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What's the best business advice you've ever received?

As a follow-up, where do you find good advice now?


Dan Nakahara
Title: Controller
Company: Yandell Truckaway, Inc.
(Controller, Yandell Truckaway, Inc.) | was an epiphany for me. All of my knowledge about how to manage people had been learned on the job and these podcasts really helped me be more effective and comfortable as a manager. It's not just management theory, but clear actionable methods and tools you can use.

Topic Expert
Bob Scarborough
Title: CEO
Company: Tensoft, Inc.
(CEO, Tensoft, Inc.) |

Over the years I have received lots of good advice. One of my most used pieces of advice came from an Operations Management course I attended years ago.

The statement in the course was something like "all companies have multiple problems or issues to deal with. Rather than trying to address all the issues follow this process. First, find out why the company is still in business and what processes support that, and then second address the problems that prevent the company from doing that better."

Chris Shumate
Title: Accounting Manager
Company: Dominion Development Group, LLC
LinkedIn Profile
(Accounting Manager, Dominion Development Group, LLC) |

I walked into the office of a former boss and started ranting about an issue that had me passionately aggravated. He simply looked at me with a very professional look on his face, calmly said, "Stop it with all the adjectives. Then tell me the issue." This advice was handy to me because at the time I was a maturing professional, meaning I was still a little immature in handling big corporate office politics. He was a senior manager for one of the Big 4 firms prior to joining the company I was working for at the time and had plenty of experience with similar situations I was in at that time.

Now, I try to structure my complaints in a way that is more constructive, while looking for ways to address the problem, not just stating that a problem exists. Very similar to what Bob said above. I also learned to refrain from using excessive adjectives when I am speaking to someone with an immeasurable amount of professionalism.

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, |

Learn which battles to fight and when to just grin and bear it.

It's a corollary to Bob's advice.

Bryan Frey
Title: VP Finance/Corp Controller
(VP Finance/Corp Controller, ) |

Just shut the hell up and listen. Almost no one does this well. We all naturally want our opinions to be heard, and I am as or more guilty than average on this point. But it is something I consciously try to work on and it helps on many fronts. People feel like you care, that their ideas matter. And you do get more ideas in if you're not too busy selling your own ideas.

Patricia Hickey
Title: Chief Financial Officer
Company: CCS
(Chief Financial Officer, CCS) |

"Restraint of pen and tongue". This has helped me delete that email or shut my mouth when having sent it or said something could have been disastrous. Similar to what has been mentioned above.

Timothy Beal
Title: CFO
Company: TriCerat, Inc.
(CFO, TriCerat, Inc.) |

People don't care what you know until they know that you care. All the process and personal self-help doesn't matter if you don't engage with, respect, and care for the people around you.

Topic Expert
Christie Jahn
Title: CFO
Company: Prime Investments & Development
(CFO, Prime Investments & Development) |

There really are several I can think of but this one has helped me with multiple co-workers lately, and it's simple "why" - ask it enough times and you'll find the true answer to what's bugging you.

Jim Lenihan
Title: Strategic Leader
Company: TreasuryPros
(Strategic Leader, TreasuryPros) |

Revenue Is The Journey, Cash Is The Destination.

Anonymous User
Title: CFO
Company: Local Government Agency
(CFO, Local Government Agency) |

Cute Jim. But, you forgot profits!

A CFO I worked for at an entrepreneurial firm that his fortune 200 company had just purchased was very skeptical of the whole entrepreneur/instant millionaire thing in the first place. Whereas I, as a young and aggressive go getter thought that the startup was where it was at and that these old line companies were dinosaurs. Years of experience has proven his caution to be sound advice.

He used to say: "It's not how much you make when times are good, but how you handle the bad times that are sure to come. There is a reason my company has been around for 175 years."

Mark Matheny
Title: VP - FInancial Planning and Analysis
Company: Novolex (formerly Hilex Poly)
(VP - FInancial Planning and Analysis, Novolex (formerly Hilex Poly)) |

Five Levels of Initiative

1. Do it and report routinely.
2. Do it and report immediately.
3. Bring suggested solutions of problems to boss.
4. Ask what to do.
5. Wait to be told what to do.

Levels 4 and 5 are unacceptable.

Mulekye Mukoko
Title: President
Company: Uzima Int'l, Inc
(President, Uzima Int'l, Inc) |

The best advice will be me in first place. I go down deep in my whole self to find why that problem exists what causes it. From this own analysis I can position myself better for helpful solutions or advise.

Now, if external problem (s) surfaces, the world is an ocean where to get help. On each screen on my computer there is an "HELP" selection. I can go to my superiors, colleagues, books, professional groups etc...

Always if it's individual or group problems, this why we have long meetings in offices. Not only offices, but also retreats where we find a true cure for most matters if not all.
Final not last I have learned that each one of us has "one mouth to talk and two ears to listen". Good luck to the concerned party


Mike Poe
Title: CFO
Company: XinRay Systems Inc
(CFO, XinRay Systems Inc) |

After a meeting when the CEO had been unexpectedly quiet, I asked him why. He replied "I never learned anything while I was talking".

This quote has been attributed to several people. Regardless of who originated it, it's very good advice.

(Prop.) |

A good listener shall be better in decision making


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