B2.0's December cover story is our annual How to Succeed guide, where we ask 50 CEOs, VCs, Nobel Prize winners, and other assorted business luminaries what advice they would give the rest of us for next year (25 were printed in the magazine, the rest are online). Here is a sampling (* denotes ones based on my interviews):
Sergey Brin on Simplicity
Richard Branson on Saying No
Chad Hurley* on How to Launch a Killer Startup
Kevin Rose* on Letting the Users Run the Show
Stephen Covey on Moral Authority
Edgar Bronfman Jr. on Learning From Worker Gripes
Muhammad Yunus on Seeking Big Rewards in Small Ideas
Reed Hastings* on Turning Weakness into a Strength
Vinod Khosla on Going Green
Craig Newmark* on Trusting Your Customers
Philip Rosedale* on Virtual Economies
Fred Wilson on Blogging
Stewart Butterfield* on Working for More than Just Money
Brad Garlinghouse* on Minding the Mainstream
Joe Kraus* on How to Get Bought by Google
Tim O'Reilly on Putting Yourself at the Center of the Action
Marc Benioff* on Being Disruptive
Then there's my favorite one: Michael Scott, the lead character from the TV show The Office whose mug graces the cover, on How to Avoid a Staff Mutiny (written by the show's producers). Excerpt:
Every day someone stops me on the street or in a coffee shop or a magic shop, and they want to know how to motivate their staff! Fantastic, I tell them! The three keys to motivating your staff are love (positive reinforcement), fear (negative enforcement), and chocolate (chocolate reinforcement).
Nowadays I find chocolate and/or chocolate-based snacks to be great motivators. Everyone loves chocolate. If someone has a lot of work to do, put a piece of fudge in a glass container (so they can see it) and let them know that if they accomplish their tasks, they can eat the fudge. You'll definitely get a reaction!
There's a saying, "As goes paper, so goes the paper business." You've heard of supply and demand. Well, paper demands that I do my job or I am fired. That's been said to me. And that's a good thing: It's called a warning, and we should heed the warning signs of a downturn. Or an upturn. The point is, motivation is business, and that's fantastic. Business is the backbone of the economy, and those who say otherwise are incorrect or lying to your face. If it weren't for business, this country would probably have another depression, only this one wouldn't be so great.