42 Advice From Highly Successful People share the best pieces of advice they ever received


This was the orientation they received.

The most successful people in the world today did not get where they are now on their own. Along the way, they were oriented, which allowed them to change their views and inevitably reach the top.

In the most recent version of the “Influencers” series, LinkedIn interviewed more than 70 professionals from the areas of financial banking, property brokerage, public relations, energy, technology, and the media, asking them the following questions: “What is the best advice you ever got? “

Craigslist founder Craig Newmark was advised “not to correct people when correction matters little,” and Jim Clifton of Gallup was told, “your weaknesses will never change while your strengths will develop infinitely.”

From T. Boone to Martha Stewart to Richard Branson, here are the lessons that changed the world’s greatest minds. We are posting the highlights with permission from LinkedIn.

1. T. Boone Pickens, President of BP Capital Management

“If I had to take into account only one piece of advice that has guided me throughout my life, it would be the one my grandmother, Nellie Molonson, gave me. It was always important for her that I understand that on the road to success, you don’t have to blame others when you fail ” .

Read:Macroenvironment of the company: what it is and what factors constitute it

“That’s how she said it: ‘Sonny, I don’t care who you are. Someday you’ll have to fend for yourself. ‘ After more than 50 years in the energy business, his advice has proven itself time and again. Who can I blame for my mistakes? I never doubted who they could be awarded to. My successes? Probably the same guy. “

2. Martha Stewart, Founder of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia

“The best advice I got was from my father when I was 12 and willing to listen. He told me that I could do whatever I set my mind to if I focused on that with my personal characteristics. “

“That advice developed in me a great sense of confidence and, even though sometimes it made me nervous, I would overcome and do what I wanted, when I wanted. I think that the trust that can be built in children many times depends on the parents themselves. It’s a very necessary part of growth. “

3. Jim Kim, President of the World Bank.

“… I received great advice from Marshall Goldsmith, one of the most prominent authorities in the area of ​​leadership. He said, ‘If you want to be an effective leader, listen and humbly accept feedback from your team.’

Read:Macroenvironment of the company: what it is and what factors constitute it

“The most important commitment you must make as a leader is to humbly listen to the contributions that come from others, take them seriously, and work to improve. I repeat, it sounds simple, but it is not easy. Leadership, as Marshall says, is a contact sport, and one must constantly be asking for and responding to advice from colleagues so that one can improve. “

4. Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group

“The best advice I ever received? Simple: have no regrets. Who gave me the advice? Mother’s word.

“If you asked every person in the world who gave them the best advice, it would be a pretty safe bet to say that the vast majority would answer that it was their mother. And I am no exception. My mother has taught me many invaluable lessons that have shaped my life. But having no regrets has a weight in itself as it has shaped every aspect of my life and every business decision I have made. “

5. Sallie Krawcheck, former president of Merrill Lynch, US Trust, Smith Barney.

“One day, after being humiliated very badly, I came home crying. My mother sat with me and told me, in a voice that I associate with her ‘telephone voice’ (which means it is only reserved for adults), that I should ignore the girls (at school); the only reason they treated me badly was that they were jealous of me. Therefore, I must ignore the murmur of the rest and plan my own way ”.

Read:Macroenvironment of the company: what it is and what factors constitute it

6. Jeff Weiner, General Manager of LinkedIn

“When I was a kid, I can’t remember a day when my father didn’t tell me that I could do whatever my mindset out to do. He said it so often that I stopped listening … It wasn’t until a couple of decades had passed that I was able to fully appreciate the importance of those words and the impact they had had on me.”

7. Peter Guber, General Manager of Mandalay Entertainment, Co-owner of the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Dodgers teams.

Miami Heat President Pat Riley told Guber to never show how upset he was:

“You are going to lose a lot. A lot! Get used to it! It is a very important part of the process. That kind of behavior doesn’t help you or your team. Losses in administration are challenges that you have to know how to deal with. You can never give up. “

8. Vivian Schiller, Head in the Digital Office of NBC News, former General Manager of NPR.

“You are never good enough as your best evaluations say, and you are never bad enough as your worst evaluations.” This advice was given to me by my former boss, and from that moment on, it has stayed with me and has worked as a guide to cope with the best and worst moments of my life.

