there are no long-term career opportunities, and what YOU can do to be one of the former rather than the latter.
So, for the benefits of your career and the industry as a whole, here are my ten observations of what my successful friend has done to achieve his lofty professional stature, while accumulating lots of friends:
10) Know your job and plan your long-range career path. Sure, this seems fundamental and unworthy of mention, but it isn’t. Amazingly, most programmers are promoted into their jobs from non-management positions, not really knowing what to expect, what they should expect of others, or very much about dealing with people and competitive situations. My friend studied other successful PDs before he became one. He grew by reading, watching and evaluating. He learned what was important to do…and not do. He knew what a great programmer looked like, talked like, and, most important, acted like, so that he could repeat their successes throughout his career, all before he made his first programming decision.
9) Be a student of the industry. My friend spent his early years in radio studying music, content, presentation, writing, and marketing. He learned to create a credible budget, design beautiful client and management presentations, and how to diagnose a power supply problem in the board. He can recite the history of those who were both successful and unsuccessful, and why they were either. Today, he continues to journey on his road to discovery.