Posts Tagged ‘culture’

The Best Advice I Ever Got

Friday, April 13th, 2012

The Best Advice I Ever GotI hope you’re great. Four things I wanted to share with you to help you do fantastic work and create your best life during these volatile times:

#1. Below you will find an idea-rich article called, “The Best Advice I Ever Got” that summarizes the powerful insights that exceptional business leaders use to win.

The Best Advice I Ever Got

All it takes is a single idea to change the game. One insight, shared in one quick conversation, can transform the way you think, work and live. One piece of wisdom from an epic performer – or a thoughtful producer – can dramatically alter the path of your career and your personal life. And, as with all big ideas, the simpler the better (simplicity is the trademark of Genius).

When I was about 21 years old, I was blessed to have a brilliant bond trader as a best friend. He was older than me, more instinctual and had developed the acute courage to live his life on his own terms (versus following the crowd). A true original, in my eyes. And a man who influenced my perspective deeply. We used to take long walks along the ocean and talk about business, creativity and getting big things done. One morning, he said something that still speaks to me this day: “Robin, you have to run your own race.” To me, that advice meant a few things, trust my own instincts, live by my own values, do my own dreams (and quickly dismissing the chattering opinions of the critics around us). Too easy to buy into society’s definition of success and miss out on our own.  So easy to get distracted by what other people are doing and get off the clear vision we’ve set for ourselves. And I have to admit that I’d rather fail at my own “race” than win at someone else’s.

To keep you encouraged, focused and at peak inspiration as you pursue what’s most important to you, I’ve set out some of the best “advice I’ve learned” from some of the best businesspeople on the planet. Here you go:

Elon Musk, the visionary founder of Tesla – the electric supercar manufacturer – told FORTUNE magazine that the single best piece of advice he ever received came from the book The Hitchhiker’s Guide to The Galaxy. “Don’t panic” were the words that jumped out at him, and that have guided his world-class career as an entrepreneur. He shared that emotion causes imperfect decision making since we don’t see the facts clearly. As for bad advice he said: “My parents advised me to ignore bullies. That doesn’t work. You have to punch them in the nose.”

Leonard Lauder, Chairman of The Estee Lauder Companies learned an outstanding piece of advice from his mother that guided his career, “If you have something positive to say to someone, put it into writing. But if you have something bad to say, tell it to them to their face.” An example comes from his experience as chairman of The Whitney Museum in New York. He was upset with one of the trustees and wrote a letter that he left on his desk. An assistant found the letter and mailed it, causing the trustee to resign in disgust. Lauder says he still regrets writing that letter to this day.

Terry Lundgren, CEO, Macy’s: “You’re not going to do this forever. There’s a finite amount of time you’re going to be doing this. Do this really, really well.” (from an interview in The New York Times).

Tony Hsieh, founder of Zappos.com: “Hire more slowly and fire those who are harming the culture more quickly. Our #1 priority is company culture. Our belief is that if you get the culture right, then most of the other stuff like building a great brand and great customer service will happen naturally.”

Warren Buffett, the iconic investor, was profoundly influenced by his father Howard, a stockbroker. One of the maxims his dad would recite regularly came from the philosopher Emerson: “The great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.” This drilled into Buffett’s thinking the importance of thinking for yourself and contrarian investing.

“When you’re the first person whose beliefs are different from what everyone else believes, you’re basically saying, “I’m right, and everyone else is wrong.” That’s a very unpleasant position to be in. It’s at once exhilarating and at the same time an invitation to be attacked.” Larry Ellison, founder of Oracle (by the way, big thanks to the team at The Oracle CIO Summit in Dallas for your invitation to present the Lead Without a Title message to your much-valued leaders).

“Twenty five years ago I wish someone had told me about the exponential factor of time: that every year over forty years of age goes twice as fast and every year over fifty goes ten times as fast.” Harold Evans, former publisher, Random House (from If I Knew Then What I Know Now by Richard Edler)

A few final – and random – pieces of advice people have shared with me along the way that have formed my thinking:

  • Genius has little to do with luck and everything to do with practice.
  • Health is the crown on the well person’s head that only the ill person can see.
  • Fly 1000 miles for a 10 minute meeting (you can’t build great relationships via email).
  • Miss a meal but don’t miss reading.
  • What separates the best from the rest is how they manage the gift of their time.
  • Too many people live the same year 80 times and call it a life.
  • Life is short. Be of use.