“Looking back on what has happened in my career and all the places I’ve been, there have been incredible ups and downs at every point along the way. What I have been able to learn is that life is cyclical, and the best way to stay focused is to ignore changes and focus on long-term goals.”

9. Shai Agassi, founder of Better Place

At a 2006 conference, President Clinton gave Agassi some advice that had to do with the price of market changes:

“By the time comes when you can convince the rich people of Israel to try to bring about change in the market, then try to bring that change to the rich people of the United States… there will be no time. You need to price your car in such a way that any ordinary person will prefer your car over all the types of cars you can buy today. That is, an 8-year-old used car that uses gasoline and that sells for less than $ 3,000. In fact, if you can give away your car without receiving anything in return, that would be a sign of your success. ‘

“Pricing market change is very different from pricing focused on a few. You must plan pricing from the target consumer’s perspective within the limits of your costs. ”

10. Tom Keene, Chief Content Officer for Bloomberg News and Host of Bloomberg Surveillance

“Anyone can read a book. Some read two books on the same subject. Many read three books on the same topic… As a general rule, to move at the speed that LinkedIn intends, read 5 books.

“At that point (when you have read four books), you will have already realized how stupid you are. So the fifth book can be on any topic that is talked about on LinkedIn, for example, Kent Osband’s underrated book, “Iceberg Risk” (all I can hear is Taleb yelling, “Tom, they really should read my book “Anti-Fragile” or at least “Dynamic Hedging” as his fifth book).

“Overcome the barrier of the first book and quickly move on to the next topic. Follow the Rule of 5. All these “risky” books are important. Taken together, they give you the power of not one, not two, not three, not four, but five… books. Now let’s discuss ”.

11. Beth Comstock, General Manager at GE.

“Being fast and organized were my strongest qualities. The more there was to do, the more alive I felt. “

“So who better than me to entrust a job to Jack Welch, Mr. Speed ​​and Simplicity. Imagine my surprise when he calls me into his office that same day to berate me for being too efficient. My fervor to do everything on my ‘to-do list,’ coupled with my reserved and even self-conscious nature, made me become a calculating and cold person. I started any meeting on time and with all my actions under control.

“You should take things easy,” he would tell me. Take the time to get to know people. Try to understand where they come from and what is relevant to them. Make sure they are with you. ‘ I understood Jack completely. But honestly, it took me a long time to assimilate his words and even longer to change my way of being. After all, it was those same qualities that had led me to take that role from the beginning. “

12. Spencer Rascoff, Zillow General Manager

“The best advice they gave me was to always hire people who are even better than you”

“You have to try to feel comfortable enough with your own position that you can hire extraordinary people for lower positions. Most of the time, ordinary managers consciously or unconsciously hire mediocre people for positions lower than theirs in order to appear better by comparison ”.

13. Brad Smith, President and CEO of Intuit

Brad’s father gave him some advice as he finished his university studies:

“He told me that choosing the right job for one was not going to come from a surprising moment of inspiration or that it was going to be, as for most of us, something we dreamed of doing when we were young (how I envy those kids! ) but rather it was more of a trial and error process, a voyage of discovery ”.

14. Ilya Pozin, founder of Ciplex

“The vast majority of us were trained to believe that practice makes perfect, But the best advice I ever received was the exact opposite: don’t try to be a perfectionist. Today I base myself a lot on that concept, but I refused to accept it when I heard it for the first time. “

15. Pete Cashmore, General Manager of Mashable, Inc.

“I had access to the best possible guide: we all have it. In the age of blogging, most of the leading thinkers in the internet industry posted their thoughts online for free.

“I learned about venture capital from the thoughts of Fred Wilson and was able to get closer to the world of digital commerce for the first time thanks to Steve Rubel of Edelman. Charlene Li from Forrester Research was unknowingly my mentor in the world of web trends.

