The Best Advice I’ve Ever Received

3219004793_a0d5a6de82_zA few years back I was struggling. I had just been promoted to a management role and had several major decisions that needed to be made quickly. I was worried. These decisions would set the foundation for my success in my new role – and really “make it” or “break it” for me.

I turned to a trusted executive for advice and she shared the single best piece of advice I’ve ever received during my career:

She said, “Liz, when making tough decisions, always strive to do the right thing – for your customers, for your organization, for your team….in that order.”

Wow.  So simple, but groundbreaking for me. I had never thought about it this way but she was so right – this statement was so true. In fact, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve reflected on this statement for guidance when the answer is initially unclear.

When you do the right thing, people notice. You are more credible and more trustworthy.  And when you do the right thing in this order, you are more strategic and people want to follow you as a leader. Your reputation as someone who does the right thing precedes you – I know it does for the executive that so generously shared it with me.

What was the best advice you received?

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Photo credit – Flickr

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3 Comments

  • 1
    Rossi
    October 7, 2014 - 5:25 am | Permalink

    Hello Liz, so you mean to say that, if you put the customer’s or company’s needs before the team’s needs, this is going to be accepted well by the team members and get them more motivated?

    • 2
      October 7, 2014 - 8:47 am | Permalink

      Hello – Thanks for the comment. I’m applying this advice to decision-making. When making a tough decision it is best to think of your customers first. This helps you see big picture. This advice is not about disregarding the needs of your team or people. Employees are the heart and soul of organizations.

      Thanks,
      Liz

      • 3
        Stanimir
        April 8, 2015 - 3:16 am | Permalink

        For me, customers -> organization -> team is part of a closed loop. Disregarding any one part of it, will break the connection between the others.

        Our team exists as part of an organization, our company exists because it serves our customers, our customers provides us with vital resources and inspiration.

        My guess is that part of the leadership mastery is to know when to give more priority to which part.

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