Aspiring Business Leaders Worldwide

Peter Thiel’s Advice on Execution with Speed

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Peter Thiel

A lot of us are at a point in our lives where there is a constant battle between where we are standing and where we’d like to be next. It has less about making millions or earning a title, and more to dowith what we have fogged our heads with - where we’d like to be 10 years down the line. The reality is that we don’t know where we’ll end up because we keep looking in the wrong places!

We need to think little about tomorrow, and only about today. Whether you’re the CEO of a startup company, or the executive in a Fortune 500 company, you don’t need to worry about what might happen. Because, in the path to success, one is guaranteed to face a few bumps along the way. It could be minor distractions in the form of a co-founder pulling out, or major ones such as a pending lawsuit that threatens the stability of the business. No matter what stage your business or life is in, bumps ought to happen. So, when you constantly worry about tomorrow, you’ll keep missing the opportunities that the present gives to you.

Peter Thiel the billionaire co-founder of PayPal and Palantir, as well as a powerful venture capitalist and hedge fund manager, says that none of his success would have happened if he had blindly followed in the footsteps of others. During a commencement speech at Hamilton College on Sunday, he urged graduate students to avoid trusting wisdom of the crowds and to live in the moment. Carpe Diem! Enjoy live and live in the moment without thinking too much of the future. Learn as if you were to live forever.

He illustrated:

“The best way to take this as advice is to do exactly the opposite. Live each day as if you will live forever. That means, first and foremost, that you should treat the people around you as if they too will be around for a very long time to come. The choices that you make today matter, because their consequences will grow greater and greater.”

For business leaders, being able to focus on the present is crucial. While, we cannot put a blind eye to the consequences of the choices we make today, we also cannot dwell on the future and ignore the present. It is especially necessary given the rapidly-changing and ambiguous nature of businesses requires leadership style where it’s Carpe Diem, or seize the day. It helps in three ways:

It helps leaders immediately recognize risk as an opportunity rather than a problem set into the future. By exploiting opportunities, leaders can sustain a competitive advantage.

Whether you’re a Yale graduate or a community college pass out, no exact blueprint to business success will last long. It’s all about constantly adapting and improvising, and influencing people by providing purpose and motivation to ensure success.

Success is predicated on execution with speed. In today’s rapidly-changing business world, leaders must be decisive, focused and must leverage resources swiftly.

Watch the full commencement speech below:

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