What's the best management advice you've ever recieved?

What’s the best management advice you’ve ever received? That was one question we asked Fortune 500 CEOs in our annual survey. Their answers were terse, but enlightening. We offer you the best, below.

The most frequent theme was to focus on building the right team:

“You are no better than your team.”

“Surround yourself with great people, and great things happen!”

“Hire the best people and give them the freedom to operate their business/dept., demand transparent communication and hold them accountable for the results.”

Also frequently mentioned: “Listen”:

“You have 2 ears and one mouth &ndasndash; use them in this ratio.”

“Listen more then move with speed.”

“Lead with questions, not answers.”

The need to be ruthless in setting priorities was also a popular topic:

“ Focus on one or two top priorities.”

“Spend your time on the important, not the urgent.”

“Focus your energy on a few things and delegate the rest.”

And pacing was on the minds of many:

“It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

“Nothing wrong with getting rich slowly.”

“Don’t get too low with the lows or too high with the highs.”

“Start small, fail fast, scale quickly.”

The importance of values in an age of transparency was another recurrent theme:

“Leadership is built on a foundation of values and only with strong values will our efforts to lead be sustainable and successful long-term.”

“Always operate with integrity and excellence.”

“Tell the truth.”

“Do everything as if it will be on the front page of the newspaper tomorrow.”

And then there were a few random chestnuts:

“Don’t screw up.”

“Prepare, prepare, prepare!”

“Company first, career second.”

“Leadership is action, not position.”

“Take your vitamins, you’ll need them.”

*originally published on June 7, 2016 in the Fortune CEO Daily Newsletter


  • August 11, 2016


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