Career advice from a top cruise chief

By Tom Stieghorst

*Insight Ever wonder what it takes to end up at the helm of a cruise line with 22 ships (including the two biggest cruise vessels in the world) and tens of thousands of employees?

Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Adam Goldstein recently shared some career tips that helped him get to the executive suite.

Writing in his blog Sea Views, in response to a "young, ambitious blog reader … he wanted to know what suggestions I might have for him," Goldstein first emphasized that you don't have to follow exactly in his footsteps.

Goldstein began his career as a lawyer, but he cited his newly named counterpart, Michael Bayley, as an example of someone who started his career at sea: Bayley rose from an assistant purser on the Nordic Prince to become president of Celebrity Cruises.

Goldstein said that presence, judgment, a work ethic, the ability to reduce complex data to key points and solid *TomStieghorstwriting skills all get the notice of  senior management.

Next, build relationships.  The 21st century workplace is so over-scheduled that managers have to rely on colleagues at key junctures for help. "So who are they going to assist?" he asks. The answer is those with whom they already have positive relationships.

It doesn't hurt to have a sterling educational background, either. Goldstein graduated with honors from Princeton and went on to earn his law degree at Harvard.

But none of that guarantees a spot at the top, Goldstein concluded. As he completes his 25th year at Royal, he said his bottom line on career advancement has been consistent.

"You need to be excellent, you need to be patient and you need to be lucky," he wrote. "And the first two will often produce the third."

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