Ask a pointed question, get a pointed answer. So thanks, Inc.com, for asking and thanks to 11 thinkers and entrepreneurs for your insightful and compelling answers.
Rule 1: Do less
Evan Williams, co-founder of Blogger, Twitter and Medium
Do fewer things and do them really well.
Rule 2: Embrace accidents
Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, co-founder of the Downtown Project
Strive to meet lots of different people, get to know them, share ideas and create your own luck.
Rule 3: Choose your playing field
Roger L. Martin, dean of Rotman School of Management and co-author
Have a strategy. Define where you’re going to play and how you’re going to win.
Rule 4: Fail
Arianna Huffington, cofounder and chief editor of The Huffington Post
Don’t try to fail. But learn from your failures and use them as stepping-stones to success.
Rule 5: Let others lead
Michael Useem, professor at the Wharton School and author
Leadership is a team sport. Build it by making your vision clear and empowering your people to independently make good decisions.
Rule 6: Slow down
Danny Meyer, founder and CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group
Running a business isn’t a sprint. It takes time for a business to develop its soul and come to matter in people’s lives.
Rule 7: Emphasize steady progress
Teresa M. Amabile, Harvard Business School professor and author
Moving forward during the workday has a big impact on people’s creativity and motivation. Monitoring goals and progress make a positive difference.
Rule 8: No tricks
Phil Libin, founder of Evernote
Being honest and straightforward builds better relationships with those whom you do business.
Rule 9: Stop thinking about yourself
John Mackey, co-founder and co-CEO of Whole Foods
Never stop thinking about all the relationships your business has, who your stakeholders are, and how to make ALL of them winners.
Rule 10: Don’t discount the role of luck
Michael Mauboussin, investment strategist at Legg Mason Capital Management and author
You can pick models to emulate, but there’s no guarantee that what works for one will work for you.
Don’t be immune to new ideas
Bob Metcalfe, founder of 3Com and professor of innovation at University of Texas, Austin
Don’t be so busy executing and implementing that you overlook innovation. Even doing old things well requires innovation.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned in your business?