The Best Advice from 40 Top CEOs

If you could ask the top men and women in corporate America for their advice, what do you think they would tell you? Christopher Tkaczyk and Scott Olster of Fortune Magazine did just that, and compiled the results in their article “Best advice from CEOs: 40 execs’ secrets to success.

What stood out as I read through the list was how often these corporate leaders spoke of passion as a governing force. Brains are good, skills and experience are great, but many of these leaders cited being passionate about their work as the central key to their success.

Passion: it’s that force that drives us to excel, to continue on through tough days and worse odds, to persevere. Because we know that what we are passionate about is what truly matters.

Having that passion not only makes it easier to slog through the rough patches, it helps us stand out as business leaders, family members and friends.

Here’s a sampling of their collective insights:

“You follow your passions. You find something you love. The truth is, so few people really jump on their jobs, you really will stand out more than you think. You will get noticed if you really go for it.” Warren Buffett, Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway

“Do something you are passionate about, do something you love. If you are doing something you are passionate about, you are just naturally going to succeed, and a lot of other things will happen that you don’t need to worry about.” Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors

“I don’t think it matters how small or how big the task is, if you can do it just a little bit better than what is expected, you will be noticed and rewarded.” Jeffrey Katzenberg, Co-founder of DreamWorks

“People can be bought with their pockets and they can be stimulated with their brains. But only if you win their hearts will they give you their fullest efforts driven by their passions.” Andrew Liveris, Chairman, President and CEO of Dow Chemical

The full article is definitely worth a read; take a few minutes and recharge your batteries.