Friday, August 21, 2009

Receiving Advice

How many times has someone said, "you should...?" You can respond one of two ways: either say "thank you" and make a mental note to yourself or you can mutter something under your breath and try to come across as grateful for the suggestion.

Sometimes this advice is unsolicited or comes from a total stranger. Ideally the advice comes from someone who cares about your well-being like a family member, friend or mentor.

Recently, Fortune Magazine featured a cover story about successful people and the greatest advice they've ever received.

General David Patraeus received some advice from his boss while he was a captain in the army. His boss told him, " I think you ought to look for an out-of-your intellectual comfort zone experience." This advice let Patraeus to get a Ph.D. in international relations from Princeton University and has helped him in his current position as Commanding General in Iraq. For the full story, click here.

While working as a systems engineer at IBM, Craigslist founder Craig Newmark was advised by his manager to use his dry sense of humor to help diffuse tension in his department. In addition to his great technical skills, this advice led him to his current success. To read more, click here. president Joanna Shields received this advice from her father, "Your career is long and the business world is small. Always act with integrity. Never take the last dollar off the table." This advice helped Shields in her dealings to sell the company to AOL. For more info on this, click here.

I'm very fortunate to have received some great advice from my parents and other family members over the years - the type of advice that encouraged me to go to college, do my homework, save my money, etc. I have become a better person as a result. But I've also received advice from someone who didn't know me...the type of advice that changed me significantly. I will be sharing this soon on the re-launch of 360 Degree Self.

How about you...what is the best advice you've ever received? The worst?

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