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 Branson, Founder and Chairman, Virgin Group4. 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 Buffet, chairman and CEO, Berkshire Hathaway5. If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.
— 14th Dalai Lama, Political and religious leader6. It’s fine to celebrate success, but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.
— Bill Gates, Cofounder and CEO, Microsoft7. Being aware of your fear is smart. Overcoming it is the mark of a successful person.
— Seth Godin, Entrepreneur, Marketing Guru8. 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, Apple9. 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, Canva10. 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 Post12. 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, Evernote13. 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 CEO14. Hire fast, fire slowly.
— Lisa Messenger, founder and CEO, The Messenger Group15. (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.
— Sheryl Sandberg, COO at Facebook and Founder of LeanIn.Org17. Focus — it’s shaped my approach to business and life.
— Fred Schebesta, Cofounder of Finder.com.au18. 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 LinkedIn20. 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
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