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Just the other day, one of my university’s alumni invited me to sit in on the¬†advisory board of her newly established company, next to two seasoned business people. I find it difficult to reject such invitations, so before too long I found myself in a meeting with these three people. It was a great meeting.

Both other members happily shared their experiences in business. They were serial managers and entrepreneurs and had wonderful stories to tell about their own careers in terms of success and failures–or learning experiences, if you will. And about the advice they given others worked out. Needless to say, I learned a lot. It is a genuine privilege to serve on such boards with such stimulating people.

The advice the alumna received came in four messages, leading to another acronym in the business landscape, FEED:

  1. Focus–Know your strategic ambition, and follow it. Always keep your eyes on your strategic horizon. That’s your prize.
  2. Explore–The path to success is seldom a straight one, so feel happy to explore the vicinities of the road you travel. But: see (1).
  3. Exploit–Know your strengths and your customer’s needs, and put these to good use by creating value for the customers and yourself.
  4. Divulge–Share your ambitions, ideas, strengths, and results. You’re not on your own, others may build on what you accomplished.

It was a delightful meeting, especially as we were given a custom-made chocolate bar as a reward. So, the feeding was a two-way process!