What's the Best Advice You Ever Got?
Earlier this Spring Fortune magazine published an article in which 28 business executive luminaries talked about the people who had most influenced their lives. Meg Whitman, CEO and President of eBay, recalled at the age of 10 that her father told her “there is no point in being mean to anyone at anytime” after she had treated someone badly. Danny Deutsch, CEO of ad agency Deustch Inc., was fired by his Dad when he was 24: “You don't love this and I don't want you around here because I love what I do!…If you love something you'll be great at it and the money will come.”
Similarly this Spring The New York Post interviewed John Wooden, the legendary 94 year old “Wizard of Westwood”, who coached UCLA to 10 NCAA basketball titles in the1960's and 1970's. When asked who had the most impact on his life, he said his parents had given him advice that largely influenced his philosophy of teaching and coaching: “Make each day your masterpiece. You can't be perfect, but make the effort to be”.
After reading these two articles I picked up a pen and jotted down some of the ideas that have had a profound influence on my career, my life and in how I have coached leaders and teams over the years. Here are a few of them:• From an early mentor: “A finished leader is a finished leader”
• From my Father: “Stay in the game and act like an All-American”
• From my Mother: “You can have it all — just maybe not all at once”
• From a friend: “Step by step is how you'll achieve your dreams”
Who has influenced who you are as a leader in your life? What leadership lessons did they share with you that has contributed to your success? What “teachable point of view” are you passing on to your employees, to your children?
We'd love to hear the best advice you ever got!
by Jack Welch with Suzie Welch
If you are looking for some leadership advice from a wildly successful business executive, I strongly recommend this recently published book by Jack Welch, former Chairman of General Electric and his wife Suzy Welch, former editor-in-chief of Harvard Business Review.
The book provides Welch's management/wisdom in such areas as:
• The need for business leaders to be emotionally intelligent.
• The critical importance of candor.
• How to hire and retain the best people.
• How to know whether you are in the right job.
• Creating a values — based leadership culture.
• How to manage in a crisis.
• How to work with a difficult boss.
Welch also acknowledges what he has learned from his professional and personal mistakes, which is refreshing.
This may become one of the best business bibles as it speaks to a variety of audiences, from CEOs to MBA's, from workers to college students. It would make a great graduation present!
Actions for Results: Tips and Tools for Giving and Getting Giving Advice When you want advice:
• Identify specifically the issue, problem or question you are wrestling with
• Identify a role model or two you believe has experience and credibility in that area.
• Request a 15 minute meeting/telephone call with him/her.
• Outline specifically the situation you are facing and the questions you. would like to have his/her perspective on
• During the meeting/call:
a) Confirm the time he/she has available
b) Briefly describe the situation and question
c) Listen to the advice — ask clarifying questions
d) Thank your advisor for his/her time and advice
e) Follow up with a thank you note (and feedback if appropriate)
• When you are asked for advice:
Decide first if you are capable (time, experience) of giving advice. Ask the person to describe the situation and the possible questions they want to resolve. Ask the person what decision or action options they have been considering (and the pros and cons of each). Provide commentary on the proposed options and offer any additional new ideas. Don't assume that what you would do or have done in similar situations is what he/she should do.
EquiPro Solutions and Learning Products
As management consultants and coaches we love to give advice! Through our leadership, team and business development programs and executive coaching we help our clients discover their strengths and how to best achieve better results for themselves and their teams. Visit our website www.equiproint.com to learn more about how we have helped clients in a wide variety of industries around the world.
If you want to know what advice I gave a graduating class at Miami University, request a free copy of the booklet “Leadership Lessons for Graduates”
Copyright © 2004 EquiPro International, LTD. All rights reserved
“We were all inspired by your presentation on 'The Leader's Legacy.' If you don't mind, I'd like to pass on some of your thoughts to the rest of the organization.”
Senior Vice President
& General Manager
John Wiley & Sons, Inc
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