Wednesday, April 30, 2008

What's the Best Advice You Ever Got?

Take a few minutes and check out this excellent Fortune magazine article asking some very accomplished people: What's the best advice you ever got? Some excerpts:

I go back to things my dad said: "Your career is long and the business world is small. Always act with integrity. Never take the last dollar off the table."


About 15 years ago, I saw an Oprah show where she said, "Always be the only person who can sign your checks." At the time, I had no money. I was at Second City in Chicago. I came to New York in 1997 to work on Saturday Night Live. I realized I have no head for business. And it would have been very easy for me to let someone take control of my money - for me to say, "Here, sign my checks...whatever."


Finally, grad school also gives most folks a healthy dose of intellectual humility. That was certainly the case for me, and that's not a bad thing either.


I can't remember who told me this, but I certainly didn't grow up knowing it, so I must have gotten this advice at Salomon Brothers in the 1970s. The advice was, first, always ask for the order, and second, when the customer says yes, stop talking.


Anonymous said...

Back to my days of shop class, the instructor said "measure twice, cut once."
Over all these years, that bit of advice seems to have worked in many different situations beyond just simply sawing at a 2 X 4.

Michael Wade said...


I still remember advice from my shop teacher. Most of it involved not cutting off a finger.