When the editors of Fortune magazine asked the CEOs of large companies to reveal the best advice they had ever been given, they received some interesting answers. Some of these replies won’t be helpful, unless you lead an enormous corporation, but some of what was said contains ideas that could influence our point of view. For example, Indra Nooyi, chairman and CEO of PepsiCo, had this to say:
“Whatever anybody says or does, assume positive intent. When you assume negative intent, you’re angry.” These were her father’s words. She says that when you take away anger and assume positive intent, you will be amazed. Nooyi says your emotional quotient will go up. You won’t get defensive. You will try to understand and listen because you are thinking, “Maybe they are saying something to me that I’m not hearing,”
Google founder Larry Page says he had about 10 things he wanted to do when he was in graduate school at Stanford. One of them was to look at link structure on the Web, a project that eventually led to Google. His advisor picked that one out for him, saying it seemed like a very good idea. Page’s experience reminds us that we are more effective when we focus on one area instead of spreading our attention over several.
New York’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg gave this advice: “Don’t react until you have had a chance to think. Ready, shoot, aim is not the smartest policy.”