Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Fay Vincent In The Wall Street Journal

Yesterday in the Wall Street Journal Fay Vincent -  former Commissioner of Major League Baseball, CEO of Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc., and Executive Vice President of Coca Cola - presented an opinion piece titled, "Ten Tips for New Executives", which can be read HERE if you subscribe to the Journal online.  You may be able to find it with a Google Search and sneak behind the paywall.

Assuming (bad word, that one!) that most of you DO NOT subscribe to the Wall Street Journal, I'm going to try to give you the flavor of Vincent's excellent piece without violating the copyright.  The Wall Street Journal is the best thing I read each day, with consistently well-researched and well-written articles and the best editorial page by far.

Vincent suggests that some things he's learned along the way in his long and illustrious career might be helpful to folks just climbing the executive ladder by presenting to us 10 things he wished someone had given to him when he was 40.  I'll give you the short version of them:

1 - The less you confide in others in the organization, the better it will go for you.

2 - Be sure to manage down.  Be decent to everyone.

3 - Leadership is a full-time job and the duty clock is never off.  Be especially careful about what you put in writing, especially emails - they never disappear.

4 - Keep listening to and for advice.

5 - The wisecrack you believe is witty often is not.  Never joke about serious matters.

6 - The important thing is to be sure that the important thing remains the important thing.

7 - Never complain; never explain.  No one listens.

8 - Trust your professional advisers and accept their expertise.

9 - Be careful about the use of the word "average" - one can drown in a river the average depth of which is six inches.

10 - Never do or say anything that you would be unhappy to see written about on a newspaper front page.  The only worthwhile public response to a crisis is honesty.

So, there you have it.  He said much more under each item, but that is the Cliff Notes version of his excellent advice.  As I read down his list I couldn't help but mentally check off some of those items as I contemplated my business life.  I also mentally underscored a few of them as they apply to certain local elected leaders. 

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Anonymous xyn bohemia said...

since the planning/zoning and development services are critically understaffed, could this cause problems with new projects? and i hope "city venture's" went through all the proper bid and purchase order channels for these deals-- perish the thought. hey i just happened to notice that "city ventures" went public at the same time as some of these projects started up... i'm wondering now what that little trip the councilmen attended (in vegas?) wasn't it a building and development event?

2/05/2014 08:43:00 AM  

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