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How to Succeed In Business Even If You're Canadian

04/22/2014 05:55 EDT | Updated 06/22/2014 05:59 EDT
ASSOCIATED PRESS
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper listens as President Barack Obama speaks to North American business, civil society and education leaders in Toluca, Mexico Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, before the seventh trilateral North American Leaders Summit Meeting. This year's theme is ?North American Competitiveness.? (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Executive Summary: There is nothing wrong with being Canadian, nor should it be considered an automatic barrier to success. Problems for Canadians are only encountered when the genuine attributes of the Canadian temperament and culture are relegated to subsidiary position to those more accurately deemed American. To succeed, Canadians must remain true to their Canadian essence, which is fundamentally different than that of their neighbors to the south, but in no way inferior, mostly.

The Canadian Conundrum: There are genuinely Canadian things of which Canada may be justly proud.

Too often, however, Canadians attempt to achieve status by simply claiming American things as Canadian, much as Russians during the cold war claimed to have invented everything from the light bulb to jazz.

This, for example, is American cheese.

American Cheese by Kraft

American cheese is distinctly American and is known the world over as American cheese, except in one place: Canada.

"Canadian" Cheese by Kraft

The fact that Canada is the only place in the world that insists on rebranding an American product in order to claim it for Canada is emblematic of the problems Canadians themselves face in the world business marketplace. The French are proud of their cheese and would never simply assimilate the most mediocre example of another nation's product and plant their Tricolor in it. Nor would Italy, or even Japan, if it made cheese, which is doubtful, as obsessed as they are with soy. That, however, is an investigation for another day!

The conclusion to be reached here is clear: Canadians must cease defining themselves by their Americanness or lack of same. You are Canadian! Go forth and employing the marvelous armada of assets that come with that status!

What are they? Let's have a look.

Size Matters, and You've Got It! Canadians have to get over the conviction that they are the size of Costa Rica. Here is the United States of America:

Yes, it's very big. But here is Canada:

See? Just as big. True, fewer people in it, but that makes every Canadian just a little more special. So get over the size issue, you knuckleheads!

You Aren't Saddled With a Bunch of Questionable American Qualities, Either: To understand what you are NOT, here are just a few characteristics that have served Americans well since we became a nation and almost annexed you.(*1)

It is all to easy to see how Americans have come to dominate world business on a massive scale. But pleasant? Not really. Still, all these attributes confer a key element of success in any era, in any environment. I think you know what it is.

Impressive, no doubt.(*2) But the good news, if you are Canadian, is this: the raw exercise of Power is not the only path to the attainment of success, status and sufficient money to make old age attractive. Let us take a look at the attributes that may be deemed authentically Canadian, because they rock.

True, these attributes aren't the first that come to mind when one contemplates the qualities that add up to business success. But guess what? They actually do. In fact, they produce a graphic tower no less impressive and useful:

Clearly, there is still much work that remains to do on this subject, but it's evident that there is every reason for Canadians to enter the global business conglomeration with confidence.

I look forward to joining you all for further study over a plate of salmon. I hear you have no shortage of that, either.

Best wishes,

Stanley Bing

Stanley Bing's new book, The Curriculum: Everything You Need to Know to Be a Master of Business Arts, is now available in bookstores and ebookstores across Canada.

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*1 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annexation_movements_of_Canada

*2 - All data courtesy of the National Association for Serious Studies®. The National Association for Serious Studies is a national association dedicated to a number of serious studies. While all information provided by the National Association is proprietary, the National Association adheres to nothing but the highest standards of Internet journalism.

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