Ever wonder what advice senior executives would give if you could ask them?

Here, 14 Famous CEOs & Executives Share Their

Walter Robb, co-CEO of Whole Foods Market
“One piece of advice is from my mom: ‘Have the courage to go and do what you believe.’ Most people can see things, but they don’t have the courage to go do it and try something."

Wayne Pacelle, CEO and president of The Humane Society of the United States
 “One of my former board members said, ‘Don’t try to do everything because that’s an impossible task, and no one will notice anything that you do because you’re spread too thin.’ So he said to concentrate on a few big things, make an impact and people will notice that impact.”

Keith Wandell, president and CEO of Harley-Davidson, Inc.
“Just stay true to your values and your principles.” 

Susan Swain and Rob Kennedy, co-CEOs of C-SPAN
Kennedy: “One thing I’ve learned from [C-SPAN Founder] Brian Lamb is always to consider your audience and who you’re talking to, and to respect your audience whether it’s a large group, a one-on-one meeting or a small group meeting, you’re conducting. Listen more; talk less; try to understand things from their perspective; don’t waste their time.”

Swain: “The best advice is always be a good listener.”

Diana Tremblay, General Motors vice president of global business services
“Don’t think because you’re a leader that you have all the answers. You should make sure you’re spending as much time listening, if not more, than talking. And make sure that you’re not afraid to ask for help if there are things you don’t know – I can guarantee there are things you don’t know. It’s OK to reach out and ask for help, and allow those people that have that expertise to contribute. You don’t have to know it all because you’re the leader.”

John Gainor, CEO and president of International Dairy Queen, Inc.
“I think it’s very important that you don’t want work to be work. It has to be something that you can enjoy. And if you find that, you can build a great career and enjoy what you’re doing. But I think the other thing is equally as important, and that is you need to treat every employee no different than how you want to be treated. Every person in an organization or in a store, their job is critical.”

Adam Goldstein, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International
“Try to stay in one place. ... That’s not really very realistic in today’s day and age, but there are so many advantages if you can have a long and fulfilling career at one place. The relationships that you have with the people are very, very special. Your knowledge of the business, the industry, the different departments, what’s going on in the company, the lingo – it’s just, I find it very fulfilling.”

Kim Jeffery, past president and CEO of Nestle Waters North America
“It came from my father actually: ‘Decide what you really like to do and build on it. Find something that you have a passion for.’ I’ve heard people say, ‘I want to make a lot of money. I want to get rich.’ But the way to get rich is not to think about what can I do to get rich. It’s to find a passion, and if you find a passion and you really do well at it, chances are you’re going to do just fine in your career.”

Kirk Kinsell, president of the Holiday Inn Hotels in the Americas
“Don’t take yourself seriously because no one else will. That points back to my leadership style. I oftentimes tell people my favorite subject is me, and their first reaction is, ‘That’s very egotistic,’ and ‘Of course, you’re a male, so you must be.’ And then I explain it to them and say, ‘No, the reason why it’s my favorite subject is because I invest in myself and understand who I am because I strongly believe I can’t lead. I can’t work on others unless I know myself.’”

Helena Foulkes, CVS Caremark executive vice president and chief health care strategy and marketing officer
“Be focused, yet flexible. It’s really important from a career perspective to have a plan, to know what you want, to understand what you’re good at – and that’s all the focus part. I think it’s also equally important to be flexible because sometimes opportunities come along that are not planned for, or that make you nervous or that make you uncomfortable, and those can often be the most interesting decisions that a person makes.”

Jack Calhoun, global president of Banana Republic
“Know yourself. Know yourself very well. Be very honest with what you’re good at and your strengths and limitations. We all have them. And then I always say ‘do what you love,’ which comes from our founder of Gap Inc. Don Fisher, and I kind of augment that with also ‘do what you’re good at.’ You might love something, but you’ve got to make sure you’re also good at doing that.”

Stephen Steinour, CEO, president and chairman of Huntington Bancshares Inc.
“Turn the lights on and off. Get up early, work hard, work late and volunteer. Learn as much as you can about the organization, and demonstrate a commitment, which will provide career options and opportunities.”

Ron Shaich, founder and CEO of Panera Bread
“You know, I’ve worked for myself almost my entire life and I’ve never focused on my career. I’ve focused on making a difference. You’re going to laugh, but I’ve never thought about career advice – I’ve thought about how to have a career that fulfills my dreams.”

Source: US News & World Report By Stephanie Steinberg

1 comment:

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