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While on his way to work one morning, an ambitious and brash young window cleaner named J. Pierpont Finch buys a book entitled How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying . Impressed by what he reads, he leaves his window washing post and enters the offices of the World Wide Wicket Company. He charms a pretty secretary, Rosemary, tricks the personnel manager into believing he is a close friend of J. B. Biggley, the pompous head of Wicket, and lands himself a job in the mailroom. Following each suggestion in the book, Finch quickly connives his way through a series of advancements and promotions until he becomes a junior executive. Finch has also won the hatred of Biggley's nephew, Bud Frump, who plots to destroy him. By supplementing the book's advice with his own methods, Finch's meteoric rise continues until he is finally made the head of advertising. Aware that his uncle detests television giveaway programs, Frump tricks Finch into suggesting a World Wide treasure hunt for shares in the Wicket Company. To Frump's consternation, however, Biggley endorses the idea when Finch nominates Hedy LaRue, Biggley's current lover, as the Treasure Girl. The idea backfires when Hedy publicly announces that the free shares are hidden in Wicket offices throughout the world; and the public quickly reduces them to shambles as they frantically search for the prizes. Finch finally admits that he is a lowly window washer who wanted to become a success. Upon hearing the confession, the chairman of the board and former window washer Wally Womper announces that he is going to retire and that Finch will be his successor. Now at the top at last, Finch admits his love for Rosemary and promises to forget about ambition. Delighted, Rosemary vows that she would love him whether he was a mailboy or President of the United States. Finch starts thinking, and a short time later he is washing the windows of the White House. Musical numbers : "How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" (Finch); "The Company Way" (Finch & Twimble); "A Secretary Is Not a Toy" (Bratt, Frump, & office staff); "Been a Long Day" (Finch, Rosemary, & Smitty/Biggley, Hedy, & Frump); "I Believe in You" (Rosemary, Finch, & executives); "Grand Old Ivy" (Finch & Biggley); "Rosemary" (Finch); "Gotta Stop That Man" (Finch & executives); "Brotherhood of Man" and reprise of "The Company Way" (Finch, Biggley, Frump, Bratt, Twimble, Miss Jones, & office staff).