Best Career Advice? 11 Leaders Share the Tips that Helped Them Succeed (Build Your Queue Season 2)

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When I’m looking for advice, I immediately seek out other leaders in my field. Personal experience is not only the best way to gain knowledge, it’s also just genuinely more engaging to hear someone else’s story.

What path did our peers take to get them to success, and what challenges did they have to face along that journey?

Our Build Your Queue podcast at Text Request let’s you hear first-hand how established business leaders got to where they are. It’s a podcast meant to help you create more opportunities for your own company to succeed, so we ask the same question at the end of every interview:

"What’s the one piece of advice you were given that completely changed how you approach your work?"

Here are answers from Season 2!

1. Always come with a solution.

John Martin, morning news anchor for WRCB-TV (NBC, Channel 3) in Chattanooga:

“Most of the things your teammates hear from clients are things that aren’t working or complaints. The question is, what are you doing to fix them? Come to your team with a solution to the problem. Even if it's not the right one, you'll have a starting point to build off of.”

Check out the full interview: 4 Steps to Earning Positive Local Media Coverage

2. Know your worth outside of work.

Brian Trautschold, co-founder and COO of sales gamification software Ambition:

"Keep things in perspective. You are a person, not the output of your work, so take time to separate yourself from your work. This will help you drop some baggage and hone your focus."

Check out the full interview: 5 Essentials to Improving Sales Team Performance

3. Be brief, be bright, and be seated.

Shannon Stephenson, CEO of Cempa Community Care:

"Ten years ago, I was told by a consultant, "Be brief, be bright, and be seated." I still work with this person today because she lives by that advice and is so easy to work with."

Check out the full interview: 4 Steps to Creating a Loyal Brand Community

4. Work for your teammates.

Mickey Cloud, Executive Director of The Sasha Group (a VaynerX company):

"When you're a leader you don’t have people working for you, you work for people. Understand your teammates' motivations the same way you would a customer's, and don't ever take your stress out on them. That kind of toxic environment will always harm your company. Remember your teammates take cues from you, and they'll know if you are irritated or pleased."

Check out the full interview: 6 Essentials for Profitable Social Media Marketing

5. Be intentional about job fits.

Tim Kelly, owner of Kelly Cars, managing partner of Chattanooga Brewing Co, co-founder of Chattanooga Football Club, and past chairman of the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga:

"When it comes to hiring and firing, it’s like a baseball team. If you want to be the shortstop for the Yankees, but the ball keeps going through your legs, you can’t be shortstop. Maybe play a different position, or just be a fan."

Check out the full interview: 4 Essentials to Strengthening Your Community as a Business Leader

6. Shift your perspective to reach new levels.

Wade Hinton, VP of Global Inclusion and Diversity for Unum:

"The skills and perspective needed in an entry level are different from a VP. Think about the skills needed to get to the next level, if you want to advance. Never take things personally. Everyone has their own journey and are at different places. It’s all about perspective."

Check out the full interview: 4 Steps to Developing Your Employees’ Talent

7. Decide who you work with and how. 

Autumn Witt Boyd, founder of the AWB Firm:

"In the beginning, a lot of us take whatever we can get as far as business. But you don't have to say yes to everything and you don't have to take on everyone who wants to work with you. Narrow your focus and the people you serve early on, so you can work at establishing a reputation and building relationships. You want to become a specialist in your field."

Check out the full interview: 4 Essentials to Protecting Your Business for Future Success

8. Value maintaining your character.

Santosh Sankar, Forbes 30 under 30 honoree and Partner with Dynamo Ventures:

"My Dad had a saying, “If you lose your wealth you’ve lost nothing. If you lose your Health you’ve lost something. If you lose your Character, you lost everything.”"

Check out the full interview: 4 Steps to Finding a Strategic Financing Partner

9. Avoid becoming bogged down by analysis.

Rob Bettis, an independent paid media manager for ecommerce brands:

"I often find myself challenged with paralysis by analysis. You can lose a lot of time comparing option a) to option b) when both are equally great. Instead, you just pick one and move forward."

Check out the full interview: 3 Essentials to Growing Your Ecommerce Brand

10. Value relationships over revenue. 

Max Farrell, co-founder and CEO of Workhound:

"My grandfather always said, “You can do more with friends, than you can with money.”"

Check out the full interview: 4 Essentials to Public Speaking for Acquiring Customers

11. Stay solutions focused.

Mackenzie Burysek, Event Sales Manager with LEO Events:

"When something goes wrong, prioritize finding solutions over dwelling on what went wrong. Staying positive is the only way to keep yourself moving forward."

Check out the full interview: 3 Essentials to Hosting a Successful Company Event