The Best Career Advice You’ve Ever Heard

WittKieffer recently promoted six of its consultants to the position of principal. We took the opportunity to ask these experienced individuals two questions about careers: What’s the best career advice you’ve ever heard? What one skill should every executive master today? Below are their responses.

What’s the Best Career Advice You’ve Ever Heard?
  • “Build trusting relationships and be an advocate for others as well as yourself. If you do this, good things will come.” – Nick Giannas, Information Technology Practice
  • “Don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself and set stretch career goals. If there is a key initiative that you would like to take part in, don’t hesitate to ask your supervisor for approval. Raise your hand and be the first to volunteer – it will most likely be very appreciated by your boss and by the organization.” – Lydia Haynes, Interim Leadership
  • “Give yourself a great mentor or coach, and build a ‘kitchen cabinet’ for yourself—this is a group of informal advisors to help you through your career, a diverse group of people you meet along the way who you can go to if you have an issue or problem. Don’t think you know all the answers yourself.” – Julie Rosen, Not-for-Profit Practice
  • “Run into the fire, take on the things nobody else wants to, and do not be afraid to say ‘yes’. If you do this and you communicate with all involved, you will be exposed to opportunities you never could have imagined.” – Daniel Young, Healthcare Practice
  • “People don’t leave institutions, they leave leaders who create an environment where they don’t feel valued, listened to or don’t feel a sense of belonging. Sometimes this means working for change at one’s current institution, other times it means needing to change institutions for career advancement.” – Charlene Aguilar, Education Practice
  • “If on your best day you are interested in leaving your current job, then the time is right. But if you are feeling down and had a rough day, think twice about looking to leave. It is better to not make rash decisions when you hit a rough patch, as you may regret it later.” – Mike Raddatz, Healthcare Practice
What One Skill Should Every Executive Today Master?
  • “The ability to clearly and succinctly communicate the value proposition of your organization to a variety of stakeholders—whether it’s to raise money, to advocate to your organization, or to motivate staff. The value proposition should include why the organization exists (and what the world would be like if it didn’t exist) and how it impacts the community, so that people clearly understand why the organization is significant and valuable.” – Julie Rosen, Not-for-Profit Practice
  • “Curiosity and the ability to adapt and work with ambiguity are the most important skills. Granted these are not hard skills, but with the uncertainty and changing landscape of the healthcare industry, curiosity is king!” – Dan Young, Healthcare Practice
  • “Adaptability — being open, nimble and willing to listen and change. Today’s universities deal directly with all of the complexities and related challenges that exist in our politics and our society generally. As a result, tradition and past practices are often limited in the guidance that they can give university leaders. Those who thrive in this environment are likely to be those who have the self-confidence and relationships as well as compassion to take informed risks to address short-term, medium-term, and long-term goals of the institution.” – Charlene Aguilar, Education Practice
  • “Working with ambiguity and shades of gray – especially in the more functional areas like finance or operations. With so much uncertainty in the world today, executives need to be more flexible.” – Mike Raddatz, Healthcare Practice
  • “The ability to lead a remote workforce. Most executives in 2021 and beyond will most likely be leading a workforce that is at least a hybrid model– with some executives not working in the same location as their leader (and many working from home). The executive must check in on their team (but not too often) and actively listen to the team member’s concerns , make sure that they have the tools necessary to do their work, remove barriers and obstacles with technology (especially videoconferencing), and hold virtual get-togethers/social hours with the team to focus on things other than work.” – Lydia Haynes, Interim Leadership
  • “Leading change effectively. The landscape will continue to evolve, making change inevitable. Having the ability to manage through change in a way that is inclusive and inspires others is critical.” – Nick Giannas, Information Technology Practice

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