Please take a moment to join our community by sharing stories of your leadership experience, like those from the book, or share some advice.

There is so much wisdom in great advice. I have begun to compile people’s responses the question, “What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?” If you’d like to add to this collective wisdom, your contribution would be welcome. We’ve included a few examples below, and you can find more leadership stories, and advice in our “Learn” section.


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A few examples from others who have shared

Leadership Story

I enlisted in the army towards the end of WWII and was stationed at Fort Dix, New Jersey. There was a military band there, and transferred into the band. There were no piano players, but I located one from another outfit, an all-black one. The army was segregated in those days. One of the first jobs I got for the band was [to play at] a dance to be held at the Club. At the entrance, since we weren't officers, we were asked for identification and reason for gaining entry told him we were the band members there to play for the dance. He told us all to go in, except for the black guy. They [black people] weren't allowed. I tried a little cajoling, but it didn't work. At that point made the decision that it was all or none of us and told him that there wouldn't be any music for the dance tonight. He notified someone inside the club, and an officer emerged. I reiterated my decision and waited. Finally he said 0K, we could all go in and provide the music. My guess is that our band was the first integrated unit in the military. and probably the first time a black man was allowed into the Officers' Club.

Advice

The best advice that I ever received came from Jeff Pfeffer. In 1989, I had moved across the country and gone from single to married, from graduate student to assistant professor, from studying experimental social psychology to teaching organizational behavior, in just one year. I had many demands on my time and not enough energy to get through my day…when Jeff stopped by my office, I told him that I had too many amazing opportunities—to work with people and on projects, to teach, and to present at conferences. “Linda, beware of once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that come along every day,” he said. Since then, whenever I have found myself feeling pressed about doing too much, and not doing it all very well, I have remembered Jeff’s advice. It reminds me that I am the only one who can determine my own priorities.