New Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has a big job at hand: Rehabilitate the ride-hailing company's battered image and keep ridership growing at a rate that will support its $68 billion valuation. Here's how Khosrowshahi, who left his job as CEO of Expedia in August to take over Uber, maximizes his effectiveness.
1. Avoid distractions.
"When I was in my 20s, I learned not only how to work hard, but about the importance of focus," Khosrowshahi reflected in an interview with Entrepreneur. "Early on, I learned the importance of being acutely focused on my goals -- and the importance of fostering a culture that avoids unnecessary restrictions."
2. Take the risks that matter.
Khosrowshahi told travel industry site Skift how he approaches high-impact decision-making: "90 percent of the time you're going to make the decision that everyone else is going to make because usually 90 percent of decisions are fairly obvious. But 10 percent of the time you're going to make a different decision and the key is what is that 10 percent." He added, "You want to be different as a company, you want edge, you want an angle that separates you from the crowd. Be careful what those choices are, but you've got to have an edge to be different." Otherwise you resign yourself to mediocrity.
3. Look for life's cheat codes.
At an event hosted by The Beat, Khosrowshahi said, "The best engineers are cheaters. What they do is figure out how to cheat so that instead of building this thing that's going to take a year, I can drive a shortcut that will allow me to build it in two weeks or a month." That allows fast-paced innovation, which leads to serving customers better.
4. Bend instead of breaking.
"Learning to cope with endless demands on your time -- at a young age -- will both position and prepare you for advancement and growth," Khosrowshahi explained to Entrepreneur. "As you move up, business problems become nonlinear and systems less predictable. A uniform approach just won't cut it so you have to approach problems differently, with flexibility."
"If I could give my 30-year-old self one piece of advice, without a doubt it would be that it's OK to fail," he added. "If you're constrained by fear of failure, you won't be able to give yourself the freedom to adjust your approach."
5. Follow the K.I.S.S. rule (Keep It Simple, Stupid).
"The ability to simplify is an underrated skill," Khosrowshahi said, according to Bloomberg. That's simple enough advice to follow.