Leaders Share the Best Pieces of Career Advice They’ve Ever Received

Leaders Share the Best Pieces of Career Advice They’ve Ever Received was originally published on Ivy Exec.

Sure, you should typically take others’ thoughts with a grain of salt – but some abiding adages and advice have withstood the test of time, being passed down from one leader to the next for a reason.

We caught up with C-suite executives and leaders of all backgrounds to garner the best words of wisdom they’d heard throughout their career climbs… and pass it down, yet again, to you. Here’s what they had to say.


✅ Be patient in taking the right approach.

“I’ve been part of companies with a lot of cash trying to please investors, as well as profitable ones focused on user satisfaction, and I’ve noticed a clear pattern: The ones centered on the user are profitable for a reason,” says Damià Fuentes Escoté, founder of Punta, an app for digital nomads to make meaningful connections.

He previously worked at one of these successful companies where everyone deeply understood that “results take time,” he says.

Those words resonated with him, and he’s carried over that mentality to Punta, together with the customer-experience-first approach.

“We believe there are no shortcuts to success,” he says. “Each step we take is meticulously designed to enhance the user experience. We listen, we respond, and, above all else, we ensure that what we offer not only works but is also truly loved by our users.”


✅ Hire talent, not skills.

First things first: Hire right.

“The best tip I’ve ever received as a CEO was to hire talent, not skills,” says Alexander Holzhammer, CEO at Tongkatali Shop. “Skills can be learned, but character and work ethic, as well as intelligence, creativity, willingness to learn and critical thinking, are nearly impossible to teach to an adult.”


✅ Practice active listening.

Communication is not all about how you articulate yourself. In fact, much of it is allowing others to do the same.

“Early on in my legal career, a high court judge had this massive go at me in court because I kept answering what I wanted to answer, and so he said this cliché thing like, ‘We have two ears and one mouth because we should listen twice as much as we should speak,’” says Alexander Stylianoudis, Head of Legal, Finance, and Operations at Goosechase. “Though cliché, forcing myself to actively and deeply listen to people – be it colleagues, partners, advisors, etc. – has helped me be more concise, thorough, and impactful in my work.”

It has also helped him to develop and sustain meaningful and invaluable relationships, he says. These relationships have helped support him along his journey to a leadership position. 

“I suppose that, like most people, I often tend to have my internal dialogue kick in as soon as people start speaking to me – I prepare for an answer that was never asked so as to appear smarter or more knowledgeable about a narrative I’ve created,” he explains. “That little sentence forces me to cut through this self-inflicted noise and deeply listen to my interlocutor.”


✅ Don’t compare yourself.

While it’s easier said than done not to compare yourself to others, it’s no secret that comparison is the thief of joy.

But Julio Monzon, president & COO of MonetizeMore, has learned along the way that his journey as a leader is his own.

“Never compare yourself to other execs,” he says. “It’s good to have mentors and to look up to others. But never think you’re behind or ahead of anyone. Your journey is your own.”


✅ Create a healthy company culture.

Company culture trumps all else, Monzon of MonetizeMore also shares. After all, without it, everything else can fall apart.

“A company’s secret sauce is their culture,” he explains. “You can have the best product, sales, and marketing, but without a culture to keep it together, you risk having toxicity infect your business.”

By Ivy Exec
Ivy Exec is your dedicated career development resource.