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20 Career Lessons from Celebrities

Tania Khadder and Zac Frank

August 25, 2009

#4: Simon Cowell

Lesson: Sometimes, it pays to be a hard ass.

The notoriously straight-faced American Idol judge earns a reported $34 million a year (said to be bumped up to a whopping $144 million next year).

While Paula Abdul gives endless (and often unintelligible) praise, Randy Jackson looks for the silver lining, and Kara Dioguardi strips to outdo Bikini Girl, Cowell tells it like it is (and sometimes, much worse). Viewers love to hate him, but the fact remains: contestants respect his opinion more than that of the other three. And so does America. More often than not, Cowell’s feedback directly impacts the shows votes and consequently makes or breaks a contestant’s shot at winning.

Simon may take brutal honesty a little too far, but he teaches us that sugarcoating your opinions and backing down when challenged won’t earn the respect of your peers, your reports or even your superiors. Stand up for yourself or you might just find yourself in your rightful place as the office doormat.

#5: Kim Kardashian →