Is there any truth to the notion that once someone has accomplished something big and gains notoriety (positive or negative) for that accomplishment that they somehow just are in the know, and we should listen to what they have to say?
We each can probably think of excellent examples on both sides of the argument. Consider what follows as "food for thought." In the December 2005 issue of Business 2.0 Magazine, 30 "business visionaries" were asked, "...what single philosophy they swear by more than any other--in business, life, or both." To be fair, the article gave a paragraph or two explanation about each quote, but you'll get the gist. You will need to decide for yourself just how much weight you will give to each pearl of wisdom, and whether or not it is something you can benefit from taking to heart.
Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO, Berkshire Hathaway - "There Can't Be Two Yous"
Jim Collins-management consultant; author, Built to Last and Good to Great- "Don't Be Interesting-Be Interested"
Blake Ross, co-creator, Firefox - "The Next Big Thing Is Whatever Makes the Last Big Thing Usable"
Steve Ballmer, CEO, Microsoft - "Make Hiring a Top Priority"
Shelly Lazarus, chairman and CEO, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide - "Business Can't Trump Happiness"
George Steinbrenner, owner, New York Yankees - "Surround Yourself With People Smarter Than You"
Srivats Sampath, founder, McAfee.com; CEO and president, Mercora - "Loyalty Counts as Much as Smarts"
Po Bronson, author, The First $20 Million Is Always the Hardest and What Should I Do With My Life - "Check With the Wife"
Andy Grove, former chairman and CEO, Intel - "Only the Paranoid Survive (Now More Than Ever)"
Eliot Spitzer, New York state attorney general - "Never write when you can talk. Never talk when you can nod. And never put anything in an e-mail"
Ivan Seidenberg, chairman and CEO, Verizon - "Hard Work Opens Doors"
Carl Icahn, billionaire investor - "Don't confuse luck with skill when judging others, and especially when judging yourself"
Craig Newmark, founder, Craigslist - "Choose Your Mistakes Carefully"
Carol Bartz, CEO, Autodesk - "If You Think You Can't, You're Right"
Simon Cooper, president and COO, Ritz-Carlton - "He Who Says It, Does It"
Richard Branson, founder and chairman, Virgin Group - "When People Screw Up, Give Them a Second Chance"
Dick Parsons, chairman and CEO, Time Warner - "Whatever a Man Soweth, That Shall He Also Reap"
David Neeleman, founder, chairman, and CEO, JetBlue - "Never, Ever Forget That You Are a Servant"
Anne Mulcahy, chairman and CEO, Xerox - "Get Face Time With the Customers"
Mark Cuban, co-founder, HDNet; owner, Dallas Mavericks - "Treat your customers like they own you, because they do"
Alex Bogusky, executive creative director, Crispin Porter & Bogusky - "Reinvent Yourself. Repeat."
Ed Zander, chairman and CEO, Motorola - "At the Height of Success, "Break" Your Business"
Russell Simmons, co-founder, Def Jam Records; founder, Rush Communications - "Quit Taking, Start Giving"
Carlos M. Gutierrez, U.S. secretary of commerce; former chairman and CEO Kellogg - "Believe in Something Bigger Than Yourself"
Brad Anderson, vice chairman and CEO, Best Buy - "Remember Who You Are, Not What"
Mireille Guiliano, CEO and president, Clicquot; author, French Women Don't Get Fat - "Once a Day, Take Some 'Beach Time'"
Michael Graves, architect and designer - "Learn to Give Back"
Michael Lewis, author, Liar's Poker, Moneyball, and Coach: Lessons on the Game of Life - "There's something bad in everything good and something good in everything bad"
Steven D. Levitt, coauthor, Freakonomics - "Don't Trust, Just Verify"
Penn Jillette, magician, author, and producer - "Make Deals With People, Not Paper"