When people inquire how to be successful in business, in their career, or as an individual, most common responses received involve pursuing and doing work that they are personally passionate about, taking calculated risks, and creating relationships with good mentors. As a leader with years of experiences as the Chief Operating Officer for technology at a large financial services company, Chief Digital Officer of a multibillion software company, and founder of multiple startup businesses, Richie Etwaru believes that these responses may not be enough to reach success. With the help of Dhar Ramdehal assisting in the leadership science and research, Etwaru writes a leadership in business and economics book entitled “Corporate Awesome Sauce: Success Rules for Generation Y.” In this brilliant, easy-to-read, highly driven and unapologetic book, the author covers twelve ingredients or key techniques for being successful, to stand out, and getting ahead in business as an employee, leader, and mover in the reader’s individual career.
The twelve ingredients to the awesome sauce are the following:
- Ingredient 1: Come close to being fired on a monthly basis
- Ingredient 2: Tell stories and don’t be afraid to be funny
- Ingredient 3: Be a teacher, even when you don’t know squat
- Ingredient 4: Steal talent, do it publicly and build a reputation for it
- Ingredient 5: Be brutally honest, even when it hurts
- Ingredient 6: Draw everything, resist the urge to write
- Ingredient 7: Don’t let your momma brand you; no one’s buying it
- Ingredient 8: Make meetings shorter, and walk out on long ones
- Ingredient 9: Don’t ask for favors, ask for friendships
- Ingredient 10: Pass the buck – never give up the chance to make someone your successor
- Ingredient 11: Don’t be a hero, be Jesus Christ or John Kerry
- Ingredient 12: Never work for the same person twice, and change industries
In this book, there are essentially three core concepts that are highly successful and relevant in a modern business environment. The first core concept is the concept of branding, in reference to “Ingredient 7: Don’t let your momma brand you; no one’s buying it.” In the modern business environment, your individual brand is critical because the way you brand yourself, or in other words, the way people know you, will affect your influence. In class, it is taught that a brand is the visual clue to the company which comes in the form of the company’s name, term, design, symbol, or feature that identifies one seller’s good or services as distinct and memorable. Interestingly, Etwaru takes this concept of branding from a company and views it at a personal form of branding. “You don’t have a personal brand because you tell people what it is; you have it because people tell you what it is. You can say what the heck you want about yourself, but that won’t be your brand until someone else says it about you.” This means that while we are trying to stand out and be successful, it is our duty to consider how people see us as an individual and employee. When the business environment sees that the person is the same in the work and outside of the working place, the authenticity and good work done can be trusted.
The second core concept of the book is networking, which refers to “Ingredient 9: Don’t ask for favors, ask for friendships.” Networking is a key ingredient to being successful in the modern business world because this process of creating relationships with other entrepreneurs or similar professionals will benefit both parties with ideas, lessons and skills, all of which will develop their careers. I found it interesting how Etwaru suggests to, “Not ask for favors.” Instead, we should, “Ask for friendships.” Etwaru is making the point that networking based on favors will not be effective, while friendships will. I agree with this statement because once a favor is completed, the relationship built in the business world will most likely cease, thus, making the networking relationship conditional and transactional. In comparison to asking for a friendship, the relationship built is not just business related, but it is intentional, personal, and the willingness to do favors for both sides of the parties will be easier. As a result, both parties can inspire ideas, teamwork, and success.
Lastly, the third concept that Etwaru emphasizes is leadership and organizational change, referencing the last ingredient, “Never work for the same person twice, and change industries.” As discussed in class, effective leaders influence the participants in the work environment to reach individual goals and the goals of the business. This goes the same vice versa. Employees who are not in a leadership position, yet bring assets to the company and strive to be successful, will become effective change agents in the business. In either stance, the individual will develop experiences that will shape their personality, work ethics, and develop strengths that were not present in the beginning. Theoretically, if the employee were to leave the business and come back within a few years, the employee will be face the challenge of being seen as the same worker in the past, rather than the newly shaped and improved employee they have strived to. Therefore, it is important to consider that in the business world, people can change for the better from the work experiences, and placing themselves in new working environments could help them grow into success.
In my professional career as a Registered Dietitian, I would like to incorporate two ingredients. I would like to incorporate Ingredient 1: Come close to being fired on a monthly basis. While Etwaru does not mean to be fired from simply slacking off, being lazy, or causing disrespect against our boss, Etwaru means that we should allow ourselves to not fear being fired. I can cause a change by being edgy, creative, and innovative with a good reason, which is to inspire others and be successful as a dietitian. Even if the ideas suggested may catch my team by surprise, my ideas of change will be appreciated. I would also like to incorporate Ingredient 10: Pass the buck – never give up the chance to make someone your successor. As an aspiring dietitian, I am interested in teaching at a college level or becoming a preceptor. This is because I personally love seeing people become successful. As a teacher or preceptor, I would like to be part of that process in helping another individual reach their goals and become successful.
Currently, there are no critical or complimentary reviews from literary sources. However, there have been 30 reviews of this book from Goodreads, with an average rating of 3.86 out of five stars. Non-literary sources, or average reviewers of the book, favored Etwaru’s practical pointers on making the best of your own career, which were illustrated with his genuine personality and humor. Two percent of the rating was 1 star, as noted on Amazon, because critics believe that some of the reviews were not real and paid to boost rating.
While reading this book, it is best to keep in mind that Etwaru is presenting concepts that are directed towards an individual or leader rather than a team of employees. In the process of putting the ingredients into application and creating an awesome sauce in the career life, there can be a gradual advance of success. Yet, we should not disregard the influence of these concepts. The manager or employee is able to stand out and build the skills to lead a team in their work environment under a positive and effective influence, which is an outcome of success. Another idea to keep in mind about this book is the focus of the audience. In the title, Etwaru points out a group of people, “Generation Y,” or also known as the “Millennials,” which is a group of people who are born in the years 1980s and 1990s. In addition to writing for people who work in corporations, I find it interesting that Etwaru writes to this group of audience because the general personality of Generation Y and the corporate awesome sauce recipe are very similar.
Earlier in this report, I have mentioned that common advices were given about success, such as following your passion and taking risks. Etwaru mentions that the common advices on success were given to us by individuals of the baby boomers age. Millenials, like myself, have followed that advice and experienced success. As movers, dreamers, and strivers for success, we are striving for more and to go about aiming high in a much more different way. Etwaru’s book gives the rebellious like path to help Generation Y achieve their goals. For individuals, whether or not in Generation Y, who are looking for a ways to stand out in their current profession or also as a student, I would highly recommend this book to be read.