November 15, 2016

21 Influential Business Leaders Share Their Best Leadership Advice

November 15, 2016

21 Influential Business Leaders Share Their Best Leadership Advice

Culture & Leadership

Perhaps one of the best practices leaders need to learn is to heed to the advice of other leaders whose experiences had shaped them and taken them to their success. Learning from their experiences, both in their successes and failures, makes you a better leader and decision maker.

In this blog article are 21 of the most influential CEOs and founders — in Australia and other parts of the world — who each share a highly valuable insight about leadership.

1. My definition of innovative is providing value to the customer.

Mary Barra, CEO, General Motors Company

2. Frugality drives innovation, just like other constraints do. One of the only ways to get out of a tight box is to invent your way out.

Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO, Amazon

3. The amount of time people waste dwelling on failures rather than putting that energy into another project always amazes me. I have fun running ALL the Virgin businesses — so a setback is never a bad experience, just a learning curve.

Sir Richard BransonFounder and Chairman, Virgin Group

4. It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.

Warren Buffetchairman and CEO, Berkshire Hathaway

5. If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.

14th Dalai Lama, Political and religious leader

6. It’s fine to celebrate success, but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.

Bill Gates, Cofounder and CEO, Microsoft

7. Being aware of your fear is smart. Overcoming it is the mark of a successful person.

Seth Godin, Entrepreneur, Marketing Guru

8. You have to be burning with “an idea, or a problem, or a wrong that you want to right.” If you're not passionate enough from the start, you'll never stick it out.

Steve Jobs, Cofounder and former CEO, Apple

9. What I lack in talent, I compensate with my willingness to grind it out. That’s the secret of my life.

Guy Kawasaki, Chief Evangelist, Canva

10. Today is a terrific time to be the challenger and take down the 800lb gorilla in your market.

Brian Halligan, CEO, HubSpot Inc.

11. I do not try to dance better than anyone else. I only try to dance better than myself.

Arianna Huffington, Cofounder, The Huffington Post

12. There’s a lot of bad reasons to start a company. But there’s only one good, legitimate, reason, and I think you know what it is: to change the world.

Phil Libin, former CEO, Evernote

13. I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that's how you grow. When there's that moment of “Wow, I'm not really sure I can do this,” and you push through those moments, that's when you have a breakthrough.

Marissa Mayer, Yahoo president and CEO

14. Hire fast, fire slowly.

Lisa Messenger, founder and CEO, The Messenger Group

15. (My biggest mistake is probably) weighing too much on someone’s talent and not someone's personality. I think it matters whether someone has a good heart.

Elon Musk, CEO, SpaceX

16. Believe you can do anything. This is important for everyone and especially for women. Don’t let anyone tell you can’t have both a meaningful professional career and a fulfilling personal life. When you hear someone say you can't do something, know that you can and start figuring out how. Ask yourself, “What would I do if I weren’t afraid?”

Sheryl Sandberg, COO at Facebook and Founder of LeanIn.Org

17. Focus — it’s shaped my approach to business and life.

Fred Schebesta, Cofounder of

18. The most successful business leaders have a clear vision and the disciplines (routines) to make it a reality.

Naomi Simson, founder and CEO of Red Balloon

19. As a child, I can't recall a day that went by without my dad telling me I could do anything I set my mind to. He said it so often, I stopped hearing it. Along with lines like “eat your vegetables,” I just assumed it was one of those bromides that parents repeated endlessly to their kids.

It wasn’t until decades later that I fully appreciated the importance of those words and the impact they had on me.

Jeff Weiner, CEO at LinkedIn

20. You can look at the situation and feel victimized. Or you can look at it and be excited about conquering the challenges and opportunities it presents.

Jack Welch Jr. – former CEO, General Electric

21. Move fast and break things. Unless you are breaking stuff, you are not moving fast enough.

— Mark Zuckerberg, Founder, Facebook

What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received or you’ve given to someone? Share it in the Comments section below, and who knows, it could end up in one of our leadership articles in the future.

Sources: The Good Entrepreneur, Business Insider, Inc., Quora, LinkedIn


Related topics:

The Importance of Coachability

Unpacking Innovation: How You Can Be an Innovator



    Related posts

    Recent posts

    To get to know you better, please fill in the field below.