20 Best Pieces of Advice from 20 Top Executives | ResumeBear Blog
Who doesn’t want to climb the ladder of success to that private high-rise corner office in the sky? You’ve taken everyone’s advice on success from your Uncle Herb to the barista from that Starbucks down the block, but if you’re going to take anyone’s advice, why not take it from the big shots? The wisdom offered from businessmen (and women) from past and present might just be the key to landing your next dream job!
1. “It’s been my observation that most people get ahead during the time that others waste.”
-Henry Ford founder of Ford Motor Company
Make sure you stay on the ball. If you haven’t found that ideal job you’ve been hunting for don’t give up, keep looking. The more time you spend dillydallying the more time you waste and in that time you’ve wasted some body else may come and scoop up all your once in a lifetime job opportunities.
2. “You cannot push anyone up the ladder unless he is willing to climb.”
-Andrew Carnegie Steel magnate
If you ever want to achieve success one of the most important key factors you need to remember is that you have to be willing to work for it. You can’t expect your success to unfold within the course of one day; in order to reach the levels of success you dream of it takes time, effort, and perseverance. You’re the only one in control of your future; you steer the way on the road to your success. The assistance of others will be of no service if you are unwilling to help yourself; you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.
3. “It is wrong to assume that men of immense wealth are always happy.”
-John D. Rockefeller founder and Chairman of Standard Oil
Success is not always necessarily measured monetarily. Success can simply be found by unveiling your passions and dedicating your life’s work to them be it dog grooming or hedge funds. Evaluate what success means to you and then begin to create your goals around your resolutions. It’s key to remember that a high paying salary and happiness do not always coalesce.
4. “The Internet is becoming the town square for the global village of tomorrow.”
-Bill Gates Chairman of Microsoft
Though this may not be as big an issue in today’s world as it would have 15, 20 years ago, plenty of people are still lost when it comes to the Internet and/or computers. If you happen to be one of those individuals it cannot be stressed enough how important it is to familiarize yourself with computers. The computer industry is seeping its way into almost every field out there, it cannot be escaped. Therefore, you need to equip yourself with the right precautionary measures necessary for when you come face to face with your new and most likely computer oriented career. Even if your career happens to dodge the expansion of the computer into new fields it is still a great skill to possess and can help lead to new opportunities down the line.
5. “The first rule is not to lose. The second is not to forget the first rule.”
-Warren Buffet Chairman & CEO of Birkshire Hathaway
Always make the attempt to put your best foot forward and take the time to make the right decisions. Don’t set yourself up for failure due to a careless lack of caution.
6. “Success is not built on success. It’s built on failure. It’s built on frustration. Sometimes it’s built on catastrophe.”
-Sumner Redstone Chairman of National Amusements
If you do find yourself staring failure in the face, relax. Failure isn’t always a bad thing. Failures can open the door for growth, knowledge, and experience. Although it may be a difficult task, try to embrace failure when it rears it’s ugly head, learn from it, it may make you more appreciative or at least aid you in changing your bad habits.
7. “For every failure, there’s an alternative course of action. You just have to find it. When you come to a roadblock, take a detour.”
-Mary Kay Ash founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics
When you encounter a problem, solve it. Don’t give up; find a solution to the problem and work your way around it, there are always solutions. If today’s interview didn’t go well, don’t interpret it as an all-encompassing sign that no one will hire you. You need to be prepared to take the initiative to dig up inventive solutions when issues arise. Inventiveness in times of crisis is a trait that will set you apart from the rest of the herd (and make you shine in the eyes of employers.)
8. “A man can succeed at almost anything for which he has unlimited enthusiasm.”
-Charles Schwab founder & CEO of Charles Schwab Corporation
If your goal is to achieve success it is of grave importance to be in the field you love. If you hate your line of work you can kiss the very thought of success goodbye. You’ll never succeed if you do not hold a boundless passion for your career. It’s crucial to find a career you are enthusiastic about; you cannot expect to find success in a career you dread waking up to morning after morning. Sit down and ruminate about your life’s passions and what to you is worth working towards. What is worth devoting your life’s work to?
9. “I’ve never run into a guy who could win at the top level in anything today and didn’t have the right attitude, didn’t give it everything he has, at least while he was doing it; wasn’t prepared and didn’t have the whole program worked out.
-Ted Turner founder of CNN
Have the right outlook in life, the right attitude: a positive attitude. You won’t get very far with a chip on your shoulder. Negativity and bitterness is never the answer, it will only hold you back and repel employers and coworkers. You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. You can only harm yourself with negativity; the wrong attitude is detrimental to success. The best employers can detect your attitude during the job interview, and if they sense your attitude is negative, your chances of getting the job are slim.
10. “Face reality as it is, not as it was or as you wish it to be.”
-Jack Welch former Chairman & CEO of General Electric
Although it is okay to fantasize from time to time it’s important to not lose your head in the clouds. Stay grounded and be realistic, you’ll set yourself up for failure if you are too idealistic. While idealism is a great characteristic to possess too much can leave you living in a dream world, it’s a smart idea to have a balance between the two.
11. “You can’t know enough in a one-hour interview. So, in the end, it’s ultimately based on your gut. How do I feel about this person? What are they like when they’re challenged? I ask everybody that: ‘Why are you here?’ The answers themselves are not what you’re looking for. It’s the meta-data.”
-Steve Jobs co-founder, Chairman & CEO of Apple Inc.
Be prepared for anything an interviewer can throw your way. Practice interviews beforehand; run through possible questions you may be asked and rehearse. Make sure you’re sending out the right impressions; know what is to be expected of you, arm yourself with the knowledge of the right body language as well as the right communication and social skills. Be sure there’s nothing masking the true hardworking, loyal future employee you will be.
