Great Advice for Leaders in Two Words

Bad advice is dangerous when it sounds smart. Take, ‘get over it’, for example.

‘Get over it’, isn’t great advice. It’s absurd and destructive.

Don’t get over it. Become better because of it. Learn from it or you’ll repeat it.

Great advice is, ‘grow through it’.

Great advice: Don't get over it. Learn from it. Grow through it. Image of a chestnut.

Great advice in two words.

#1. Be yourself.

I’ll never forget the underwhelming advice of Jim Parker, the CEO of Southwest Airlines during 9-11. He told me, “Be yourself.”

You’re pulled in a million directions if you don’t know who you are.

#2. Be honest.

Fear of speaking the truth increases destructive stress.

Just say it. Be kind. Turn toward the future. But just speak the truth.

#3. Show gratitude.

“When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.” Willie Nelson

It’s not enough for leaders to be grateful. Show it.

Great advice is often surprising. Image of a wide-eyed lemur.

Great advice in four words: Choose your hole carefully.

Cornhole isn’t fun without a hole. Take away the hole and you’re an idiot tossing corn-bags.

The hole makes cornhole fun.

Determine your aim before you toss a corn-bag.

Aim at something. Don’t mindlessly do the next urgent thing. Aimless leaders run around with their hair on fire.

What is your aim today? Improve a leadership skill. Aim to maximize other people’s strengths. Choose how to show up. Make work fun. Aim at something.

When you’re lost in the jungle, survival is a good aim. But you aren’t lost. What is your aim beyond day-to-day responsibilities?

You feel aimless when you live without aim.

You feel aimless when you live without aim. Image of a woman sitting on a mountain top.

The power of aim:

  1. Vitality. Without aim drudgery and futility take over.
  2. Improvement. You can’t improve until you aim at something and miss.
  3. Meaning. Aimless work isn’t important.
  4. Focus. An aimless life lacks focus. Life feels aimless when you aim at everything.

What great advice do you like to give?

What great advice have you received?

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