This answer appeared on Quora, and just hits the ball out of the park:
Glenn Beck, Founder, TheBlaze. Radio & TV Host. Entrepreneur.
153.3k Views (https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-biggest-lesson-you-have-learned-in-the-corporate-world)
1. Never be the smartest person in the room.
2. Always listen to your inner voice. If it “feels wrong” it is.
3. Debt makes you and your company a slave to someone.
4. It is never wrong to do the right thing. It is never right to do the wrong thing. The ends DO NOT justify the means. The Ten Commandments are also great safety tips no matter who said them.
5. Don’t hire employees or friends. Hire people who believe in the vision and want to partner because it makes them feel alive to be apart of something bigger than them or us.
6. Remember who you wanted to be when you were a kid. You didn’t EVER want to be the dream killer, paper pusher or suit. You wanted to change the world. Why aren’t you changing the world? Age is a mind set and the older you are mentally, the less dynamic change you will capture and create.
7. Love your people. If your end users are viewed as people who are “clicks” or just customers you will fail. If you care about them, you will make the product that will actually make their life better or easier. You both win. Most companies are upside down. Prioritize: A) principals B) people (love and respect your end users/vendors and employees/partners – If you have those as your solid foundation and you protect those two things, the next two fall into place naturally. C) product. If you know the first two the product becomes obvious D) profit. It is a byproduct. Never forget that. Making profit your goal is the easiest way to become all that you despise.
8. Make your word you bond. Contracts are important but your word is more so. Let your yes mean yes and no mean no always. The spirit of the deal is just as important as the words of the deal. Never dishonor yourself.
9. Plan on being mocked or told it will never work. Sometimes they are right, but the best ideas do seem crazy at first to most or everyone would already be doing it.
10. Know not what you do or make. But why. That is the difference between a guy who makes computers and Steve jobs. He knew why. ART.
11. With God all things are possible.
12. There is no such thing as compartmentalizing ethics. You can not cheat on your wife or taxes but be honest and trustworthy at the office. Fix your character flaws. We all have them. Master them or they will master you.
13. Make your weakness your strength.