“Today, many of these industry experts have moved to more modern platforms like Twitter or Facebook, where they continue to pour out their invaluable advice and thoughts to the world. And every day, without knowing it, they give me the best possible advice: keep listening.

16. Caryn Seidman Becker, CLEAR General Manager

“When I was 13 years old, I had a problem that seemed to me like a total disaster (like most things that happen to you when you are that age). Tired of hearing my complaints, my grandfather told me, ‘ Caryn, get up and keep walking.’ Today people call that being strong, and it is the best trait necessary to be successful when you are going through bad times.

“Now I try to hang onto that advice many times a week. His words have helped me overcome obstacles small and big through my personal and professional life. There will always be problems and disappointments, but the worst thing you can do is get stuck in a problem. Instead, you have to be strong to find a good solution.”

17. Michael Moritz, President of Sequoia Capital

‘Follow your instincts’ was the direct three-word suggestion I received 25 years ago from Don Valentine, founder of Sequoia Capital.

“’Following your instincts’ should not be confused with ‘ignoring reality,’ ‘trusting your heart’ or ‘fighting for glory.’ The crudest translation would be ‘do your part in a good way, analyze things calmly, evaluate the options but eventually trust your judgment and have the same level of courage as your convictions, even when they are unpopular.’

18. Jim Clifton, Gallup General Manager

“The best advice I have ever received came from my father, Don Clifton. It was simple but very wise advice that has marked me for life. He told me: ‘Your weaknesses will never develop into something else while your strengths will continue to develop infinitely.’

19. Michael Fertik, General Manager of

“Nobody asks you to finish your work, but you still don’t have permission to leave your work lying around .” This phrase comes from Pirke Aboth or ‘The Ethics of the Fathers’, a compilation of wise memoirs from the Jewish Talmudic sagas, in this case, Rabbi Tarfon. This particular commandment has been in my head for years. It is something that I think about almost every day and which I apply to everything I do in life. My day job, my long-term hopes, and even my sense of responsibility as a citizen.

“It is a beautiful concept. It expresses the obligation you have to your work to continue trying and making your own way in the world, in essence, make a difference. Simultaneously, the command also focuses on your effort rather than the result. The project’s main thing is not the success you get from doing it. “

20. Zach Coelius, General Manager of Triggit

“As the initial founder, I can honestly say that I have lost count of all the times I have wanted to quit. The work is simply too hard not to be disappointed on a regular basis. “

“Through these attempts and problems, I have found that the best place to go if I need comfort comes from those people who have done this before me as fellow entrepreneurs. Through their words and deeds, the stories they have shared, and the feelings they have experienced, they have taught me that regardless of how bad things look, I must always remember how incredibly lucky I am to be able to do this and enjoy it while I can. “

21. Paul Kedrosky, Investor at SK Ventures

“You cannot push a rope. A fourth-year engineering professor told me that much of engineering could reduce you to two things: that force equals mass and that you can’t push a rope.

The first thing, while important, is computational and self-explanatory; however, the second thing is strangely useful when you don’t have a calculator near you. Because you can’t push ropes, being physical, in relationships, or metaphorically. “

22. Dave Kerpen, General Manager of Likeable Local

“My father-in-law, the great Steven W. Fisher, taught me the following essential business paradox: When you need something from someone, give that person something in replacement, with no strings attached or expectations. Ask him how you can help him. Act like a true friend even before you have established a solid friendship. Can you be sure you will get some of that? Of course not. But that’s not the point. The point is that when you act generously, when you act like you would one of your great friends, trustworthy and trusting, respectful and kind, then most of the time you will get good things out of the relationship.

23. Nilofer Merchant, Writer at HBR Writer and Founder of Rubicon Consulting

“When I was in my 20s, I walked into the office of my boss, the division leader. I told him that on any given day, I felt like I was facing a tsunami of things that I should be paying attention to and that there was no way I could work harder than I was already doing to make things work. I was asking you for more resources to work with and your response. So he made me sit down like he would any of his children and gave me the following advice: feed the eagles and let the turkeys starve.