#2. Here’s a 60 second video called “Face Fear Fast” that will encourage you to do what scares you, so you lead a life that matters: http://bit.ly/165uyf

#3. The world of work is in deep disruption. Here’s a piece I wrote called “The 50 New Rules of Work” that many of our clients have used as a discussion tool for team meetings: http://www.robinsharma.com/blog/03/the-50-new-rules-of-work/

#4. The specially priced early-bird seats for The Remarkable Entrepreneur SuperConference 2012 are completely sold out but you can still get a seat at $2000 off the regular price for a limited time. If you’re ready to double the sales of your business within 24 months while taking more time off to enjoy life, you can’t afford not to join me June 2 and 3 in Toronto, Canada for these 2 life-changing days where I share my most advanced business-building strategies.

Click here for details: http://theremarkableentrepreneur.com

OK. Hope you find these learning resources valuable.

Robin Sharma

P.S. Connect with me on facebook and twitter.

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Radio Star Syndrome and The Death of Great Teams

Monday, June 6th, 2011

Death of great teams

Much of this gift of a day was dedicated to interviews with the media. Some were with national newspapers. Some were with influential thought leaders. And some were with talk radio stars. Which brings me to the deeply valuable leadership skill of keeping it real.

One radio host fascinated me. Before we went live, she was warm, funny and clearly speaking with the voice that was truly hers. “Three…two..one…” she counted. And then the transformation appeared. She assumed a personality. She talked like she thought radio people are expected to talk. She sounded artificial. She’d lost her soul.

What makes a great team (and a winning culture) is a bunch of ordinary people who come together, strip away their social masks and devote the best hours of their best days to the building of a bold and breathtaking dream. The choice we all have is to be plastic. Or authentic. May I suggest you don’t let Radio Star Syndrome happen to you.

Keep Leading Without A Title.

Robin Sharma

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5 Ways To Protect Your Business

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

Protect Your BusinessSmart businesspeople are preparing for the possibility that the global economy will fall apart. No one knows what the future will bring but many pundits are growing more and more concerned with the ballooning debt of many nations. So to borrow from a focal point of GE’s CEO, “protect the enterprise”.

Protect The Enterprise. Whether you run a solo business or lead a team of 10,000, I suggest it’s worth your time and energy to think through how you will protect your enterprise – and actually grow it – while your market peers get bounced around in the waves of uncertainty.

Here’s 5 Ways To Protect Your Business:

1. Have a Board of Advisors. Find people who have built great companies and ask them to sit on your advisory board. Meet every quarter. Show them your numbers. Share your struggles. Listen to-and act on-their advice.

2. Set Up A Peace of Mind Fund. Install a reserve fund with at least 12 months (and ideally 24 months) of operating expenses. Set it up so a portion of your monthly sales automatically goes into this account. You’ll sleep better at night knowing your business can run even if income slows down.

3. Focus on People and Culture. The single best way to protect your business is to hire top talent and invest in training your people so they  amp up their performance in good as well as hard times. And work on your culture. That’s the “special sauce” that brings out the best in a team.

4. Work On Your Business vs In It. The old Michael Gerber distinction is key here. I spoke at a YPO/EO event last week and met a young entrepreneur who’d just sold his company. I asked him for the single best move he made. “I worked on my business vs in it.” He explained his core concentration was on building systems and processes so the business ran superbly without him. (At the upcoming The Remarkable Entrepreneur™ SuperConference I’ll teach you exactly how to do this as well as execute flawlessly on each of these 5 winning tactics so your business is bullet-proofed against difficult times).

5. Become Obsessed with Value Creation. This is not some pie in the sky idea. It’s a hard-hitting business growth tactic. Obsess (yes, obsess) over how you can add more value to more people and the revenues will take care of themselves.

Make Your Business Awesome.
Robin Sharma

P.S. Discover exactly how Remarkable Entrepreneurs build great companies and fantastic lives. Click here.

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