What is the Best Advice You Ever Received?

What’s the best advice you have ever received?  When did you apply it?  Who did you share this advice with and what kind of impact did it have?

I interview thousands of people every year and I need to create new questions to keep interviews interesting, otherwise it can seem like “Groundhog Day.”  My “best advice” questions, above, are my new ones, and I am receiving some great answers.  I thought it would be interesting to compile and share the list of answers to the question, “What’s the best advice you’ve received?” as the Cameron-Brooks Career Tip.

“Be Humble.”  The rest of the list is in no particular order, but a version of advice about humility is by far and away the most prevalent answer.  Mike Tyson once said, “If you are not humble, life will visit its humbleness upon you.”

“Never give up, keeping moving forward.”  I heard this from multiple Academy graduates who felt challenged in their first year at their respective institution.  I also heard this from those who attended Ranger School.

“Son, if someone offers you money, take it.”

“Amateurs wear belts.  Pro’s wear ties.”  I am still trying to figure this one out.  Since I wear a tie and a belt, what am I?

“The most powerful question, ‘What do you think?’”  A military officer said this, but it originally comes from the Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board of Marriott International, Bill Marriott.

“It’s not what you do for a career, it’s who you are that matters the most.  Figure out what you stand for and your values first, and then what you want to do with your career.”

“No yelling.”  I violated that a few times last week at home.

“You must read books!”

“If you are going to do something, do it right the first time.”

“Saying you are sorry does not mean you are weak.  It is a sign of confidence and strength to be honest about your mistakes.”

“Don’t ask a question that you don’t want to hear the answer to.”

Finally, I have also been asking officers about a book they recently read.  Multiple times in the last week, people mentioned Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business.  While I have not read the book, I thought I would pass on the recommendation.

Joel Junker