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Quiz: What's Blocking You?
    Which of the following best describes you?

    Is Someone’s Career Advice Hurting Or Helping You?

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    We’ve all received career advice. Like financial guru Suze Orman, career management professionals build their life’s work around advising people, but this does not make us immune to receiving pointers or criticism. As Suze learned, we all maneuver around horrible bosses, critics, and competitors, but it is important that “The elephant keeps walking as the dogs keep barking.

    A client recently asked for my personal take on a recent LinkedIn article featuring some of the world’s most recognizable leaders and the best career advice they had received. From Diapers.com CEO Marc Lore’s “Numbers lie. Don’t focus on the bottom line,” to my personal favorite from Cleveland Clinic CEO and President Toby Cosgrove who said “Tell me your GQ (Guts Quotient), not your IQ.

    Whether or not a person takes any advice seriously or with a grain of salt comes down to how an individual internalizes it. After all, seemingly good advice may be the worst for your career, so one must consider the source.

    So, how did I respond? Yes, I’m cliché. I answered with the best advice ever given to me. In my early career years, two leaders [separately] said to me:

    1. “If words are worth a thousand; tone of voice is worth a million.”
    2. “The worst habit you can get into is applying your own thought process to others.”

    Why was this advice valuable to me? Because, it wasn’t just their advice; it was their diplomatic approach in delivering such guidance. Instead of tearing down a person’s spirit, each honored it. Not only did I internalize this positive wisdom, I apply it daily. Whether personal or professional, I consciously interact with others using the same approach.

    It taught me other things, too. Advice is great, but how and why it is given is critical. Does the giver have your best interest at heart? Is he or she honoring your spirit, as well as your personality? Does the wisdom harness your inner ambition and natural talents?

    If the answer is yes, then embrace it. Treasure it. Practice it every day. It may help you navigate challenges and find your life’s purpose, as I found mine.

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