If I Knew Then Advice on careers, finance, and life from Harvard Business School's Class of 1963

Robin Smith


Look for something you are good at, where accomplishment will be rewarded, which pays well (at least at the higher levels) and gives you the opportunity to work with smart people who will stimulate you and challenge you to grow.

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The best leaders I’ve seen have been as or more knowledgeable than anyone else about the business and the environment in which it operates. They have a clear vision they can communicate to others, and they make decisions easily.

On a personal level they are easy-going, don’t take themselves too seriously, admit their mistakes, and are quick to give others credit. They have high standards, clearly articulated, to which they hold their people.

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One mistake is to stick with a highly profitable business model too long when the world is changing. Another is to abandon the old for the next new thing, particularly if the path to profitability is not clear.

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