Bonus CEO to CEO: Even More Reflective Leadership Advice
If you could give your 25-year-old self a piece of advice, what would it be? It's a question that a lot of people had answers for, many of which we couldn't get into the issue. But we made room for them here. Check a few of them out below.
Stephen P. Stahr, CAE
CEO, Million Dollar Round Table, Park Ridge, Illinois
Don’t be afraid to suggest new ideas, no matter how creative. Age and experience have nothing to do with developing or suggesting innovative ideas. Things change so quickly regarding technology, social media, and how value is delivered and received that often younger employees are more informed in these areas than veteran staffers.
Executive Director, Cal North, Pleasanton, California
Work harder than everybody else in the organization because hard work separates the stars from the rest. Always put yourself in the shoes of the other person or organization before making a decision because empathy is invaluable. And, finally, be confident and self-assured while also humble.
CEO, Benay Enterprises, Inc., Portland, Maine
My mantra—learned by overcoming unfounded fears of possible rejection, embarrassment, or insult—is that if you don’t ask, you don’t get. I would have told my 25-year-old self to be more fearless in asking as you are almost never turned down. In fact, I’ve learned asking in itself is a compliment, and most people are flattered by the request. Asking someone you respect to be your mentor, provide you with professional advice, or just share their success story shows your immense appreciation of their intellect, ability, and experiences.
President, PR Council, New York, New York
Know what you stand for and who you stand for, and recognize that things work out if you do. As a female in business, I sometimes believed I should act or think in a certain way. When you are young and learning, you can be impressionable, but having a grounding point helps you understand your own values. It is worth spending time understanding what is important to you.