Even “big people” listen to others’ advice

May 12, 2008 — 1 Comment


Fortune magazine has an article about the best advice you have ever heard. Of course, it focuses on the people who have made it big in life, like Tina Fey, Indra Nooyi, Eddie Lambert, Tony Robbins…

I noticed there were 7 women on that list of 25. 3 of them remembered their dad’s advice. 6 of the remaining men got it from their fathers and one of them took it from his mother.

Another thing I noticed about the advice given in there –

  • 3 of them focused on the customer
  • 3 of them on how to handle money
  • 7 of them on handling relationships
  • and 12 of them on handling work/life.

One of my favorite in there is from Sam Palmisano, Chairman and CEO of IBM

“Some of the best advice I ever received was unspoken. Over the course of my IBM career I’ve observed many CEOs, heads of state, and others in positions of great authority. I’ve noticed that some of the most effective leaders don’t make themselves the center of attention. They are respectful. They listen. This is an appealing personal quality, but it’s also an effective leadership attribute. Their selflessness makes the people around them comfortable. People open up, speak up, contribute. They give those leaders their very best. When it comes to specific advice, the best was from a former boss, who told me, “Don’t view your career as a linear progression.” He advised me to take horizontal rather than vertical steps: to try out situations that are unstructured, to learn different ways of working, and to get outside of headquarters and experience different cultures. I’ve applied this advice many times – most notably, taking a decidedly unstructured job at IBM Japan and then joining the fledgling IBM services business. After those experiences, I had the confidence that I could manage pretty much anything.”
– Sam Palmisano [source]

Thanks to John Moore for the link.

One response to Even “big people” listen to others’ advice

  1. Good to hear from you, look forward to seeing you post again soon!

Leave a Reply


Text formatting is available via select HTML. <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>