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"The computer has crashed into the television set."

– Brian L. Roberts,
Comcast Corporation
 

Tips for the Workplace
from Today's Most Powerful CEOs

In his candid interviews with the men and women at the top of the corporate ladder, CEO EXCHANGE Host Jeff Greenfield has gleaned these secrets to success to take to the workplace.

Gary D. Forsee Value People Over Technology

Gary D. Forsee
Chairman & CEO
Sprint Nextel Corp.

Technology is important, but we're in the service business, and if we don't respect and understand our people – our most valuable asset – then we can't be successful.
 
Brian France Keep a Family Business Healthy

Brian France
Chairman & CEO
NASCAR, Inc.

Define what each family member wants to get out of the business and hold each one to a high level of professionalism. That's the only way it can be.
 
Bill Greehey Give Back to Your Community

Bill Greehey
Chairman
Valero Energy Corp.

The more you do for your employees, the more they're going to do for the company and the more they're going to do for the community. Give back and you make it better.
 
Ed Zander Allow Your Key Managers to Make Mistakes

Ed Zander
Chairman & CEO
Motorola, Inc.

You learn through your mistakes. Try to pick areas where if they make one, it's not critical, it's not fatal. I've made some great mistakes in my life, but every time I've done it, I've learned something from it.
 
Ed Liddy Be An Optimist

Ed Liddy
Chairman & CEO
The Allstate Corp.

I'm not saying be naïve, but you have to be confident that you will overcome challenging situations. If you have a good idea and you are blocked from achieving success today, figure out how to repackage it or come at it another way. If it's a good idea it will stand the test of time and you will eventually prevail.
 
Clarence Otis, Jr. Bring Yourself to Work

Clarence Otis, Jr.
Chairman & CEO
Darden Restaurants, Inc.

Do not try to change who you are in order to fit in. Be true to yourself and if you're in the right organization, they will respond to that in a constructive, positive way, even if it creates some challenges or is difficult.
 
Mackey J. McDonald Respect the Individual

Mackey J. McDonald
Chairman, President & CEO
VF Corporation

Be honest with your employees, coach them on the things they are doing wrong, praise them for the things they're doing right. It becomes pervasive and they will continue to expand their performance.
 
Terry McGraw Be A Continuous Learner

Terry McGraw
Chairman, President & CEO
The McGraw-Hill Companies

We are in a global environment and the competition is fierce. Put yourself in a position where you are learning all the time, from associates, from others, whoever you can learn from.
 
Bobby Kotick Be Open to Creative Ideas

Bobby Kotick
Chairman & CEO
Activision, Inc.

In the business of ideas, make sure that anybody with a creative idea – whether it's you or someone from accounting – has access to the people who make the decisions.
 
John W. Thompson You Don't Get To Do Just the
Things You Like To Do


John W. Thompson
Chairman & CEO
Symantec Corp.

Accept it. Be prepared to deal with people who may not have the same point of view or perspective that you have. Some interactions may not be exactly what you'd like to have, but that comes with the territory.
 
Paul S. Otellini Be a Broad Learner Early In
Your Career


Paul S. Otellini
President & CEO
Intel Corporation

Hook your star to a company that will allow you to take risks, learn broadly and move laterally. Big or small company, that flexibility in your first few years on the job will help you choose the vectors of your career later on.
 
Blake W. Nordstrom Empower Your Employees

Blake W. Nordstrom
President
Nordstrom, Inc.

In our company, everything we do is about the customer and selling and we stay close to the customer by empowering employees to deal with their needs right on the spot. We train our employees to treat the customer the way the employees would want to be treated themselves.
 
Brian Roberts Choose Character Above All Else

Brian Roberts
Chairman & CEO
Comcast Corporation

In the end, you are going to live and fall by the people you surround yourself with, so don't make choices based on who can make you the better offer or give you a bigger title, but who has character.
 
Anne M. Mulcahy Communicate Tough Decisions
In Person


Anne M. Mulcahy
Chairman & CEO
Xerox Corporation

Accept the fact that these are tough decisions and be there. Make it personal. Make sure that your employees understand that you are trying to do the right thing.
 
Neville Isdell Take a Tip From a Social Worker

Neville Isdell
Chairman & CEO
The Coca-Cola Co.

Social workers don't give people solutions. They make people come to the solutions themselves. My training as a qualified social worker was fundamentally important for developing my management beliefs. It enhanced my listening skills.
 
Jim Donald Take Risk

Jim Donald
President & CEO
Starbucks

At Starbucks we encourage our partners – we call our employees partners – to have an entrepreneurial, risk-taking mentality, with the freedom to fail.




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