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21 Tips For Slaying At Work From Top Bosses

Lean the eff in.

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1.

Chris Ritter / BuzzFeed

"As a physicist, a field where women are very much in a minority, I've learned not to mind if I'm the only woman in the room. The important thing is not to let that intimidate you nor change who you fundamentally are: don't try to become one of the boys but work out who your allies are and how to present yourself truthfully but also persuasively. Sometimes standing out as a minority can even be an advantage because people remember you when they've forgotten the identikit men!" — Professor Athene Donald, University of Cambridge and Master of Churchill College

As told to BuzzFeed Life

2.

Photo by Alexis Doyen / Design by Alice Mongkongllite for BuzzFeed

"Embrace failure. Missteps and roadblocks are inevitable but are ultimately an opportunity to learn, pivot, and go after your goals with new perspective." — Jenny Fleiss, Rent the Runway Co-Founder ​and Head of Business Development

As told to BuzzFeed Life

3.

Chris Ritter / BuzzFeed

"Don't be afraid to follow your passion, wherever it may lead you even when the path forward may not seem clear. Be willing to take risks and push outside of what is comfortable and predictable. Also think as much about being a mentor as being mentored. We all have a lot to learn from each other." — Dr. Helene Gayle, President and CEO of CARE

As told to BuzzFeed Life

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4.

Chris Ritter / BuzzFeed

"Watching great people do what you love is a good way to start learning how to do it yourself." — Amy Poehler, actress, writer, producer, and director

From Yes Please

5.

Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed

"Give those you are in charge of all of the information they need to feel confident to do their job successfully, but with enough freedom to make the job their own. Be clear in your mind about the core overarching principles that you want your employees to abide by and remind them of those periodically. Young employees need the guidance because everything about the environment is new to them. Your calm and cordial demeanor will convey that you care about them and that you care they perform well, not just for the job's sake or to please you, but because you know this gives them a sense of accomplishment and a permission to learn new skills that they can carry to their next positions." — Joanne Manaster, Faculty Lecturer in Biology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

As told to BuzzFeed Life

7.

Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed

"To be a truly adaptive leader, you must have open ears, listening to those around you. No single leader has all the answers all of the time. But if you listen to the right people — consumers, colleagues and communities — someone will ... Leading with an open mind means not only questioning everything your business does, but also having the courage to act on what you see and hear, sometimes in new ways." — Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo

From "Adapting to Lead in a Changing World" on Each Time A Man: Alessandro Benetton's blog

8.

Chris Ritter / BuzzFeed

"In an early stage business, the most valuable thing you can do is learn. Always know what your top three priorities or questions are and focus your limited resources on making progress in those areas. Don't be afraid to talk directly to your customers and ask them questions too. You can definitely carve out time for crazy ideas and new tests, but it's best if they push you forward in your priorities instead of spread you thinner." — Hayley Barna, co-founder of Birchbox

As told to BuzzFeed Life

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9.

Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed

"This...'perfectionist gene' that too many young women have holds them back, and instead they should be really aiming for 'good enough.' You don't have to be perfect. Most men never think like that. They're just trying to figure out what's the opening and how they can seize it. They're not thinking about, Oh my gosh, I'm not perfect, my hair's not perfect today, I wore the wrong shoes. No." — Hillary Rodham Clinton

From Glamour

10.

Chris Ritter / BuzzFeed

"I say to my team all the time that this is how I grew up: Always thinking that, at any minute, I could be unemployed. You have to scramble. You have to work hard and get ahead of things." — Ursula Burns, CEO of Xerox

From Fortune

11.

Photo by Markus Spiske / Design by Alice Mongkongllite for BuzzFeed

"Write your own part. It is the only way I've gotten anywhere. It is much harder work, but sometimes you have to take destiny into your own hands. It forces you to think about what your strengths really are, and once you find them, you can showcase them, and no one can stop you." — Mindy Kaling, writer, star of The Mindy Project, and author of Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

From Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

12.

Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed

"We should focus on leadership rather than gender. Institutions, societies and states all depend on good leadership. Early in my career, I was meeting with a group of board members (all male) to solve a problem. After a while, I came up with a solution that everyone liked. An elderly Holocaust survivor said, 'Great idea. You think like a man.' He might have been shaped by gender stereotypes, but it did not prevent him from recognizing leadership. I never let it bother me and in the end it never seemed to bother any of the many men I have worked for and with." — Sara Bloomfield, director of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

As told to BuzzFeed Life

13.

Photo by Juskteez Vu / Design by Alice Mongkongllite for BuzzFeed

"Claim social media real estate. Get an About.me page and put your picture and bio out there. Let folks know you exist and what your expertise is. Demonstrate your expertise. Comment on news items to broaden and deepen the conversation about relevant issues and how your area of expertise fits into the conversations. Be visible on your own terms. No gatekeeper is needed, and for students who are in less-than-ideal situations, this means not missing out on mentoring, financing, scholarship or future job offers. Don't wait for the approval or recommendation of others (namely advisors or supervisors) to put your name in the ring." — Danielle N. Lee, PhD, The Urban Scientist blogger at Scientific American, post-doctoral research associate, Cornell University

As told to BuzzFeed Life

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14.

Chris Ritter / BuzzFeed.

"If the energy of a job demands or outweighs the experience it's providing you, you need to find another job or at the very least seek out an extracurricular outlet that gives you life. Be stingy with your time and spend it in spaces that fill you up." — Janet Mock, author of Redefining Realness and host of MSNBC's So POPular!

As told to BuzzFeed Life

15.

Chris Ritter / BuzzFeed

"The best advice I could give is to be ready to improvise. The ability to recognize opportunities and move in new — and sometimes unexpected — directions will benefit you no matter your interests or aspirations." — Drew Gilpin Faust, president of Harvard University

From Forbes

16.

Photo by Markus Spiske / Design by Alice Mongkongllite for BuzzFeed

"Volunteer some hours. Focus on something outside yourself. Devote a slice of your energies towards making the world suck less every week." — Shonda Rhimes, screenwriter, director, and producer

From her 2014 Dartmouth commencement speech

17.

Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed

"It's easier to become great at something you're good at than good at something you're bad at. Focus on your talents and strengths and find other people to fill in the gaps!" — Elsie Larson, blogger and author of A Beautiful Mess Happy Handmade Home: Painting, Crafting, and Decorating a Cheerful, More Inspiring Space

As told to BuzzFeed Life

18.

Chris Ritter / BuzzFeed.

"You have to separate yourself. I love my space, so there are times I don't want to talk to anybody. A lot of my chefs are young, and if I'm with them all the time then I see the bad things. In order to create menus and innovate so we can grow, I can't be in the eye of the storm. I have to be out of it." — Barbara Lynch, James Beard Award winner, Relais & Châteaux Grand Chef, and founder and CEO of Barbara Lynch Gruppo

From Jetset Times

19.

Chris Ritter / BuzzFeed

"The planet is here for our delight, but it is also here for us to change, to make it the best it can be. It's not just about sleeping and fucking and getting the right dress. Let's HOPE not." — Kelly Cutrone, Founder and CEO of People's Revolution

From If You Have to Cry, Go Outside: And Other Things Your Mother Never Told You

20.

Chris Ritter / BuzzFeed

"One of the most important things I learned early on when 'selling' the concept of Birchbox to partners is to shut up. Of course you need to pitch your concept and explain why it makes sense for a potential partner, but most importantly (especially in your first meeting), you are on a fact-finding mission. My goal is to talk no more than half the time, and ask questions that allow me to frame my business/product as not only relevant, but critical...from there I am ready to have a very productive next meeting." — Katia Beauchamp, co-founder of Birchbox

As told to BuzzFeed Life

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