“My best ideas have mostly come from others. And a lot of them came from this man.” I heard those words at a retirement party for a mid-level manager, and they made a big impression on me. In my corporate life, I had attended a number of retirement parties which, while honoring of the retiree, were (frankly) pretty boring. However, at this event, the retiree’s boss included that statement in his brief speech. It was probably one of the most honoring things he could have said about the retiree. And I am sure the retiree remembered those words the rest of his life. Certainly, those words have stayed with me ever since.
I have realized that most of my good ideas have come from others. As I climbed the corporate ladder, I was fortunate in being able to always surround myself with a staff of talented managers who were constantly feeding me with ideas. (I later learned that a couple of them could not be trusted, but that is a different story, perhaps for a different time.) Some of my managers’ ideas were really good, some were fair, but many were great. As an example, one particular regional sales manager, who will remain nameless, (he will know who I am referring to) was constantly coming up with bold ideas to make corporate sales goals and beat the competition. Some of his ideas were a bit risky or I thought would be too challenging to management, but many were dynamite and helped our team excel. The key thing that I learned over the years is to listen to others and you will find a great source for what can be your best ideas. And be sure to give credit to the sources of those great ideas!
Much of the wisdom I have garnered over the years came from others. If I could have “do overs” and go back in time to the beginning of my career, I would want to take back with me some of that wisdom. Otherwise I would probably make the same mistakes again. Following are what I call my personal “pearls of wisdom” garnered over the years from folks I respected. I wish I had known all of this back when I was starting out in the business world. Continue reading My best ideas come from others