One of the advantages of living in Silicon Valley is you get to meet some amazing people. A recent meet-up with a friend reminded me of the time we got to meet Robert Joss, Dean Emeritus of the Stanford Graduate School of Business. During his career, Professor Joss researched how people can be developed into effective managers.
While he focused on business, Joss also provided sage advice for a successful life:
For those of you who don’t have time to watch the 47-minute video, here are the 10 life lessons from Professor Joss with my own commentary sprinkled in:
10. Life is like cricket
Joss: The rules matter, so play by the rules. It’s a long game, so have patience.
Me: If you don’t play it, you won’t understand it. Get in the game.
9. Life is too short to deal with “bad” people
Joss: People remember how you make them feel.
Me: Remember the ‘No asshole rule.’
8. Run it like you own it
Joss: People pay attention to what you do, especially if it doesn’t match what you say.
Me: Spend the company’s money as if it were your own.
7. Don’t forget to manage side-ways
Joss: Don’t just manage up and down. Be part of a team with your peers.
Me: Informal tribes often matter more than formal teams.
6. Don’t take yourself too seriously
Joss: The main reason people fail is hubris. They stop listening and learning.
Me: Admit your own ignorance and practice the Socratic method.
5. Without fear — there is no courage
Joss: Take intelligent risks and trust your instincts.
Me: Adopt the language of an active mindset.
4. Life is full of “character building experiences”
Joss: Don’t stay in your comfort zone too long.
Me: Remember the story of 10 monkeys in a cage and beware of personal inertia.
3. Find the words
Joss: Life is an endless series of conversations. Add your words to the dialogue.
Me: Words matter: say what you mean and then do what you say.
2. Use CAT and GSB learning throughout your life
Joss: You’re not as smart as you think you are but you’ve learned more than you know.
Me: If you can’t explain something to a 12-year-old, you probably don’t understand it. Embrace the Feyman Learning Technique.
1. Don’t forget to renew yourself
Joss: Life is the art of drawing without an eraser.
Me: I love that quote and will definitely re-use it.
These are 10 great life lessons from Professor Joss.