Thursday, March 24, 2005

The Best Advice I Ever Got

Fortune Magazine has what could be the start of a great phone topic..

Warren Buffett
You're right not because others agree with you, but because your facts are right, says the 74-year-old CEO of Berkshire Hathaway.

Meg Whitman
Be nice, do your best—and most important, keep it in perspective, says the 48-year-old CEO and President of eBay.

Jack Welch
Be yourself, says the 69-year-old former chairman and CEO of General Electric.

Sallie Krawcheck
Don't listen to the naysayers, says the 40-year-old CFO of Citigroup.

Vivek Paul
Don't limit yourself by past expectations, says the 46-year-old president and CEO of Wipro Technologies.

Dick Parsons
When you negotiate, leave a little something on the table, says the 56-year-old chairman and CEO of Time Warner.

Andy Grove
When 'everyone knows' something to be true, nobody knows nothin, says the 68-year-old chairman of Intel.

Anne Mulcahy
Remember the parable of the cow in the ditch, says the 52-year-old CEO of Xerox. "One piece of advice I got has become a mantra at Xerox. It came from a very funny source. It was four years ago, and I was doing a customer breakfast in Dallas. We had invited a set of business leaders there. One was a plainspoken, self-made, streetwise guy [Albert C. Black Jr., president and CEO of On-Target Supplies & Logistics, a logistics management firm]. He came up to me and gave me this advice, and I have wound up using it constantly. 'When everything gets really complicated and you feel overwhelmed,' he told me, 'think about it this way: You gotta do three things. First, get the cow out of the ditch. Second, find out how the cow got into the ditch. Third, make sure you do whatever it takes so the cow doesn't go into the ditch again.' Now, every time I talk about the turnaround at Xerox, I start with the cow in the ditch. The first thing is survival. The second thing is, figure out what happened. Learn from those lessons and make sure you've put a plan in place to recognize the signs, and never get there again. This has become sort of a catchphrase for the leadership team. It's just one of those incredibly simple commonsense stories to keep people grounded. I bet that businessman had no idea what kind of legs his story would have."

Brian Grazer
All you really own are ideas and the confidence to write them down, says the 53-year-old Academy Award-winning movie and TV producer.

Rick Warren
Regularly sit at the feet of Peter Drucker, says the 51-year-old Minister, founder of Saddleback Church and author of The Purpose-Driven Life "In life you need mentors, and you need models. Models are the people you want to emulate. I recommend that your models be dead. I'm serious. You don't know how people are going to finish up. A lot of people start out like bottle rockets. They look great, but then the last half of their life is chaos. That can be quite devastating. In my life, I've had at least three mentors: my father, Billy Graham, and Peter Drucker. They each taught me different things. Peter Drucker taught me about competence. I met him about 25 years ago. I was invited to a small seminar of CEOs, and Peter was there. As a young kid—I was about 25—I began to call him up, write him, go see him. I still go sit at the feet of Peter Drucker on a regular basis. I could give you 100 one-liners that Peter has honed into me. One of them is that there's a difference between effectiveness and efficiency. Efficiency is doing things right, and effectiveness is doing the right thing. A lot of churches—not just churches, but businesses and other organizations—are efficient, but they are not effective. Another important thing that Peter has taught me is that results are always on the outside of your organization, not on the inside. Most people, when they're in a company, or in a church, or in an organization, they think, Oh, we're not doing well, we need to restructure. They make internal changes. But the truth is, all the growth is on the outside from people who are not using your product, not listening to your message, and not using your services."

Jim Collins
The real discipline comes in saying no to the wrong opportunities, says the 46-year-old author of the bestseller Good to Great.

Peter Drucker
Get good—or get out, says the 95-year-old business consultant.

Ted Turner
Start young, says the 66-year-old founder of CNN and former vice chairman of Time Warner.

David Neeleman
Balance your work with your family, says the 44-year-old CEO of JetBlue.

Mickey Drexler
Bail out of a business that isn't growing, says the 60-year-old CEO of J. Crew.

Brian Roberts
Let others take the credit, says the 45-year-old CEO of Comcast.

Marc Benioff
Incorporate philanthropy into your corporate structure, says the 40-year-old founder and CEO of

Hector Ruiz
Surround yourself with people of integrity, and get out of their way, says the 59-year-old CEO of AMD.

Donny Deutsch
If you love something, the money will come, says the 48-year-old CEO of Deutsch Inc. and host of CNBC's The Big Idea With Donny Deutsch.

Klaus Kleinfeld
Keenly visualize the future, says the 47-year-old CEO of Siemens.

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