"Traditional routes to career success don't always work any more," says "Horse Sense," a new book by Jack Trout and Al Ries, adding, "the time when smart people with impressive academic credentials could link up with big companies and enjoy a non-stop ride to the top is over."
Excerpts: Get noticed. ("If you have 10 minutes to make a presentation to top management, they're the most important minutes in your company life.") . . . Develop people skills. ("Ask others for opinions, be useful to others.") . . . Identify with a product, keep your ideas simple and timely, take your ideas somewhere else if your company isn't interested. ("Many executives will listen to an outsider's idea with more enthusiasm than they would to one from within.")
LOCAL LINGO: "The recession is still very much with us. We used to run a three-week backlog of work, but there's no backlog now. The government should stop issuing rosy reports just to make things look good." (South Baltimore auto repair shop owner.) . . . "Things are picking up just a little bit, but we expect them to get better later this spring when the conventions come." (Manager, The Cookie Bank, 100 S. Charles St.) . . . "My husband must be on the road from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. to keep business going with his potato chip and pretzel business. Things are slow now -- the recession, you know -- and people are eating less greasy snacks these days." (Wife of potato chip salesman, Hanover, Pa.)
SPEAKING OF FOOD: Did you realize that 126,000 children in Maryland (that number would fill every seat in 2 1/2 Oriole Park at Camden Yards stadiums!) go without food or at risk of hunger? To find out how you can help, in any amount, call Linda Eisenberg, executive director, Maryland Food Committee, 366-0600.
HAPPEN HERE? With Japan's economy in recession and the Nikkei stock average plunging to 19,636 -- a 49.5 percent free fall from its 1989 high of 38,915 -- people ask me, "With Wall Street near its all-time high and our country in recession, could a similar calamity happen here?" My response is, "Although improbable, there's no law that says it can't. It wouldn't be the first time U.S. stock prices fell 50 percent, as they did in 1929-1932, 1937 and 1974-75."
HOPEFULLY HELPFUL: "Get ready for the recession's end by revising your resume to show how you continually improved quality, cut costs and built teams. Also consider taking a vacation now so you'll be active when the economy rebounds. Change your attitude to focus on the future, not dwelling on past gloom." (Kennedy's Career Strategist.)
MARYLAND & MORE: 1992 Maryland Blue Chip designee Harwood Fullwood, Jr., CEO, Fullwood Foods, Inc., Baltimore, is written up at length in Nation's Business, March. Runners-up are Omega Enterprises (dry cleaning), Bowie and International Technology Underwriters, Bethesda . . . Your federal and Maryland income taxes must be postmarked by 2 1/2 weeks from this Wednesday midnight . . . Speaking of taxes, the most overlooked deductions are: contributions of personal property to charity, charitable use of car, membership fees for credit cards you use for business, contributions to tax-qualified retirement plans and business use of your home phone . . . An Owings Mills man told me that while he and his wife looked on helplessly, a man jumped into the owner's new $75,000 BMW in the driveway, "popped out the ignition, crossed some wires and sped away." . . . To find highest CD yields, subscribe to "100 Highest Yields" by calling 800-327-7717.