CEOs Divulge Their Most Unconventional Career Advice

June 12, 2019

Executives from several industries shared with The Wall Street Journal some of their best tips for a long and rewarding career. Here are a few of the more nontraditional words of wisdom from these industry leaders:

It’s Better to Look Dumb Than Not Real

“People can sniff out BS,” says Mandy Ginsberg, chief executive at Match Group Inc. She encourages businesspeople to be authentic and not be scared of looking stupid.

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Is Your Brokerage Serving ‘Prosumers’?

How to Kill Your Credibility

Show Some Empathy

“Having the capacity to engage with people,” customers and colleagues alike, “and understand their perspectives is really critical,” says Mark Hoplamazian, CEO of Hyatt Hotels Corp.

Empathy can help you pose better questions and learn more about your customers. Also, customers will never forget how you made them feel. Relate to their personal situations as they go through a transaction and let them feel heard.

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Why Empathy Helps You Ask Better Questions

Learn How to Say ‘No’

Before taking on a new role, ask yourself: “What if I didn’t take that job? What if I tried something else? What’s the downside?” suggests Gary Erickson and Kit Crawford, co-CEOs of Clif Bar & Co.

Sometimes that may mean saying “no” to a client where you know you’re not the best one for the job or when your personalities clash.

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How to Tell a Time-Wasting Client, ‘You’re Fired!’

It’s OK to Fail

“We tend to over-ascribe the risk of failing because we’re animals in our primal nature,” says Rich Barton, CEO of the Zillow Group Inc. “We only have one time around, and you’re not going to die if you fail.”

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Can You Recover From Failure?

For Brokers: When Agents Fail, They Need You Most

CEOs Share Their Most Helpful (and Unconventional) Career Advice,” The Wall Street Journal (May 10, 2019) [Log-in required.]