Every journey to success starts with a dream. But how do you get from where you are now to where you want to be? One way to increase your chances is by following in the footsteps of those who’ve already walked the path. And so to help you take those all-important first steps, the researchers from OnDeck collected the best pieces of business advice from 15 of the world’s greatest female founders and CEOs.
Whitney Wolfe Herd is one highly successful CEO who embraces her failures. "When you accept that failure is a good thing, it can actually be a huge propeller toward success," says the Bumble Founder and CEO.
General Motors CEO Mary Barra is another high-flying businesswoman who isn't afraid to show her vulnerable side. "It's OK to admit what you don't know," urges Barra. "It's OK to ask for help. And it's OK to listen to the people you lead."
Indra Nooyi has a list of accolades she could boast about. She earned an MBA from Yale Business School, sits on the board of Amazon, and regularly features in the Forbes list of the 100 most powerful women in the world. But the former CEO of PepsiCo doesn't let any of this go to her head. Instead, she is always willing to listen and learn. "Just because you're CEO, don't think you've landed," warns Indra. "You should always be learning about the way you think."
Working Smart Beats Working Hard
Hard work matters. But the real key to success is combining hard work with smart work. In other words, focus on productivity rather than hours clocked.
This is how Flickr’s boss Caterina Fake approaches her day. "So often people are working hard on the wrong thing," says Fake. "[But] working on the right thing is more important than working hard."
Karen Young, the founder of Oui the People, has some similar advice for aspiring CEOs. She says, "The simplest time management skill as an entrepreneur comes down to understanding what's most important."
"Perfection is the enemy," warns LeanIn Founder Sheryl Sandberg. "Trying to do it all and expecting it can all be done right is a recipe for disappointment."
Sandberg's approach involves learning how to let go and delegate tasks to those more qualified than you. And that's something Helen Robertson mastered a long time ago. The Expedia Cruise boss has no ego when it comes to surrounding herself with the best people. "You never have to feel like the smartest person in the room, '' says Helen. "Building a good team requires you to hire people that may know more in a certain subject than you do."
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