What if you had the opportunity to ask today’s most successful leaders to identify the single most important lesson they’ve learned on a given topic? And what if those same leaders were willing to drill down on their personal experiences and share key insights in an honest and relevant way? My guess is that it would be a game-changer for many of us.
“The One Thing” is a new series dedicated to tapping into the wisdom of today’s most dynamic thinkers and ‘doers’. What’s ‘The One Thing’…. about career success, or work-life wellness, or bouncing back from failure…that you absolutely need to know in order to better navigate those types of events in your own life? This series will be a one-stop, go-to guide for women who are looking to embrace the success strategies of proven leaders, across industries and across generations.
Everybody can benefit from a mentor. And while we can’t hit fast forward on personal experience, we can draw on the life lessons of others to enhance our growth or simply help us manage all that we’re looking to accomplish each and every day.
What’s “The One Thing” You Wish You Had Known Starting Out In Your Career?
Know What You Don’t Know
“Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you. You should never be the smartest person in the room. Worry if you are. ”
-Jessica Alba, Founder & Chief Creative Officer, The Honest Co.
Have A Bias For Action
“I would echo what my mother told me, ‘You’ve got to have a bias for action.’ The hockey coaches and the basketball coaches always say, “You will miss a hundred percent of the shots that you never take.” My mother encouraged me to try things that I wasn’t sure I could do. Over my life, I’ve been able to try things, many of which have worked that I didn’t necessarily think they would. Be brave. The price of inaction is far greater than the cost of making a mistake. ”
-Meg Whitman, CEO, HP
Leadership Is All About Adaptability
“Darwin said those who survive are neither the strongest nor the most intelligent, it’s those that can adapt to change. And I wish I had thought about that when I was younger because it always seemed to me that you had to be the brightest or the strongest. There’s something to be said for adapting to change. That doesn’t mean abandoning your values, but it does mean recognizing that the environment has changed and absorbing that .”
-Anne Finucane, Vice Chairman and Global Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer, Bank of America
Stay Open To Opportunity
“Be ready. Just be ready. You just don’t know what opportunity might be out there. It may not even be a path that they were thinking of. But other people see your possibilities there. I never intended to run for Congress. I never intended to run for leadership. Other people came to me to encourage me to do so. And I was ready.”
-Nancy Pelosi, House Democratic Leader, The U.S. House of Representatives
Stay True To You
“I would say always, to thyself be true. We’re all born with what we have. Take what you have and do the best you can with it . Know who you are…Feel your way through life. Don’t over-think your way through life, because I think we’re all guilty of that.
-Angela Ahrendts, Senior Vice President of Retail and Online Stores, Apple
It’s All Going To Be Ok
“I would tell myself to relax, that everything works out the way it’s supposed to. If you look back on your life at the things that you stressed out, ‘Oh my gosh, he didn’t ask me out, he didn’t call, I didn’t get that job, I lost that job,’ quite often in the end when one door closes, another one opens. Everything, even though you don’t believe it at the time, works out the way it’s supposed to–the good and the bad.
-Gayle King, Editor-at-Large, O, The Oprah Magazine; Co-Host, CBS This Morning
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