Feed the eagles. There are only a handful of things that really matter. You have to know what they are. And focus on them. They are not always in front of your eyes, so you need to look for them. Let the turkeys starve. There are going to be many things in front of you, annoying you, making noise, and demanding your attention. Just because they are in front of your eyes, it will be easier to pay attention to them and prioritize them. Ignore them. They will survive without your help.

24. Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist

“I’m a nerd, extremely nerd, and sometimes that translates to being a know-it-all. People got tired of it when I was working at one of IBM’s Detroit branches in the 1980s. My boss told me that this had become a real problem with more than half of my colleagues. “

“However, he told me that my humor lay in my sense of humor. When he was trying to be funny, it really didn’t matter if he was funny or not, since at least he wasn’t acting like an idiot. The advice was to focus on my sense of humor and worry less about always being right. And, of course, not correct when it is not of importance.

“It took a while for people to notice the change, but it did show, and some of the tension became less tense. That made me feel really good. “

25. DJ Patil, Information Analyst Scientist at Greylock Capital Partners

“As a Ph.D. student, I was fortunate to have the famous Jim Yorke (yes, that’s right) as one of my Ph.D. advisers. One of the things Jim is best known for is for naming the area Chaos Theory.

“At the end of one day, in one of the long, empty corridors of our college, I ran into Jim and saw an opportunity to impress him. I immediately set out to explain the problem I was thinking about at the time, speaking quickly and gesturing a lot. Jim waited patiently until I finished. After that: silence. I began to speak again in fear of thinking that it had not been clear enough. Finally, I ran out of breath and energy. My prize? More silence. Jim just looked at me with a penetrating gaze and shook his head from side to side. I thought, ‘Yes, I said something spectacular!’ Then Jim said: ‘ The simplest problems quickly turn into complicated problems. Complex problems become insoluble. ‘ He shook his head a little more, raised an eyebrow, turned around, and left.

26. Anand Chandrasekaran, Head of the Entrepreneurial Products Department at Yahoo

“A couple of years ago, I received as a birthday present J. Krishnamurti’s book,” The Book of Life. ” In the book was one of my favorite tips: Always cultivate the beginner’s mind. Being typical of this author, the book does not describe exactly what that phrase implies. All that is being said is that the possibilities are endless in the beginner’s mind. In the mind of an expert, the possibilities are only a few.

27. Tim Brown, General Manager of Ideo

“I received some of the most valuable and important advice from my mentor, Bill Moggridge, shortly after I had started working with him in the late 1980s. He had something called the“ 10-day rule. ”Which he religiously applied to his own life and strongly suggested that I do the same with mine.

“ The ten-day rule dictated that he could never afford to travel without his wife, Karin, for a period longer than ten days. He would take trips of any length that would allow him to return home within 10 days, even if that meant traveling the next day to another meeting with a client. His view was that the limitation of this design made him more efficient on his travels and at the same time reminded him of the importance of balancing his home life and his work life. I have realized that both principles are real, and I have applied the ten-day rule throughout my career. I am convinced that the rule has helped me maintain an excellent relationship with my wife, Gaynor, for the past 27 years. ”

28. Naomi Simpson, Founder of RedBalloon

I received the best advice more than ten years ago, when my business was small, and it was very simple: ‘If something has to happen, it depends only on me.

“For me, this doesn’t mean that I have to do all the work myself. In fact, I would be a very bad leader if I wasted 20 hours of my day. What it means to me is that I am responsible. And I can live in a world without feeling any guilt ”.

29. Jordy Leiser, co-founder of STELLAService

“The best advice I have ever received was not really advice but rather a vision of life. It can be applied to many aspects of life: careers, relationships, sports, health and wellness, and probably many other aspects. As long as you put effort into what you do, you will have more luck.

