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Fortune 500 CEOs and top execs reveal what to do in your 20s to set yourself up for an awesome career

If you want to run the business world someday, you need to start building an awesome career for yourself early. Current and former Fortune 500 executives, as well as other business leaders, have given some great career advice.

John Sculley, a former Apple CEO and president of Pepsi:-

John Sculley: Says it helps to think like an entrepreneur and to always look for a better way to do things. I was always insatiably curious. I still am. I kept observing — when I was working in bottling plants, resetting shelves in supermarkets, out on the trade, talking to other Pepsi bottlers. Observing, thinking, asking questions, you know, “Why is it done this way?” I think that while I didn’t know what the word “entrepreneur” was at that time, it’s exactly the characteristics that I look for when I’m looking for really good entrepreneurs to lead companies. Because you have to have an inquiring mind, you have to say there must be a better way to do things, and now with technology at a point where everything is possible, how do we turn the possible into the probable? And it all starts with a passion to do something really well, to solve a problem in a way that’s never been solved before, and to have just an incredible work ethic, to be persistent.

 

PayPal CEO Dan Schulman:-

 Dan Schulman: Says there’s no substitution for hard work, and that you’ll probably be more successful if you put coworkers first and celebrate their achievements. I dont think there is any substitute for hard work. My sister died, and I was leading a big team at the time, and I had to take time off. It was a difficult, difficult time, and when I came back, I realized my team had really hung in there with me, and I just realized that what we had accomplished was completely what they had accomplished. I gave them full 100% credit. I think what I learned there is giving credit to others actually attracts more and more people to your team, because they want to be a part of that team because they know that it’s a team that is going to work together as one team — nobody’s going to try to take credit over somebody else. In many ways, leadership is about defining reality and inspiring hope, but if you have these great people around you and they know that what they do is going to be recognized, it can be incredibly powerful.

 

 Tim Armstrong Oath CEO :-

Tim Armstrong: Tells his kids to be true to themselves and honest with others. “To thine own self be true”.What you see is what you get. If you interact with me, this is who I am, love me or hate me. And I think being authentic is important. The second thing is the mentor crew I have. I have a bunch of advice I always give to younger people, but one of them is to build your personal entourage or board of directors. I have five or eight people outside the company I rely on. I have one person, David Bell, who used to be the CEO of IPG. He’s in our office almost every day. I meet with him every Friday. And every Friday he starts by telling me everything I’m doing wrong overall. For me, it’s the most helpful meeting of the week because it always resets me back to: “OK, what am I supposed to be doing as a leader? What’s my job? What are those things?” If you’re yourself, and you’re authentic, and you’re honest and direct.The other thing I’ve learned from David and people like Howard Schultz and Ken Chenault and other people like that who have mentored me over time is: Just be direct with people. I did an all-company meeting with AOL and Yahoo yesterday. I got asked if there are going to be impacts from doing the deal. I said: “Yes, there are. That’s what happens when two companies come together.”I’m not going to beat around the bush. We’re going to try to do the least amount we possibly can, but the bottom line is that’s part of what’s happening with the deal, and I want to be direct about it. So that directness, I think, helps a lot, and being honest with yourself.

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