Carlos Ghosn of Nissan and Renault shares the career advice he gives to his own children: "Embrace diversity."
He shares his practical advice for building your career, based on his own diverse experiences, and how to lead a team—even when you're half their age.
Some of our favorite excerpts:
On experiencing diversity:
"I had the opportunity to live in different countries where diversity was a factor. Brazil is a melting pot, you know, where we have people from different cultures, different languages, different ethnicities, different beliefs. And then I lived in Lebanon, where you have people of different religions, different beliefs. All of these put me in places where I learned to deal with people who are very different-- with different beliefs, different cultures. And when you are in a melting pot like this, it can be a disaster. Or, on the contrary, it can be a strength."
"Embrace diversity. It's your world. Your world is going to be more and more diverse. You're going to have to live with people of different education, culture, beliefs, backgrounds, et cetera.
And [learn] how you can work efficiently with them. How you can use the difference as a way to enrich yourself to get to a better solution is really key no matter where you are working, in what kind of industry and what kind of activity. So everything which prepares you to embrace diversity, to look at how diversity can support your goals, how you can enrich the solutions you're looking for-- it's something which is going to help you build a much a stronger career."
Leading at 27—here's how he did it:
"First, be very open. Get to know a lot of people, understand what are the challenges, and start to work immediately on the challenges that the people have already identified as being crucial. And they're going to talk about these challenges, because particularly if you're young, people think that by pinpointing on the challenges, they may discourage you.
Or they may humble you. Which is fine. That's exactly what you want. You want people to talk about their problems. They want to talk the obstacles to the performance, where are the opportunities of performance, because this is exactly what you want. Identify these areas where you can make the difference and go for it. And when you start to make a difference, I can tell you, it turns completely."