“There is some discussion about who said this phrase for the first time. Ben Franklin apparently once said, ‘Effort is the father of good luck.’ However, more recently, people have tended to think that the legendary golfer Gary Player was the one who coined this phrase. It was probably in that way that I heard that phrase the first time since my father started teaching me early to play golf and all its truisms (there are a wide variety of life lessons that are learned through analogies on the golf course as per example: one shot at a time; you can’t control a bad break; handle the highs and lows; forget about your opponents and play against par) ”.

30. Randall Rothenberg, General Manager, Interactive Advertising Bureau

Here are the best tips I’ve ever received, each one personally told to me:

On the administration, from United States Senator Bill Bradley:

Never eat before an important game.

About Marketing from Joe Nemec, Senior Partner at Booz Allen Hamilton:

You put your suits in the window but your underwear is the one that handles the actions.

On Leadership, from John Harris, Senior Partner at Booz Allen Hamilton:

A leader should not be afraid to repeat the same words over and over again until everyone in the organization can channel the views, goals, and mission requested by that leader.

On patience, from my father, Marvin J. Rothenberg, when I was 2 years old:

“Hey, you can only wear your pants one leg at a time.”

On finances, from Manuel Fives, my grandfather, in response to my next question when I was 8 years old: ‘Tata, tata, is a penny a lot of money?’

‘Well, if you have a penny, it’s not a lot of money. But if you don’t have a penny, it’s a lot of money . 

31. Matt Barrie, General Manager of

“Probably the first piece of advice that really stuck in my head came from an old man who was selling a business to my parents when he was about 16 years old. He said that ‘if someone asks you if you can do something and that person is willing to give you a chance, just take it. You will have time to think about how to carry it out once you have taken it. I did not go to management school. I just took the opportunity and then figured out how to do it.

“Many people limit their options because they think they are not experienced enough or feel that to climb the corporate ladder, they need to go through all the rungs that lead to the top. Many people tell me that their dream is to give up their boring position within the daily work machinery and start their own business. Still, the truth is that they cannot even think of doing that since they have never had the experience of running their own business. . Well, that’s a bit like the chicken and egg paradox. Carpe Diem! Now is the time to do it! Time and opportunity wait for no one. No one is going to hand you your plans for the future on a tray. “

32. Inge Geerdens, founder of CVWarehouse

“If you want a partnership to flourish, it has to be based on a relationship that is convenient for both sides. If you leave a meeting feeling that you have won and the other party has lost the negotiations, eventually you will lose too. No one will invest time, effort, or money in a deal when it is little or no profit expected. Don’t make the deal. “

33. Hilary Mason, Chief Scientist at Bitly

“I have heard and read a lot of good advice, which I have ignored most of the time. But there was a tip that I did internalize, and it had to do with traveling, strangely: pack half of what you think you will need, and take twice as much money as you did.

The more I travel with this modality, the more I get used to bringing the same attitude to each new project. You cannot know what is going to happen so don’t worry. Just take what you need and go for it!

34. Bill Drayton, General Manager of Ashoka

“The worst kind of advice is sometimes given to you with the best of intentions, and it is given to you by those who really care about you. In this way, the best advice is that it comes from yourself: ignore the pessimists and trust your vision. The worst advice that I (and almost everyone) have received and continue to receive, always the same, is: ‘Don’t do that. The arguments to defend such a position very little. ‘It is not useful. It will not work. You won’t be able to make it work. It will be very expensive. It’s a crazy idea. ‘

“My advice is this: the first step to becoming a rule-breaker, the only sure way forward, is to allow yourself to get things done. In other words, ignore, kindly, of course, all those who tell you ‘don’t do it ”.

