Career Advice From 21 of The World’s Most Successful People
Wisdom is what you get when you reflect on experience. When it is shared by someone who reached the peak of his/her domain, it’s worth a lot. Here is a compilation of great advice from 21 successful icons:
Founder & CEO of Amazon
“Take pride in your decisions”
Take pride in your decisions and hard work, but not in your gifts. Celebrate your gifts, enjoy them, but don’t take pride in them. Take pride in your decisions and hard work.
Media Mogul and TV show host
Three things that will carry you if you let them:
1- Know who you are and what you want.
2- You must find a way to serve. The service and the significance that you bring to your service is that which is lasting.
3- Always do the right thing. Be excellent, people notice. Let excellence be your brand.
T. Boone Pickens
Founder BP Capital / Oil Tycoon
“Choose who to take advice from”
From a speech he gave to the graduating class at Oklahoma State University. My father told me “Son, you’re starting to listen to too many people”. He told me three questions to ask myself when someone is giving me advice.
1- Is this person smart. If they are not, then move on.
2- Do they have a conflict of interest.
3- Do they love me. Do they have my best interest in mind?
COO of Facebook
“Go where there is growth”
When Eric Schmidt was trying to recruit her into Google, his advice to her was: “Go where there is growth because where there is fast growth that creates opportunity.”
CEO of LinkedIn
Three pieces of advice that changed his life:
1- You can do anything you set your mind to (from his father). Decide what you want to do (balance for skill and passion) and then start working towards it.
2- Everything that can be converted from atom to bit will be (from a book “Being Digital”). In other words, everything physical that can be made digital will be as technology advances.
3- Do you want to push paper around or do you want to build products that change people’s lives? (from then COO of Yahoo Dan Rosensweig). Focus your energy on things that will have an impact that correlates to your goals in life.
Founder of Dell
“Look for experiments instead of perfection”
“One of the things I see in new businesses is that they are often looking for perfection. I think this is a big mistake. I think you ought to be looking for experiments. Quick experiments. It’s ok to have little failures. What you want to do it to learn as much as you can very quickly and try things. When we were a small business, we would go out and do all sorts of things to find what would work. When we find what works, we go out and do it a hundred or thousand more times. We still do that today as a large company.”
Former Google CEO
“Have a coach”
“Everybody needs a coach. Every famous athlete, every famous performer has somebody who is a coach. Somebody who can watch what they are doing at them Give them perspective. The one thing that people are never good at is seeing themselves as others see them. A coach really really helps.”
Entrepreneur and Founder of Virgin Group
“Focus on the people”
Focus on the people. Find the best people to run the company. Make sure they are properly incentivized, properly motivated, and give them freedom to go ahead and make good things.
Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo
“Assume positive intent”
The best advice she got was from her father who was a wonderful human being. She learned the always assume positive intent when dealing with people. It affects the way you interact with people and can influence people to adopt a positive approach to dealing with you as well.
Founder of Bloomberg & Politician
“Don’t play it safe”
“There is no road you can’t travel; no future you can’t create; no dream you can’t realize. You are bound only by the limits of your imagination… Don’t worry if you don’t have all the answers right now. Your life, your career path will not be a straight line. When I graduated college, no one would have believed, least of all my professors, that I would start a media information company and later become the mayor of New York. Even my mother hardly believes it. But as you think about your career. Whatever you do, don’t worry about mapping it out. Just don’t play it save. Don’t be the person who quits a startup company or a band before it giving it a chance to make it big. Don’t be afraid to start over or change direction. The more risks you take, the happier you will be. Even if they don’t work out. And I can assure you, sometimes they won’t. But I can also assure you this. No matter what job you have, no matter who your employer is. The harder you work, the luckier you will get.”
“Give it a shot”
“If there is something you want to do, then just get on with it. Give it a shot. Failing is not the issue, it’s not trying that I find is the issue.”
Bestselling author and Marketing guru
“Don’t be selfish”
“Sometimes its very painful to be in business. You got everything at stake and you got your reputation at stake and it’s just not working. We fall into these traps of being impatient, of being self absorbed, and of being selfish. We say “oh I bought this ad, so I have the right to put it in front of you”… and we get self-absorbed. We say “I understand my business, I’m in it everyday so I’m going to assume that everyone else understands my business” as opposed to taking a step back and realizing the no one owes you their attention. No one owes you their money. And so when we bring humility and generosity and clarity to the way we do our business. And all the mistakes go away.”
“Make your sauce”
“He took a few cups of love. He took one tablespoon of patience. One teaspoon of generosity. One pint of kindness. He took one quart of laughter. One pinch of concern. And then he mixed willingness with happiness. He added lots of faith, and he stirred it up well. Then he spread it over a span of a lifetime and he served it to each and every deserving person he met.”
Professional Basketball and Baseball player and Investor
“Take a chance”
“The things that I’ve done in my life. I’ve taken a chance of succeeding or failing at it. But I’ve taken that chance. I will not let the opportunity of failure stop me from doing something that I choose and enjoy doing.”
Virginia Marie “Ginni” Rometty
Chairman and CEO of IBM
“Actions speak louder than words”
What she learned from her mom (by action rather than words)
1- Action speaks louder than words.
2- Nothing is insurmountable.
3- Define yourself. Don’t let others define you, you define yourself.
CEO of Zappos & bestselling author
“Find your passion”
“Figure out what you will be happy doing in ten years even if you never made a dime. Something that you’re so passionate about and really believe in. Ironically, that’s how you will make more money because you are truly passionate about it.”
Dame Jane Goodall
World’s foremost expert on Chimpanzees and Founder of Jane Goodall Institute
“Go after what you want”
“My mother used to tell me when I was a child dreaming of going to Africa and living with animals and everybody was laughing at me. If you really want something you work hard, take advantage of opportunity, and never ever give up. You will find a way.”
Entrepreneur & Founder of Apple
In his Stanford commencement speech, Steve delivered one of the most inspiring speeches of our time. It’s a three part speech:
Connect the dots: You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.
Don’t settle: Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.
Death is the best motivator: Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
Former CEO of eBay
“Focus on your priorities in life”
“I don’t know if I can be the perfect CEO, perfect wife, perfect mother, perfect hostess, and have my house look fabulous all the time. That’s a lot for one person. And finally I gave up the notion that I can be perfect at all those things. It was sort of like Triage in an emergency room. What’s the most important thing. I said I’m going to focus on the children, my husband, and my job. Everything else is going to have to go. You just have to figure out what’s most important, what you’re good at, and what you can let go of. And that’s the only way to manage all of this.”
Venture Capitalist and bestselling author
“Only ask others to do what you would do yourself”
“As you go through your careers, as you’re managing people, as you’re dealing with vendors, dealing with customers. Never ask people to do something that you yourself would not do. So if you ever find yourself in a position where you’re asking customers or employees or your partners to do something that you know you wouldn’t do, then don’t ask them do to it either. I think that’s a good moral, ethical and practical guide to living life.”
Founder of Huffington Post
“The way to a more productive, more inspired, more joyful life is to get enough sleep.”
Which is your favourite? Do you have great advice to share? Add it in the comments below.
Do you know someone who can benefit from one of these advice? Go ahead and spread the love.