16 of the biggest leaders in Silicon Valley reveal the one thing they would tell their teenage selves

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  • Bill Gates, Sheryl Sandberg, Mark Zuckerberg, and other leaders have been asked the same question in interviews time and time again: „What advice would you give to your younger self?“
  • Business Insider has gathered our favorite quotes from successful leaders, pulled from interviews conducted over the years and quotes compiled by a marketing campaign from the company AdView.

The people we’ve come to associate with the most successful technology companies were once relatively unknown names with big dreams. So if they could do it all over again, would they do it any differently?

The answer to this commonly-asked interview question tells us what we want to learn from the people who have, in our eyes, „made it.“ And leaders in the tech industry are successful because they created something — or saw potential in something — in a way that no one else did. The advice they would give their younger selves, then, is often informative and motivational. 

Digital advertising company AdView compiled quotes from across the internet to create these inspirational posters for a series called „What Would You Tell Your Teenage Self?“ We found our favorites and pulled a few others from various interviews over the years from the leaders and executives at companies like Apple, Facebook, Intel, Pandora, Airbnb, and more.

Here’s the advice these 16 leaders in the tech industry told interviewers they would tell their younger selves:

„Smartness is not single dimensional and not quite as important as I thought it was back then.“

In Bill Gates‘ Reddit AMA from 2017, user UncomfortableChuckle asked „If you could give 19 year old Bill Gates some advice, what would it be?“

The second richest man in the world — behind Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos — responded:

„I would explain that smartness is not single dimensional and not quite as important as I thought it was back then. I would say you might explore the developing world before you get into your forties. I wasn’t very good socially back then but I am not sure there is advice that would fix that – maybe I had to be awkward and just grow up….“

„Find work you love. Believe you can do anything. There is no straight path to where you are going.“

The question was posed by a Quora user, and Sandberg took the time to lay out a detailed response, in the form of three pieces of advice instead of just one.

  1. Find work you love. When you believe in what you are doing, you can combine passion with contribution – and that is a true gift. Keep trying and you will find what you love to do… and once you do, you will crush it.
  2. Believe you can do anything. This is important for everyone and especially for women. Don’t let anyone tell you can’t have both a meaningful professional career and a fulfilling personal life. When you hear someone say you can’t do something, know that you can and start figuring out how. Ask yourself, „What would I do if I weren’t afraid?“
  3. There is no straight path to where you are going. If you try to draw that line you will not just get it wrong, but you will miss big opportunities. As Pattie Sellers of Fortune Magazine says, careers are not ladders but jungle gyms. You don’t have to have it all figured out. I recommend adopting two concurrent goals.

„A healthier lifestyle ultimately makes me more creative and allows me to think more cohesively.“

That was Dorsey’s simple response when Y Combinator interviewed the Twitter CEO in 2016.

„When I was young I didn’t understand the value of exercise or health and how that affected my intellect,“ he said. „I think it was useful for me to go to all the extremes to find the balance I have now, but I wish I focused more on being healthier in the past. A healthier lifestyle ultimately makes me more creative and allows me to think more cohesively.“

See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Source: Business insider

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