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Essential business philosophy: Build relationships. Get to know the people you are working for, and you get to understand their business. You also need to be result-oriented, and you do that through understanding both the long-term focus and the immediate task at hand.
Best way to keep competitive edge: Make sure you are sensitive to and spend time with the clients you are working for, and stay on top of the business they work in. You have to remain anchored to the idea that you are first and foremost in the service industry, and that is a very personal thing from individual to individual.
Guiding principle: Listen and make every …