I’m privileged to be amidst the smartest, most motivated and creative community and culture in the world. I was born in Asia and have done my limited amount of traveling, including trips across the US and a trip to Europe decades ago, but there’s no place like the Silicon Valley for the tech entrepreneur, no more stimulating business environment if that is your passion. Ever open to the lessons and gifts of leaders across the valley, I’ve decided to collect ten pearls of wisdom to share, in honor of the holidays.
1. Better no relationship than a bad one.
Many frustrated people are deeply tied to relationships that bring them down, that focuses on old, looping or stale patterns that hold them in place. Spinning out of that mode means believing that they can choose to stop the pattern, that they believe it is better to stand alone than to be with someone who makes them stand still or stand down.
2. Don’t put lipstick on the pig.
See with clarity what is before you for embellishing what’s in front of you does not change the heart of what it is.
3. Humor connects.
When emotions run high, conflict is palpable, connect with each other and find the common human spirit and shared goals leveraging humor. Laugh at yourself, laugh at the situation, laugh at the lessons of life.
4. I must.
Successful are those who do what they must do, rather than spend the time and energy complaining about the why and the how of it.
5. Innovation comes from the top down, from the bottom up, from the outside in.
A culture of innovation emanates from the top, is executed from the bottom, and is focused on the needs of the customer.
6. More carrot, less stick.
Praise, reward and positive feedback bring out the best in all of us. Most of us high-achievers also have to tone down on the stick – the voice within us that judges ourselves too harshly.
7. Be fearless: if you succeed, it’s on you, if you fail, it’s on me.
Give others around you the freedom to fail forward, to learn and grow.
8. Complacency kills initiative and innovation.
Don’t rest on your laurels for only the paranoid survive and thrive.
9. We are all a work in progress.
Don’t judge yourself too harshly. Focus on the positives and on the journey.
10. Have the courage to speak difficult truths.
You are not doing your friends, family or colleagues or yourself any favors by protecting them from the truths you see. Share those truths with compassion and empathy.
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