"If you’re going do a job, do a job. And if you’re not going to do a job, don’t do a job. And that is the key of everything."
Well according to Steve Ballmer it is, who in his first public appearance since vacating the Microsoft hot-heat, discussed the best piece of advice he ever received in business.
Speaking with the dean of Oxford University’s School of Business, the former Redmond CEO claimed the wise words of his father helped inspire a career at the top of the technology industry, at a company he calls his “fourth child.”
“The best advice I ever got, I got from my father. Bar none. It was so prophetic and so deep,” Ballmer recalled.
“My dad said, ‘If you’re going do a job, do a job. And if you’re not going to do a job, don’t do a job. And that is the key of everything.’
“No, seriously, the notion that if you’re going to do something then do it heart, body and soul and do it. And really care.
“And have the kind of brain that forces you where you are always thinking about it and worrying about it and tending to it and nurturing it and growing it.
“You either be all in or be all out.
“There are disadvantages to having this kind of personality, I will tell you. It’s not all a bed of roses...
“You’ve got to be in and take a long-term view. You’ve got to be as hard-core as anything, if you’re going to be successful.”
Ballmer, who was replaced by Satya Nadella as CEO earlier this year, also revealed the worst advice of his career, advice he ignored.
“The worst piece of advice I ever got was pretty simple,” Ballmer said. “I had a bunch of people at Stanford Business School who told me not to drop out to join Microsoft.
“That would have been cosmically the worst advice I ever got in my life.”