12. “There are a lot of things that go into creating success. I don’t like to do just the things I like to do. I like to do things that cause the company to succeed. I don’t spend a lot of time doing my favorite activities.”
-Michael Dell founder & CEO of Dell, Inc.
A little bit of sacrifice is needed in order to become successful, sometimes more than little. You must be willing to give up a bit of free time to lay the foundation of your future success. Nothing ever got done without a little sacrifice, whether it’s putting in a few extra hours of overtime, missing out on a night out at your local bar, or taking a rain check on that golf game; a little sacrifice in the name of success never hurt anyone.
13. “Business opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one coming.”
-Richard Branson Chairman of Virgin Group
Don’t get down in the dumps if a business opportunity turns out to be a bust. If you always keep the door open and a positive attitude a new and perhaps better opportunity is bound to walk in sooner or later.
14. “No one’s going to be able to operate without a grounding in the basic sciences. Language would be helpful, although English is becoming increasingly international. And travel. You have to have a global attitude.”
Rupert Murdoch Chairman & CEO of News Corporation
Knowledge is of importance if your plans are to make it big. The ability to speak a foreign language if not multiple languages is always a good quality to possess and offer to employers. Although there are some who managed to weasel their way around the schooling process and still landed in the graces of success, it never hurt to receive an extensive education. If you really want to go places it’s best to start with schooling, education plays a huge role in your career’s advancement.
15. “As long as you’re going to be thinking anyway, think big.”
-Donald Trump Chairman & CEO of Trump Organization
Try to reach for the seemingly impossible (within reason, we’re not talking chocolate paved roads and gumdrop evergreens here), to have a goal to strive for at all times keeps you on your toes and ignites the diligence to keep working in the direction of success.
16. “We aren’t here to hope and hang on. We wanted to win.”
-Eric Schmidt Chairman & CEO of Google Inc.
Don’t settle for that mediocre job that pays the bills. It’s okay to do what you need to in order to survive; if surviving means working that nightshift over at the drive-thru of McDonalds it’s okay but don’t get too comfortable, do what you can to land that career you love that does more than just pay the bills. Don’t settle for scraping by, be determined and stay on the path to success.
17. “You don’t have to be the biggest to beat the biggest”
-Ross Perot founder of Electronic Data Systems & Perot Systems
If you weren’t born with a silver spoon in your mouth you can still make it to the top. You don’t have to start out as the best to one day surpass the best. It may take blood, toil, tears and sweat to pull yourself up the climb to success but you can do it.
18. “There’s no good idea that can’t be improved on”
-Michael Eisner former Chief executive of The Walt Disney Company
Be a team player and be open to change. Show willingness to compromise and learn to accept constructive feedback positively. Even though it may be challenging at times try not to be too hardheaded and acknowledge the input and improvements of others on your ideas. A little maturity and grace go a long way toward landing your dream job!
19. “Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.”
-Conrad Hilton founder of the Hilton Hotel chain
Successful people take action; it’s as simple as that. A successful person will take the required steps of action to take them where they want to go. They do not sit and watch their mistakes pile up nor do they quit. If you desire to be a success you have to keep pushing forward in spite of all your mistakes and shortcomings. For job-seekers, this means getting out there for as many interviews as it takes to land your desired position.
20. “It is only the farmer who faithfully plants seeds in the Spring who reaps a harvest in the Autumn.”
-BC Forbes founder of Forbes Magazine
Don’t forget to have faith in yourself, with a lack of faith you can sure count on your aspirations never taking off. It’s all good and well to have goals and dreams but what use are they without faith and trust in those ambitions? Ignore unbelievers who tell you what can and cannot be done, again you need to clasp onto that positive mindset. Be an optimist!
Assume anything is possible - because it is!
Customer: “How much is this bag?”
Me: “That bag is actually part of a deal, if you purchase twenty dollars worth of product you can get the bag for an additional ten dollars.”
Customer: “…That’s not what I asked. How much is the bag?”
Me: “Oh, I’m sorry. The price of the bag itself is forty dollars.”
Customer: “So why’d you tell me all of that other garbage?”
Me: “I was just telling you the deal we had going on with the bag. If you spend twenty dollars, you can get the bag for ten dollars.
(I glance at her shopping bag and notice other items.)
Me: “… and it looks like, with those lotions, you’ll be spending around eighteen dollars, so if you spent another two dollars, you could get the deal.”
Customer: “Why can’t I just buy the bag?”
Me: “…You can buy the bag. It’s just a better deal the other way. You’re already close to spending twenty dollars with those two lotions, so if you reached twenty, you’d get the bag for ten.”
Customer: “This is ridiculous. Any time I come into this store, you people always try to get me to buy more of your junk than I want.”
Me: “Ma’am, I’m not trying to push you to buy anything… You’d just be saving a lot of money. Spending around thirty dollars and getting more items, rather than spending around sixty and getting fewer items.”
Customer: “Well, I don’t care. If I wanted to buy something else, I’d have put in in my shopping bag. This is all I want, so don’t go trying to get me to buy anything else. I’m ready to check out.”
Me: “Okay, then. I can ring you out.”
(We both proceed to the cash register, where she purchases the two lotions and the tote bag.)
Me: “Alright, that’s going to come to $61.77 after tax.”
(The woman goes to swipe her card when her daughter comes up to the register, adding a $6 lip gloss to her purchase. The woman nods, and I ring it through as well.)
Me: “And the new total is going to be $36.21.”
Customer: “Why did the price go down so much?!”