DO YOU WISH TO WORK & SUCCEED IN A BANK? The Skills Sets You Need To Get To The Top. Survival and journey to the top of Nigerian bank is laden with a lot of challenges. Staff have over time devised many coping mechanisms not only to retain their jobs, manage their bosses and to wade off competing colleagues but also to wangle their ways to the top or management cadre. Below are some of the identified methods staff have perfected to achieve their career aims. 1. COMPETENCE: This is a never failing route. The staff develops self with good education, requisite skills and good work attitude that makes him/her deliver on any assigned tasks. This group of staff man the sensitive bank positions in Risk Management, Corporate Banking,Treasury, Financial Control, IT and Bank Operations. Banks know that it's very expensive or costly to staff very sensitive areas with incompetent fellows. It can down a bank. This group are rewarded based on the bank’s need for them. Once used up they are discarded as a shell of a harvested snail. Some non-streetwise ones leave disillusioned. 2. EYE SERVICE: This has been a time-tested tool employed by both the competent and incompetent staff to advance in their career. It's all about packaging your supervisor and managing his/ her impression of you as a very excellent staff, best fit for the assigned role. The masters of eye-service would always praise their superiors to high heavens and would even scandalise other staff to gratify the ultimate boss. They are weather readers and are capable of knowing what pleases the master and effortlessly take care of them. A measured application of this method is essential in Nigeria for anybody wishing for a good appraisal by an emotional boss. This group know the boss' birthday and that of the members of his family. Daily compliment of boss' dressing is key just as an occasional arrangement of gifts. To avoid an evaporation of achievements via eye-service, the practitioner refrains from making open negative remarks about the boss as an unexpected feedback by another staff to the boss would reverse his/her goodwill. Many bosses are deceived by eye-service especially when acted by a master. However, a competent staff with a mastery of eye-service techniques normally make it to the very top of the organisation. 3. AMOROUS TOOL: Many staff have secured an unfair advantage over colleagues through application of waist or bottom power. The ignorant thinks that this group excludes males. All sexes are neck-deep in this practice. The practicing staff willfully seduces the boss, supplying the boss with free tantalizing sex, more salacious than what the boss is used to home and abroad or non- committal affections in exchange for promotion and job retention assurance. Some bosses are so hypnotised that they allow the favoured staff to help appraise his or her colleagues or even determine who gets what and when. Both married and single staff members are involved in this practice. Some are more discrete than others. Many bosses, especially males, get so used to this favour that they begin to feel that it's an entitlement and as such begin to demand for it from other unwilling staff through subtle coercion. Many females' staff careers have been truncated or stagnated because they refused to comply or decode subtle sexual overtures from the boss. Also, some guys who refused to decode subtle green light by their female bosses have had bitter career experience to narrate. I know, because I have been a victim even with my not- so- handsome looks. The potent secret of this tool is that the compromised staff would always exert an emotional concession or even manipulation of the boss, favourable postings and promotions years after stoppage of copulation, though Okafor's Law may apply. Some staff who use their waist to advance have little regards for marital fidelity or ethics. They regard their act as self preserving and an economic duty to family members who depend on the income they make by remaining in their jobs and from the incremental income that comes with promotion. The single or unmarried staff view the act more forgivable than those with people that add no economic value to their lives. To further ensure performance, some staff already used to this method provide this kind of service to retain their valued customers. Most customers need to be happy to channel business to a bank. It is up to the customer and the bank staff to define what is needed and provided. 4. DISCRETE INFORMANT: There are staff who feel inadequate in skills and performance requirements but have remained powerful and protected by the banks for a reasons unknown to colleagues. They are the bosses' informants. They update the boss of what happened behind him, who said or did what, who is sleeping with who and other unofficial background information. With the information provided, the boss appears like a talisman because he has at his disposal, valuable intelligence reports courtesy of the gossip merchant. The staff involved choose the venue and means of passing the surreptitiously gathered information to the boss so as not to reveal his/her acts to suspecting colleagues. 5. CHARMERS: This is a group of staff with very charming personality. They have this aura that makes the bosses like them. They are not necessarily high performers but are exceptionally promoted all the time. The management see them as must have or as poster staff of the bank. This group of staff look well-groomed, good looking, personable and likeable to bosses and customers alike. Belonging to charmers' group is not by effort but by nature and background. A charmer who is also a star performer and understands eye-service will surely make it to top management cadre. 6. RELIGIOUS & FETISH GROUP: This group are found in the back office or marketing functions. They present a personality of being of high ethical standards. They behave themselves into positions of trust. They acquire all certificates or qualifications to position themselves for any bank position. Some insecure bosses fall victims to this group. They become the bosses' prayer warriors seeing visions of promotions for them. Most cash pilfering in the banks detected via CCTV has showed the devious side of these brethren. There are others that are masters of spiritual influence. They may go as far as poisoning fellow staff they consider threats to their ambition. These guys are senior members of satanic covens or covet their relations to help them deal with their enemies. P.S All the above-mentioned routes or tools of progressing in banking career in Nigeria have their negatives but they however work for people who are masters in their usage. Like all created things, mankind and his acts are subject to destiny and God's ultimate will. By Anayo Nwosu.