Business Advice from the CEOs of Top American Companies

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When it comes to success, everyone has a different idea of what their's looks like. Most people with a company like to aim big, and envision a highly successful future for their creation. If you also like to aim big, we've got some great advice straight from the source. We've compiled some of the best advice we could find online, coming from 7 CEO's of successful businesses.  


Indra Nooyi, Chairman & CEO, PepsiCo

As the CEO and Chairman of the world's third largest food and beverage company, Nooyi is a distinguished figure in the global and American business sectors alike. Her best advice? "Never stop learning. Whether you’re an entry level employee fresh out of college or a CEO, you don’t know it all. Admitting this is not a sign of weakness. The strongest leaders are those who are lifelong students."


Ginni Rometty, CEO, IBM

Rometty's advice targets the client-facing aspect of companies. "Never define yourself as a product and, in fact, I would augment it; never define yourself by your competition, either. If you live and define yourself by your product or competition, you will loose sight of who your customer is."


Mark Douglas, CEO, SteelHouse

This CEO of a leading tech company based in Los Angeles has a now-famous take on employee satisfaction. He believes that having happy employees means having a prosperous business. So how does he create this kind of environment? Well, he pays for his employee's vacations of course: “It’s one thing to say ‘You have three weeks vacation,’ like most companies do, (...) it’s another thing to say ‘You have cash, and if you don’t go on vacation and spend this money, the money literally goes to waste.’ It’s another level of saying this is real.”


Tristan Walker, CEO & Founder, Walker & Company

Walker has become a legend in Silicon Valley, after creating a highly successful beauty product company for people of colour. His advice brings the personal into the business: “Spend the first third of your life learning, the second third earning, and the last third returning.”


Jean Thompson, CEO, Seattle Chocolate

Thompson's chocolate company is all the rage in Seattle. She is a firm believer in change and progress, and has the following to say about the former: "Change is good and essential. It invigorates and stirs things up. To thrive, you have to change, keep moving and innovating. The best changes are the ones you design and orchestrate deliberately with a clear end goal in mind."


Andres Glúski, President & CEO, AES Corporation

Glúski's leadership style can be understood through the following quote, where he explains the importance of hearing other's ideas, and then being firm in your decision making. "Never make an important decision while you are feeling emotional; either too happy, surprised, or angry. Similarly, never make a big decision until you have talked it over with people you trust who are knowledgeable about the matter. Then, be decisive once you have heard them out."


Hayley Barna, Co-Founder & Co-CEO, Birchbox

Barna is the face of her cosmetics subscription box which now has over 1 million subscribers and 4 million clients. How did she make her mark on the beauty industry? "'Never compare your weaknesses to someone else’s strengths.' (...). It reminds me that while comparisons are tempting, especially for competitive, ambitious people, it’s always important to focus on your own special talents. That’s how you can make a real impact. And it’s the coordination of everyone’s unique skills that can make magic happen."


Everyone has their own conceptions about success, and that image varies based off people's needs and their desire's for their businesses futures. However, there are rarely downsides to aiming big. What is it people love to say? Aim for the moon, and you may land among the stars. As grossly cliche as that saying is, there is a note of truth to it (as is the reality for all horrible cliches). There is no downside to taking advice from people who've made it big. Who knows? Maybe one day you'll be the one giving that advice to people praising your success.

Author: Amy Marleau

Topics: Business building advice

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