You have dreams of business success — whatever that means — but right now, in your entry-level position, you can’t quite envision how you are going to make those dreams come true. Fortunately, hundreds of thousands of people have sat in your seat and walked in your shoes, and many of them have found the success you are working toward. Here’s what a handful of CEOs have to say about making it big in business.
1. Be Daring
“I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow. When there’s that moment of ‘Wow, I’m not really sure I can do this,’ and you push through those moments, that’s when you have a breakthrough.” – Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo
There are going to be so many times in your career when you are intimidated, and many more when you are downright terrified. If you put aside those fears, you may accomplish something great.
2. Be Careful
“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” – Warren Buffett, Chairman & CEO of Berkshire Hathaway
You might want to believe your personal life has no bearing on your professional career, but in truth the two are inextricably linked. You must strive to keep your name golden at home to advance your status at work.
3. Be Dedicated
“There are a lot of things that go into creating success. I don’t like to do just the things I like to do. I like to do things that cause the company to succeed. I don’t spend a lot of time doing my favorite activities.” – Michael Dell, Founder, Chairman & CEO of Dell Computers
In the past few decades, the phrase “do what you love” has received a lot of mileage. To earn success, you might have to love what you do, instead.
4. Be Present
“Life is short. Make the best of it. Smile. Inspire someone. Laugh until your stomach hurts. Do a fist pump. Yell out “WOOO!” when you close a big deal. Tell your coworkers how awesome they are. Go out there and have fun.” – Nelson Yang, CEO of Collide
Even if your work doesn’t align completely with your interests, you should still be excited by your company and colleagues. Sometimes, you should appreciate the moment before you look once again to the future.
5. Be Enthusiastic
“I try not to make any decisions that I’m not excited about.” – Jake Nickell, Founder & CEO of Threadless
There is a difference between being scared and being apathetic. Actions that inspire the second sensation will likely end in regret.
6. Be Quick
“The world is changing very fast. Big will not beat small anymore. It will be the fast beating the slow.” – Rupert Murdoch, Executive Co-Chairman of 21st Century Fox
If you can make good decisions quickly, your supervisors will notice and reward you for it. There is nothing more valuable in business than a fast problem-solver. Fortunately, there are many ways to hone this skill.
7. Be Accountable
“I’m responsible for this company. I stand behind the results.” – Jeffrey Immelt, Chairman & CEO of General Electric
With power comes responsibility — and culpability. All employees should accept blame for their mistakes, but when you become a leader, you will also need to answer for the mistakes of your team. You can’t pass the buck and expect rewards in business.
8. Be Flexible
“It’s in our best interest to put some of the old rules aside and create new ones and follow the consumer—what the consumer wants and where the consumer wants to go.” – Robert Iger, Chairman & CEO of the Walt Disney Company
Business never remains the same for long, and in the modern world, where consumers’ wants and needs change daily, you must at least keep up with demand — if you can’t anticipate it.
9. Be Better
“If you want to improve the organization, you have to improve yourself and the organization gets pulled up with you.” – Indra Nooyi, Chairperson & CEO of PepsiCo
Even as an entry-level employee, you have the power to influence your co-workers and supervisors with your attitudes and behavior. When you become a leader, your actions will become models for the whole company.
10. Be Humble
“It takes humility to realize that we don’t know everything, not to rest on our laurels and know that we must keep learning and observing.” – Cher Wang, Co-founder, Chairperson & CEO of HTC
Improvement is change, but after years in the business, you might eventually become resistant to change. Remaining humble in light of your achievements will allow you to always search for faster, better solutions.
11. Be Proud
“Show me someone without an ego, and I’ll show you a loser.” – Donald Trump, Chairmand & President of The Trump Organization
You will never succeed if you don’t believe in yourself. Every morning, you should stand in your power pose and tell yourself you can do it — because you can, as long as you keep up the fight.
Featured photo credit: Nanagyei via flickr.com