Warren Buffett gave his kids "enough money so that they would feel they could do anything, but not so much that they could do nothing." Bill Gates and wife Melinda
will give their kids a "minuscule" amount of money, so they will "have to find their own way."
When Netflix co-founder Marc Randolph graduated from college, his father gave him a handwritten list of instructions he later passed on to his own children. (The original hangs next to his bathroom mirror.)
- Do at least 10 percent more than you are asked.
- Never, ever, to anybody present as fact opinions on things you don't know. Takes great care and discipline.
- Be courteous and considerate always -- up and down.
- Don't knock, don't complain -- stick to constructive, serious criticism.
- Don't be afraid to make decisions when you have the facts on which to make them.
- Quantify where possible.
- Be open-minded but skeptical.
- Be prompt.
Sounds simple? It is -- and isn't.
Doing more than expected is hard, especially when extra effort goes unappreciated. But that's OK, because you will benefit: You'll become more skilled, more talented, and more experienced.
All of which will pay off in the long run.
The same is true for courtesy and respect; it's easy to be courteous to those "above" you, but the people who really deserve your respect and consideration are the people "below." It's also true for complaining. If something is wrong, whining never helps. Put your effort into making the situation better.
And it's true for being prompt. Arriving late -- for an appointment, a meeting, for anything -- is disrespectful. Make people wait and you're saying that your time -- whatever you are doing -- is more important than theirs.
Which is, of course, BS.
Time is the most precious commodity any of us have.
So don't waste yours.
And definitely don't waste anyone else's.
(Here's a photo from Marc's LinkedIn feedof his dad's actual list.)