The Best Advice I Ever Received . . . . .

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In a few weeks I will be facilitating a panel discussion for the Illinois CPA Society “Women to Watch Awards” recipients.  To get prepared for the event, I spend some time with the winners to get a sense of how they think and what will be of interest to the audience during the panel discussion.  One question that I will be asking is “what is the best advice you ever received?”   I always love to hear the responses because more times than not I draw inspiration from the answers.

This exercise got me to reflect on “the best advice I ever received”  and to explore what others would consider good advice as well.   To start, I thought I would do some internet research to see what “successful” people had to say.  But I quickly realized that the definition of “success”  for many is defined by making a lot of money. This lead me down the path of the  advice my husband gives to my children, “remember, success is how YOU define it and cannot be defined by others”.   I will admit, though, I did find some advice in my search that is worth sharing, so I will.  For me, I have several different answers to this question depending on the various roles I find myself in.  I will share a few of mine, those of my close confidants (family, friends, and colleagues) and those of some “successful”  people as well.   

Here goes:

  • “pray often – what is the downside?” (from my Mom J)
  • “never forget, family is EVERYTHING (from my Dad J)
  • “if you enjoy what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life” (recently from my husband to our son – I know, he stole it J)
  • “be kind to everyone, always”  (my advice to my children)
  • “when your head hurts, stop banging it against the wall” (thanks Julie)
  • “to be a good consultant, you need to listen more and talk less” (my advice, based on my experience)
  • “there is no substitute for being prepared”  (my advice to all my colleagues)
  • “ leaders are not assigned, they emerge” (thanks Dalip)
  • “always ask yourself and answer “what’s the question?” before jumping to the solution” (Thanks Chris!)
  • “don’t make me change how I do things unless it’s meaningfully better” (the CEO of PayPal received this from a customer when he was a cocky 23 year old)
  • “Don’t waste your time by continuing to look back and worrying about the past.  Keep looking forward and proceed.” (Thanks Rick!  Advice from his Mom – a very smart lady J)
  • “control your own destiny or someone else will” (Jack Welch)
  •  “don’t worry when you are not recognized, but strive to be worthy of recognition” (Abraham Lincoln)
  • “The price of doing the same old thing is far higher than the price of change, so change”  (Bill Clinton)
  • “we can’t help everyone but everyone can help someone”  (Ronald Regan)
  • “If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway” (Mother Theresa)

We would love to hear the best advice you ever received . . . please join in the conversation . . . . . . .

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Anne has been leading consulting and financial management organizations for over 25 years. She has extensive expertise in Strategic Sourcing, change management, contracting & contract management (both the buy side and sell side) organizational design and supply chain management. Anne has a passion for collaborating and educating her clients while helping them to uncover hidden value in their organizations. In addition, Anne has been named by Supply & Demand Chain Executive as a “Top 100 Provider Pro to Know” every year since 2007 and a 2013 Top Female Supply Chain executive.

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