Inspirational Advice From 7 Successful Leaders

Posted on May 24, 2013 by Matrix Education

Hear inspirational advice from leaders on what it really takes to succeed. Each are pioneers in their industries with valuable experience and advice to share. From Steve Jobs to Oprah Winfrey, these speeches are sure to motivate you.

Don’t waste your time – Steve Jobs

At his 2005 Stanford commencement address, Jobs reminds that time is short. Instead of working on someone else’s dream a reality, focus on making your dream a reality.

Time is short. Make the most of every moment even if you feel HSC is the most stressful time of your life!

Advice: “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice…Your work is going to fill a large part of your life. And the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking and don’t settle.”


Do what you love – Jerry Yang

At the University of Hawaii’s 2009 commencement, Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang encouraged others to let go of plans and chase something they are passionate about. He backed this up by revealing how he created Yahoo while him and his co-founder should have been working on their university research.

Time and time again, students will fall into the trap of studying a university course they don’t love. Driven by other factors, these students run into the danger of realising years down the track where they eventually decide to switch career choices and return to university.

Advice: “If you find something that feels right but doesn’t seem to fit into your master plan, take a chance, and commit to it by working hard. You shouldn’t be afraid to let passion get behind the wheel.You might really love where you end up.”


Do real work – Sheryl Sandberg

At Sandberg’s 2012 Harvard Business School commencement, the Facebook chief operating officer encourages continually looking for careers that will impact and grow. She explains how if she had planned her career back at school, she would have missed her career.

Advice: “Look for opportunities, look for growth, look for impact, look for mission. Move sideways, move down, move on move off. Build your skills not your resume. Evaluate what you can do not the title it will give you. Do real work.”


Be prepared to fail – J.K. Rowling

Billionaire and author of the Harry Potter series J.K. Rowling spoke to Harvard’s 2008 class about failure. It was through her experience of failure that she gained the motivation to follow her dream.

Advice: “I was set free because my greatest fear was realised. Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well have not lived at all, in which case you fail by default.”


Make excellence your brand – Oprah Winfrey

Former talk-show host Oprah Winfrey emphasises the importance of service, delivery, integrity and always doing a little bit more than expected.

Advice: “Let excellence be your brand… When you are excellent, you become unforgettable. Doing the right thing, even when nobody knows you’re doing the right thing will always bring the right thing to you…The third law of motion is always at work, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.”

Say “yes” often – Eric Schmidt

Executive chairman of Google Eric Schmidt promotes the power of saying “yes” to the life’s natural invitations.

Advice: “Find a way to say ‘yes’ to things, even if it’s outside of your comfort zone. ‘Yes’ lets you stand out in a crowd. ‘Yes’ is a very tiny word that allows you to do very big things. Say it often.”

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