What’s the Best Advice Anyone Ever Gave You?

Since it’s Friday, I’ll keep it relatively light again. (I’m back in for a full schedule next week, so be ready with your trigger fingers…)

The March 21 edition of Fortune magazine has an article of very interesting, brief interviews with many business “superstars,” re: the best advice they’ve ever gotten. Here’s a quick rundown:

Warren Buffett
CEO of Berkshire Hathaway
You’re right not because others agree with you, but because your facts are right.

Richard Branson
Founder, Virgin Atlantic Airways
Make a fool of yourself. Otherwise, you won’t survive.

Howard Schultz
Chairman of Starbucks
Recognize the skills and traits you don’t possess, and hire people who have them.

A.G. Lafley
Chairman/CEO, Proctor & Gamble
Have the courage to stick with a tough job.

Sumner Redstone
Chairmain/CEO, Viacom
Follow your instincts, not those of people who see the world differently.

Meg Whitman
CEO/President, eBay
Be nice, do your best—and most important, keep it in perspective.

Jack Welch
Former Chairman/CEO, G.E.
Be yourself.

Sallie Krawcheck
CFO of Citigroup
Don’t listen to the naysayers.

Vivek Paul
President/CEO, Wipro Technologies
Don’t limit yourself by past expectations.

Dick Parsons
Chariman/CEO, Time Warner
When you negotiate, leave a little something on the table.

Andy Grove
Chairman, Intel
When “everyone knows” something to be true, nobody knows nothin’.

Anne Mulcahy
CEO, Xerox
Remember the parable of the cow in the ditch.

Brian Grazer
Imagine Entertainment
All you really own are ideas and the confidence to write them down.

Rick Warren
Author, The Purpose-Driven Life
Regularly sit at the feet of Peter Drucker.

Jim Collins
Author, Good to Great
The real discipline comes to saying no to the wrong opportunities.

Peter Drucker
Business Consultant
Get good—or get out.

Ted Turner
Founder, CNN; Former Vice Chairman, Time Warner
Start young.

David Neeleman
CEO of JetBlue
Balance your work with your family.

Mickey Drexler
CEO of J. Crew
Bail out of a business that isn’t growing.

Brian Roberts
CEO of Comcast
Let others take the credit.

Mark Benioff
Founcer/CEO, Salesforce.com
Incorporate philanthropy into your corporate structure.

Hector Ruiz
Surround yourself with people of integrity and get out of their way.

Donny Deutsch
CEO of Deutsch Inc.
If you love something, the money will come.

Klaus Kleinfeld
CEO, Siemens
Keenly visualize the future.

Ann Fudge
Chairman/CEO, Young & Rubicam
Don’t start your career path too soon.

Herb Kelleher
Founder/Chairman, Southwest Airlines
Respect people for who they are, not for what their titles are.

Clayton Christensen
Professor, Harvard Business School
You can learn from anyone.

Ted Koppel
Anchor of ABC’s Nightline
Do what you love.

Well, I’ve already practiced Richard Branson’s tip. Huh. Maybe that’s how I’ve survived.

Read, think, and enjoy your weekend.


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  • Katrina Arabe
    April 1, 2005

    Keep a positive attitude.

    I think this quote from a football coach encapsulates it…

    “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond to it.”

  • Larry Mast
    April 1, 2005

    Hire qualified people, give them clear goals and the authority to achieve them (with accountability), then get out of their way and let them do what they do well…and learn to forgive everyone and laugh at yourself.

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