The best advice I ever got

A few years ago, I read a wonderful article in Fortune magazine that was nothing more than a collection of wise advice from notable individuals. This article stayed with me. So I thought I would offer a blog that is a brief collection of advice ranging from famous leaders (a few paraphrased from this article) to the day to day leaders who cross my path each day. The only commonality is that this collection is relevant and focused on how to be the best we can be – at whatever stage of our leadership journey we find ourselves.

Indra Nooyi, Chairman and CEO, Pepsico:

“Whatever anybody says or does, assume positive intent….when you assume negative intent, you are angry and it shows.”

Chad and Janice, Owners of Parigi Restaurant in Dallas:

“We treat everyone the same – like family. We want people to want to come here not only because of the food; also because they feel good when they are here.”

Sam Palmisano, Chairman and CEO of IBM:

“Don’t view your career as a linear progression. Take horizontal steps, try out situations that are unstructured to learn different ways of working, and get outside the headquarters and experience different cultures.”

Thomas S. Murphy, Former CEO, Capital Cities/ABC:

“Don’t spend your time on things you can’t control. Instead, spend your time thinking about what you can.”

Nelson Peltz, CEO, Trian Fund Management:

“Get sales up and keep expenses down. It is as simple as that.”

Charlene Begley, President and CEO, GE Enterprise Solutions:

“People don’t care about titles. Just value. Spend a ton of time with your customers – especially when you are new to your role – ask tons of questions about everything…competitors, service, price, products…they will give you the reality. Then you can act.”

Rachel Ashwell, CEO of Shappy Chic:

“If you don’t know, say you don’t know. Own it. Then go find out. Period.”

Tina Fey, Actress:

“Pay attention to money. Listen to your business manager and your accountants. Always be the person who can sign your checks – only you.”

Tony Robbins, Performance Coach:

“The selection of your friends and advisors matter more than anything else in your life. You must stand guard at the door of your mind.”

Joe, successful business executive:

“Be real. Keep it real.”

Joanna Shields, President, BEBO.com:

“I go back to the things my dad said: ‘Your career is long, and the business world is small. Always act with integrity. Never take the last dollar off the table.’

In closing, I relate to this comment from Joanna, as seldom have I ever heard wise business advice from anyone, which had previously not been given to me by my mother and father. For these gifts, I will remain eternally grateful. And for my readers, you benefit from their advise every month – as the foundation for my writing is clearly what I learned through life with my parents….thoughts, words, and deeds.

These are just a few of thousands of wise words and stories from individuals who affect our lives – directly or indirectly – every day. I know each of you have many wise words you can share with us. We welcome your comments and ‘wise words’ below!! Remember,  we are all in school and we are each other’s teachers. We look forward to hearing from YOU.

7 responses to “The best advice I ever got

  1. Joanna Shields comments were great, I thought you were writting about your parents. It could have been, you have learned alot from them and so have I.Tish

  2. My Mom advised me always to say, “Please” and “Thank you.” I appreciate those words of wisdom more and more. Thank you Kristin for your insightful and interesting blog. There is always something cool to think about. I love to read the comments.

    Always the best,

    Hilda

  3. My favorite is from Tony Robbins, Performance Coach:

    “The selection of your friends and advisors matter more than anything else in your life. You must stand guard at the door of your mind.”

    As a coach myself I’m constantly working with people about how they see the world and think.

    Thank you Kristin for another neat post.

  4. Tony Robbins says it best; however, you must come from a place of sincerity, good will, respect and then consider a smile, focus/make eye contact/pay attention, the bottom line (what’s in it for the customer/recipient), buy low & sell high, sign your own checks (Oprah’s advice), know how it all works so you can oversee it and know when a part is malfunctioning. Most of all; go for it! Do your dream. (And don’t say awesome, cool, or like too often)

  5. Bob Berg, CEO of SeaMED once told me:
    “Never ask for permission but if you screw up come ask me for forgiveness.” He told me he hired smart bright people and trusted them to take their own initiative and to try to do the right thing.
    I’ve used this on many employees and the results have been rewarding. They have the authority to act on their instincts and when they do scrw up, we reflect on it and both learn from it. No red tape to deal with.
    Bill L.

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