35. Kevin Chou, General Manager of Kabam

“At a crucial moment that I experienced, I remember the advice that I received the following advice from a colleague: ‘Business change is never a popular thing, and it’s a bit messy, but survival depends on it.’ I believe that corporate Darwinism is taking on ever-increasing importance in rapid cycles in the business world. It is neither the strongest nor the most intelligent species that survive, but rather the one that is most adapted to change. “

36. Gretchen Rubin, author and blogger

“My father told me: ‘If you are willing to be blamed for something when you deserve it, people will start giving you greater responsibilities‘ This was probably the best advice I got related to the workplace. “

37. Christopher Schroeder, writer and angel investor, former General Manager of HealthCentral

“In my last spell as a temp writer, I needed all the help available for my book ‘Startup Rising: The Entrepreneurial Revolution Remaking the Middle East, which MacMillan and Palgrave will publish over the summer. I asked my friend, the great investigative journalist, editor, author, and now also documentarian for the Washington Post, David Hoffman if he could review my book proposal.

“ Look, ‘he said,’ this is not a board memo. Stop putting in so much effort. Show us what you see and what you are experiencing, not what you saw. Show us, don’t tell us! Make us feel like we are with you. ‘ My great editors and every writer I spoke to from then on gave me the same advice. In turn, all of them had also received it at some point in their careers. And it makes all the difference. “

38. Nicholas Thompson, editor-in-chief of The New Yorker magazine

Thompson’s former soccer coach Bruce Cochrane told him that losing doesn’t matter:

“Sounds like hackneyed advice now: like another version of ‘it doesn’t matter if you win or lose: what matters is the way you play.’ But it was much more powerful. He explained to me that there is a certain mastery in what we were trying to do and a certain dignity that we had even in defeat ”.

39. Olivier Fleurot, General Manager of MSLGROUP

“Be brave, creative, and decent .” It was in this way that Mrs. Marjorie Scardino signed her first letter addressed to the entire team at the time of being in charge of Pearson in 1997.

“What many bosses do not have when their businesses undergo profound changes is courage. The vast majority of them look for excuses not to face reality. They just try to muddle through, hoping the good times will return one day and their businesses will return to normal. “

40. Jeff Selingo, columnist and writer

“The advice was given to me by Clint Williams, an editor for the newspaper where I work. Near the end of the summer, many of my colleagues were thinking about where to focus their job search or considering job offers. Many of us didn’t know what to do next. What would make us happy?

“Clint had a rule of three for achieving happiness in your life. He told me to ask three questions: Are you happy with your job? Are you happy with where you live? Are you happy with the person you are with? (Depending on your circumstances, it could be your friends, your wife, your partner, etc.) If your answer is ‘yes’ in at least two of the three questions, then you managed to find your place. If not, you need to make a change to one of your three answers.

41. Charlene Li, Founding Partner of Altimeter Group

“In my second year at Harvard Business School, I took a career management course as I had no idea what I was going to do once I graduated. At the beginning of the course, my professor gave me the best advice: that the best asset that I would have to manage would be my career, and therefore I should give it the appropriate time, attention, and investment according to what it deserved. No other asset that I would ever have to manage would come close to my career net worth.

“His specific advice was that I evaluate the status of my career every 18 months. They are 18 months since that is, more or less, what a person needs to master a job and from there seek new challenges. You can find those challenges in the job you already have, or you will have to look for new opportunities. Regardless of that, your work’s constant evaluation allows you to stay honest with yourself when it comes to managing your career instead of passively continuing with the situation you are in today. “

42. Michael Schrage, researcher at the Media Lab of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

“As a teacher as well as a counselor, I was frustrated and even angry when my students and clients didn’t seem to care if their important problem was solved or not or if they understood the magnitude of the issues as much as I did. Despite doing my best to inform, persuade, threaten and/or plead, they were determined in their relative indifference.

“As I read about the excellent work of service advisors and consultants Peter Block and Gerald Weinberg related to ‘impeccable consulting,’ authenticity, and accountability, it highlighted a key caveat for me: ‘Don’t let your client’s problem you care more than your own customer. ‘ This tip transformed the way I interacted with clients and students alike. I clarify that I will make all my professional efforts to align myself with their levels of fervor, commitment, and attention but that I will not worry about their problems and challenges more than they do.

“Worrying too much can be professionally destructive in the same way that worrying too little can be. I have learned that my clients, students, and I have healthier relationships when I recognize and respect their levels of concern and commitment. They are also more productive relationships. “

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