Navigating the business world can be tricky, both for those just starting out, as well as for those moving quickly toward the top of their niche. Along the way, it is important to soak up knowledge from those with more experience than you in your field. Listening to their words of wisdom just might shorten your industry learning curve.
To help accelerate your rise to the top, 15 members of Forbes Coaches Council explain the best words of advice they’ve ever been given.
1. Be Authentic
My mentor told me that I am so professional at times that it comes off as stoic. She told me that people like real personalities and relate better to you when you’re “human.” The advice she gave me was that I needed to infuse my authentic personality into my professional life and watch my world open up. Once I learned how to do that, I saw how quickly I built better professional relationships. – Jacqueline Mitchell, CJ Matthews Consulting
2. Trust Yourself
Everyone faces successes and failures, and both matter. There is no right way to achieve your goals. Trust that wherever you are in life is where you were meant to be. In every moment, trust that whatever you decide (as long as it is representative of your true self) will be the best decision you can make at that time. Trusting yourself is the start of strong self-confidence. – Alan Trivedi, Trivedi Coaching & Consulting Group
3. Know Where You Can Make An Impact
Know when to let go of one behavior for a new one. Early on in a career, working hard and demonstrating commitment to a project is important. While working “hard,” it’s easy to put in many hours believing that goals are being achieved. Blurring boundaries by being responsible for more than your scope is a potential trap. Define boundaries where you can be effective and work smarter, not harder. – Cindy Stack, Whole-Life Leader
4. Do You Want To Be Right Or Rich?
On its face, this question seems money-focused and materialistic, but it’s one of my favorites for combatting pride. A person who was rich monetarily and rich in character asked me this question when I was pressing a point about how right I was in a business setting. It arrested me, making me think that I don’t always need to be right. If I overlook that need, it leads to greater prosperity. – John M. O’Connor, Career Pro Inc.
5. Stop Comparing Yourself With Others
Every day people are comparing themselves to someone or something. It is simply endless and futile because we are all very unique. What would happen if we learned to appreciate our uniqueness? What would happen if we used that energy taken up in comparisons to actually complete that task, project or goal? Our engagement in life would look so different. So, stop comparing and live! – Sheeba Varghese, Sheeba Varghese
6. You Can Never Know It All
When I was promoted into my first leadership role, I was overwhelmed with the volume of work. A mentor told me this: “As you move up in your career, your tendency to rely on your deep functional expertise will get in your way. You can never know it all. You need to broaden your capabilities and learn to get things done through other people.” That advice probably saved my career. – Trellis Usher, T.R. Ellis Group LLC
7. Learn In Order To Create
Learn in order to create. You can either learn or you can create. You must learn in order to create well. Many leaders stay in learning mode and never move to creation mode. – Ken Gosnell, CEO Experience
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